Whether you are a new parent or you have a chronic sleep condition, chances are you have to go to work the next day. Poor sleep affects our health making us grumpy, stressed, and disoriented, thus affecting work performance and relationships, there’s no question. Here are a few simple strategies to cope with less sleep.
1. Drink lots of water
Aim to drink enough to use the bathroom every hour. Not only it will keep you well hydrated, it’ll keep you active, running back and forth to the bathroom.
2. Take naps
It is easier said than done. However, catching a twenty to thirty minute nap can refresh you and keep you focused for the rest of the day. Some workplaces accommodate for that with naps pods. Consider a career with Uber, Google, or Zappos.
3. Drink caffeine
Anything with caffeine – coffee, tea, Cokes – jump starts your day and gives a boost of energy. However, watch your intake as too much caffeine can make you jumpy and jittery and deprive you of sleep if you drink it too late in the day!
4. Set a bedtime
And stick to it! Avoid binge watching your favorite show or answering work emails. The later you stay up at night, the later you’ll sleep in. This will contribute to a less productive day in the morning.
5. Do the most challenging tasks first
It makes the most sense to tackle the most difficult, annoying or mundane tasks first thing in the morning during the first caffeine rush while you’re still fresh and alert. This way you’re less likely to procrastinate at the task.
6. Reduce the use of electronic devices at night
Blue light, emitted by laptops, smartphones, and many other electronic devices, is affecting the quantity and quality of our sleep. The sun has a tremendous about of blue light in it, so when you are using your electronic device before bed, you’re sending a signal to the brain to remain alert by mimicking the daylight. There are apps and software you can download to address this issue (F.lux, Twilight) or avoid using your devices at least 90 minutes before sleep.
7. Get up and move
Moving stimulates the brain to stay awake. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Even if you have nowhere to go, walk up and down a couple of flights when you start dowsing off at your desk.
8. Seek out the sun
Direct sun exposure in the morning helps reset the internal clock, especially if you have irregular sleep patterns. It can also give you an energy boost when you’re fading during the day. If you work indoors with limited sunlight, taking a quick walk outside to get lunch or a coffee in the sun will curb your drowsiness.
9. Track sleep with an app
Consider using a sleep tracking app to learn more about your sleeping patters and habits: Sleep Cycle, Pillow, Sleep++.