Seven tips to help you deal with lack of sleep
We’ve all experienced the ghastly effects of lack of sleep, the infamous red, puffy eyes, excessive yawning, the inability to think clearly or concentrate, irritability and a debilitating exhaustion that stops you from functioning properly.
While your sleep deprivation may be the result of a new baby, sick or fussy children, work deadlines, stress, medication, a big night or just a period of unexplained insomnia, one thing is sure, we all need to learn how to cope with it, hide the signs of it and where possible avoid it.
To help you, here are seven tips to help you deal with and treat lack of sleep so you are feeling more rested, relaxed and refreshed.
1. Eat well and regularly
When you don't get much sleep you can wake feeling ill and eating is often the last thing on my mind. But after a long fast overnight it's important to have a good breakfast and eat regularly throughout the day to maintain your energy levels. It's also a good idea to keep your meals light, often big heavy meals will leave you feeling more tired.
2. Watch your caffeine and sugar intake
When you're feeling tired normally the first thing you crave is sugar and caffeine. But while it can give you the "pick me up" you're looking for its effects are temporary and the crash that comes when it wears off can leave you feeling worse.
Instead try eating foods that are low GI as this will provide more constant energy levels as opposed to the highs then lows that come from caffeine and sugar. When you feel like you need a “pick me up” try an apple too. It has been said that the natural sugars in an apple can wake you up just as well as coffee and the energy burst will last longer.
3. Do some gentle exercise
According to research physical activity increases levels of the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin, which decreases anxiety and can even help you sleep better.
So while exhaustion can leave you feeling lethargic and not wanting to do anything, pushing yourself to do some light exercise like taking a short brisk walk around the block or through the park or shops can help you feel a lot better.
4. Have an energy drink
A natural energy drink that is. If you find you’re getting tired in the afternoon and need a little “pick-me-up” instead of reaching for a coffee or chocolate bar try this natural energiser.
Take one litre of purified water and mix in:
- 3 teaspoons of Vitamin C
- 40mls of freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 20mls of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 40mls of Apple Cider Vinegar
This simple drink activates your krebs cycle and will give you the burst of energy you need, naturally.
5. Use the “jet lag protocol”
Joey Hayes, one of Australia’s leading strength and conditioning experts, has developed a “jet lag protocol” in order to minimise the effects of jet lag, though it also beneficial in dealing with sleep deprivation.
He suggests setting your alarm clock at sunrise on three consecutive mornings. When the alarm goes off sit up in bed. While staring blankly, shine a flash light in your eyes for 30 seconds (not an LED light as these will damage your retina, just a simple torch) and then get up – do not go back to sleep. At noon go for a walk for twenty minutes without sunglasses and go to bed no later than 11.00pm. Also avoid eating 2 hours prior to bed.
This simple process has been proven to stimulate your brain, resets your body clock, regulates the hormone cortisol and induces natural sleeping patterns.
6. Try herbal remedies
Herbals can deliver fantastic results and what’s more they are personalised for your own individual situation. To minimise stress and help you sleep we recommend a mix of Withania, B5, B6 and a high, good quality dose of magnesium to help calm, relax and de-stress you.
Want to find out more about other beneficial herbals? Feel free to give us a call on 1300 744 123.
7. Take time to rest and unwind
Make sure you build in time to unwind in the evening and get an early night. While it can be tempting to stay up especially if you have a mountain of work to get through or to catch up on tasks around your home, it's important you get your rest. There is no treatment or trick that will ever beat the real thing!If it is out of your control though, due to kids not settling, then ask for help. Share the load with your partner, a friend or colleague (if work related) so you can have a break and get some sleep. You won’t function effectively without your rest so let yourself have it whenever the opportunity presents itself.
How do you deal with lack of sleep?