No matter how dedicated you are to getting your shut-eye, sometimes a less-than-stellar night?s sleep is inevitable. The good news: "One bad night?s sleep isn?t going to hurt you long term," says Joyce Walsleben, PhD, coauthor of A Woman?s Guide to Sleep. But it can make you feel not so great the next day.
Luckily, there are ways to feel normal (or very close!) after a rocky night?s rest. Here, the secrets.
Open your shades
A big dose of sunshine is the first thing you’ll want to try. "Natural light resets your body clock, helping you function better all day," Walsleben says. "Even the low light on a cloudy or rainy day wakes you up better than any indoor bulb."
Early-morning sunlight is best for helping you start the day feeling rejuvenated. To perk up fast, open your shades as soon as you get up.
Grab the right eats
"When we’re tired, our instinct is to reach for sugary foods for a quick rush," says Samantha Heller, RD, clinical nutrition coordinator at the Center for Cancer Care at Griffin Hospital in Derby, Connecticut. "But those foods make your blood sugar spike and crash, setting off a roller coaster of energy highs and lows."
For lasting energy, start your day with healthy protein and whole-grain carbs, Heller says. Try a whole-wheat English muffin with peanut butter and a sliced banana.
No time for a nap?
The ideal remedy for the mental fatigue that occurs after sleep loss is an afternoon nap, says Matthew Edlund, MD, author of The Power of Rest.
But since that?s not possible for most people with jobs, the next best thing is a form of active rest called "paradoxical relaxation." Dr. Edlund explains: Focus on one muscle group in your body for at least 15 seconds, concentrating only on how it feels and nothing else. Repeat up and down the body. Surprise?you feel recharged.