Quality sleep is essential! 7-8 hours of sleep is recommended for adults for optimal functioning. But of course, there are times when having up to two hours of sleep isn’t just possible. So when you can’t get sufficient sleep, you must look for ways to stay active and efficient.

Life, of course, doesn’t always afford us the leisure to follow every healthcare recommendation. But then, that’s why there are hacks to help you through such times.

Here are proven, natural ways to make it through the day after a sleepless night.

1.    Use caffeine, but not excessively

Taking caffeine can give you a good energy boost in the morning. So if you’ve had a bad night’s sleep, drinking coffee is one of the best ways to kick start your day. Just ensure you don’t overdo it.

While two cups of coffee can give you as much alertness as possible, drinking more than that wouldn’t increase the effectiveness. On the contrary, too much caffeine may get you jittery and nervous. Naturally, you don’t want that.

2.    Use supplements containing L-theanine

L-theanine is an amino acid found in tea leaves. Interestingly, it is known to nullify the negative effects (the jitters) of caffeine while keeping you calm. Therefore, combining caffeine + L-theanine is arguably the best way to feel wakefully alert all day long. Thankfully, there are supplements and energy gummies containing the substances in addition to caffeine. So you can have them in your purse and chew on some for a burst of energy as you proceed through the day. This, of course, is a better alternative to drinking coffee all day due to the negative impact.

3.    Stop! Drop the soda!

After a sleepless night, you will probably be tempted to reach for the sugar cubes. But that’s the last thing you need right now. Sugar will give you a short burst of energy, but you’ll feel all the worse when the energy tapers.

Instead of sugar, reach for a balanced diet rich in protein and lean meat. This will keep you full for longer, plus the energy it provides. It is way better than sugar and simple carbohydrates. Importantly, take light meals rather than heavy ones when sleep deprived. A heavy meal will make you all the more sleepy and lazy.

4.    Lighten your workload

You certainly wouldn’t be in your best form when sleep deprived. So it’s best to take things easy on yourself and simplify your workload. Do the most pressing ones and postpone whatever can wait. With fewer things to worry about, you can optimize productivity without overstretching yourself. Three tasks done excellently are preferable to seven done haphazardly.

5.    Take a walk outdoors

After a bad night’s sleep, It’s okay to want to get the day started as soon as possible, especially when there’s so much to do. It’s even more important when you work from home. But if you care about your productivity, consider going for a walk first.

A walk outdoors is a form of physical activity which stimulates alertness in the brain. In addition, the sunlight cues your body into a state of wakefulness. So if you won’t be going out to work, have a walk outside before sitting down behind your laptop. Or whatever you need to do at home.

6.    Take a short nap

One helpful way to get through the day after a sleepless night is to grab a nap the first chance you get. A nap as short as 20-30 minutes can be enriching, recharging your body and mind. It’s best to have this nap in the early afternoon.

However, you want to be conscious of time. Napping too long beyond 30 minutes can make you even drowsier than you were. So consider setting the alarm before dozing off.

7.    Stay hydrated

“Drink lots of water because when you’re sleep deprived, your cells are really thirsty because they’re working extra hard to take care of you and they need that extra water,” says Jessica Cording, registered dietitian-nutritionist.

What’s more, you feel more sluggish when dehydrated.

Final thoughts

Once the day is over, get yourself some well-deserved sleep. That will help get you back on track. But again, moderation is key. Avoid the temptation to sleep in for too long. You can sleep in a bit, but going too far can mess up your sleeping pattern, making it difficult for your system to regulate itself again.

Life wouldn’t wait for you until you’re well rested. So when sleep-deprived, you can always count on the above tips to get you through the day with optimal productivity.