How to Become Better After a Sleepless Night

First and foremost, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in 2018 that nearly 33 percent of US adults get less than the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep. In addition, 25 percent of Americans often suffer from a sleepless night.

Moreover, not being able to sleep 8 hours has many negative effects on your body.  So, how do you recover from a sleepless night or even a night when you don’t get enough sleep? First, though not necessary, see if you have sleep loss symptoms. And if you do, take one or more of the actions, described here, to become better.

Usual Routine

First of all follow your usual routine after a sleepless night.

Wake Up After a Sleepless Night

Therefore, even though you didn’t sleep or didn’t sleep well, it’s important to get up when you always do. Because, waking up at about the same time you always do, helps your body’s circadian rhythm stay in sync. In fact, the circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock. Indeed, it manages your body’s physical, mental, and behavioral processes over nearly a 24 hour period.

Drink Coffee After a Sleepless Night

Next, drink a cup of coffee soon after you wake up. In fact, the caffeine gives your body a jolt to get moving. And, if you don’t drink coffee, hot cocoa or black tea are a good substitute.

Have Breakfast After a Sleepless Night

Next, eat breakfast within one hour after you wake up. Consequently your mood improves and the breakfast stimulates your brain. However, don’t eat sugary cereals. Instead eat whole grain foods, like home made bread, and protein such as eggs.

Eat Small Meals Frequently

Eat five to six small meals to keep your blood sugar levels steady all day. On the other hand, if you wait long periods before eating, your blood sugar levels drop, making you feel more fatigued and then overeat.

No High-Carb Foods

Most of all, you burn through the carbs quickly and have an energy crash. Instead eat lean protein and healthy fats because they satisfy you and help you stay full longer by slowing down your digestion.

Avoid Sugar

Most of all avoid sugar to avoid crash later on.

No Sweets and Junk Foods

Stay away from sweets and junk foods.

Drink Water

Drink enough plain or carbonated water.

Go Outside After a Sleepless Night

In fact, if the sun is shining, go outside and soak it up. Because the bright light signals your brain and the circadian rhythm to get in sync with daylight. Also, the sunlight helps shake off any sleep inertia. But most of all, the sunlight signals the brain’s pineal gland to suppress production of melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. In addition, morning light improves our mood by boosting serotonin levels. So go outside for about 30 minutes as soon as you can after waking up.


On the other hand, if the day is cloudy or you are staying indoors, use light therapy devices. For example, the Lightphoria 10,000 LUX energy light lamp emits bright, wide spectrum light mimicking sunlight. But, its not the only one out there. See this video for example of use.

Take Afternoon Nap

Take a 15 to 20 minute afternoon nap to help make up sleep loss.

Sleep Early After a Sleepless Night

To make up some of the lost sleep, take a warm or hot shower and sleep early.

Room Temperature

Also, if you are home, adjust your thermostat so that the room temperature is between 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, other temperature settings may cause you to feel sleepy.

Exercise After a Sleepless Night

Also, if you have time and are able to, exercise, especially in the morning. Moreover, weather permitting, the exercise can even be going for a walk. Also, the walk helps wake you up. Most of all, exercise helps your mood, your energy, and help you sleep better at night. In addition exercising in the morning gets the blood circulating and wakes up the senses.

On the other hand, if the weather outside is gloomy, walk on a treadmill, if you have one at home.

Postpone Non-Essential Activity

Next, put off doing non-essential activity. As a result, you have time to recover from the effects of the sleepless night.

To Do List

Since your brain isn’t good at making decisions after a sleepless night, write up a list of things to do during the day.

Do Hardest Things First

Because you are the most alert after your wake up, do the hardest ones first, and the easier ones later in the day when lack of sleep catches up with you.

Be Careful After a Sleepless Night

Above all, a sleepless night decreases your physical and mental abilities. Also your reaction times and judgements are compromised. Therefore it is important to use caution, especially when driving or operating machinery.


Try to look better than you feel

Cold Shower

If you feel sleepy, take a relatively cold shower to provide a stimulating effect and wake you up.

Scrub Your Face After a Sleepless Night

During sleep, your skin releases toxins through your sweat glands so your skin becomes sluggish, dull, and lackluster. So, scrubbing your face increases microcirculation, brings oxygen and other nutrients to your skin. As a result, you get that fresh feeling.

Sit Up Straight

Sitting up straight will keep you alert and your energy level high. On the other hand, slouching at a table reduces your energy level and make you sleepy.

Try Relaxation Techniques

If you are familiar with them, try relaxation techniques.

Deep Breaths

First and foremost, one approach to taking deep breaths is using what is known as diaphragmatic breathing. Moreover diaphragmatic breathing lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, and helps you relax. So, to use this technique follow these steps:

  • 1
    First, lay flat on the bed or on the floor
  • 2
    Next relax your shoulders
  • 3
    Next, put one hand on the chest and one on the stomach
  • 4
    Now breathe through your nose for two seconds and sense your stomach expanding while keeping your chest still.
  • 5
    Next use your lips to pretend you are drinking from a straw and exhale slowly for two seconds
  • 6
    Finally, repeat steps 4 and 5 a few times.

Breathe Briskly After a Sleepless Night

On the other hand, if you want to boost your energy and alertness, consider using a yogic breathing technique called Bellows Breath. For instance, close your mouth, then inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose with very short in-and-out breaths of equal duration. Moreover, imagine your belly is a bellows pumping one to three full breaths per second. Meanwhile, start doing the technique for 15 seconds, and gradually increasing it by 5 seconds until you reach 1 minute. Most of all, before you use this technique, check with your health care provider to be sure it is safe for you.

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