We all have a bad night’s sleep once in a while. But you don’t have to spend the next day feeling tired and in a mental fog—and you don’t have to reach for the coffee, either.
A good night’s sleep is vital for our health and well-being. Getting between seven and nine hours of sleep each night helps regulate our weight, reduces the risk of heart disease and keeps our immune system functioning properly.
But there are nights when you can’t sleep or you wake up too early, unable to nod off again. The trouble is that you have a day of work ahead of you, so what can you do to get through it before a welcome return to bed?
The obvious solution is coffee, and plenty of it. But you can have too much of a good thing, and the sweet spot seems to be around two cups a day. That’ll give you all the caffeine you need; after that, you’ll just be getting the jitters.
Start the day with a glass of water, and keep on drinking plenty of liquids throughout the day. We need 6 L a day, which is around 12 pints. But don’t panic: all liquids—tea, coffee, juice and water—count, and liquids in fruit and vegetables also add to the total.
A walk in the daytime helps the body adjust and promotes feelings of alertness. If you’re feeling energetic, you could also do some exercise or go for a jog.
According to researchers from Bed Kingdom—and they should know—adding some of these foods to our meals after a bad night’s sleep can help us push through our tiredness.
Avocados. Adding a slice or two of avocado to our breakfast gives our body a potassium boost, and that helps stop fatigue. An avocado also contains 14 g of fiber, which helps boost gut health.
Oranges. After slicing up an avocado, add an orange to your breakfast. Oranges aren’t just rich in vitamin C; they also contain natural sugars that will give the body energy, and quickly.
Sweet potatoes. For lunch, add some sweet potato to the meal. They contain plenty of vitamin C, and this helps combat feelings of sleepiness. They’re also a healthy carb that can help you through a long day.
Chia seeds. Sprinkle some chia seeds on your lunch. They’re rich in magnesium, which also helps fight fatigue. The seeds help the body retain liquid, which keeps it hydrated.
Dark chocolate. For that final boost of the day before you head off to bed, eat a few slices of dark chocolate. It contains cacao, which helps boost energy, and antioxidants such as magnesium, which reduce the risk of heart disease.
Around an hour before heading off to bed, stop using your mobile phone or laptop. Listen to some soothing music instead, and if you are watching TV, don’t view something that may over-stimulate or upset you. Instead, read a book. Make sure your bedroom is as dark as possible—ideally with blackout curtains—and wear earplugs if noises are stopping you from nodding off.