Between the Sheets

We’ve all had days where we wake up feeling like we haven’t slept a wink. But there are many things you can do to make a sleep-deprived day easier.

It’s time for bed, you’re tired, but there’s always something that ranks higher on the scale than sleep. So, you put off going to bed until the wee hours of the night, knowing that the alarm in going off in only a few hours. This is antithetical to a healthy life.

A great deal of what we know about the basics of sleep is common sense: it’s refreshing, it recharges you, it allows your body and mind time to recuperate from the day before, but is it possible to fake a good night’s sleep? To fool your body into feeling more alert and well-rested when the night before was less than satisfying?

If you’re struggling blearily through your day, sleep-deprived and irritable, try these following sleep hints to navigate your way through your day.

Morning Musts

  1. Begin your morning with a cool shower – Cool water is like a refreshing breeze on a humid and hot day. Make sure the water hits you from your head to your toes to really wake you up.
  2. Add mint to your morning – Mint is a refresher so add it into your body wash, shampoo and conditioner for a total body wake-up. Most toothpastes have a mint flavor, so you can also awaken your mouth, tongue and lips with the invigorating tingle.
  3. Reduce puffiness – The image of the lady at the spa with cold cucumber slices under her eyes is not a false one. The cucumber reduces the dark circles and puffiness gained by a lack of sleep. You can also massage the area gently with two fingers to reduce the any swelling. Chilled used-tea bags or a bag of frozen corn will work too, as will a cream for hemorrhoids, which is designed to reduce swelling. That’s a tip many models know and use.
  4. Add moisturizer liberally – Sleep deprivation dehydrates you, but moisturizer can fake a little radiance. It’s called beauty sleep for a reason. It will make your skin feel less thirsty and you’ll be glowing.
  5. Eyedrops reduce redness – Sometimes when you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your eyes are red and glassy. Try eyedrops especially formulated to reduce these symptoms, and it won’t be so obvious to everyone that you’re sleep deprived.
  6. Eat protein – When you’re tired, your body craves sugary and/or salty snacks, but don’t give in to those desires. Start your day with a protein-rich breakfast. Keep cravings at bay with a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables and carbs throughout the day. The sugar will up your energy for a while, but it will also drop suddenly, leaving you tired again.
  7. Sip your coffee, don’t guzzle it – Studies show that just 2 oz. of coffee per hour is enough to keep your system juiced up. So, don’t order the large latte; something small is enough for you to get the benefits out of your java. As a reminder, no coffee after 2:00 pm, or you’ll be in for another sleepless night. Caffeine really does stay in your body and affects you for that long.

Noon Energizers

  1. Get moving that body! – Running fast up a flight of stairs or doing a dozen jumping jacks are ways to get your system moving, which reduces puffiness and swollen areas.
  2. Drink lots of water – Sleep deprivation causes dehydration, and if you were up drinking, alcohol does too. Consume at least eight glassfuls of water. Another factor to consider is if you add ice to your drink, it will make you feel more attentive and refreshed.
  3. Cool things off in there – Being too warm can make you feel lethargic and drained, but cooler air will make you more alert. Try standing in front of a fan or on the vent for the central air conditioning.
  4. Drinking the rays of the sun – Be sure to sit near a bright window or take a walk outside during a break. Natural light wakes up the brain in ways indoor lighting can’t come close to, whether it’s sunny or cloudy out.
  5. Keeping your hands moist – Cool water on your wrists chills your pulse points, helping to even out your body’s heat. Another thing to do to refresh yourself is to splash cool water on your face.

Sleep Preparation

  1. Pass on that – Say no to coffee, caffeinated tea and chocolate this evening. It should never be drunk or eaten after 2:00 pm. However tasty the treat, it’s not worth being so stimulated by the goody.
  2. Set a sleep alarm – Setting up a bedtime alarm will remind you when it’s time to punch the clock and try to catch up on your lost sleep from last night. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way!
  3. Turn off electronics – Put all of your screen devices far from you and powered down and take the last hours before sleepy time for quietly chatting or reading a good book. A paper book, not a tablet. The blue backlight from electronics and the television wakes you up rather than relaxes you.
  4. Prepare your sleep oasis – Your bedroom should be a sanctuary of serenity and easing. Candles, incense, and music are all combined in your refuge. Dim the lights, make certain you are comfortable temperature-wise, and allow yourself to relax. The music should be something like chanting, instrumental, or any other styles of music that won’t suddenly be very up-tempo, giving a shock to your relaxing body.

There are nights when insomnia strikes, and you can’t sleep. Perhaps you stayed out a little bit past your bedtime. It could be that caffeine was consumed in the evening and playing its role of stimulant.

However, if you find yourself fighting to fall asleep night after night, for no discernible reason, it would be good to see a specialist in sleep. Being sleep deprived is dangerous and can even lead to death by circumstances occurring when the body is not fully alert.
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