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How to survive a day without enough sleep

How to Survive a Day on No Sleep


Some sleepless nights are unavoidable and I'm sure you see that you're not quite on your game the next day. The cold, hard truth is that you absolutely need, and sleep researchers could not stress this enough, at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep to function like a human being is supposed to function. But there are ways you can structure your day for when you skip out on a full night's rest so you can still make it through the day and even be productive.

First off, do NOT hit that snooze button. You're just teasing yourself! Orfeu Buxton, a professor in the division of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School explains that those ten extra minutes won't contribute to restorative sleep nor will it help you be more alert. Your best option is to set your alarm to the latest possible moment and force your way up and out of bed.

Next is breakfast. Research suggests it's crucial to eat it within an hour of waking up. It acts as a mood booster and improves cognitive performance for the first half of your day. But that doesn't mean you should just shove any breakfast item in your face. Stay away from sugary things and simple carbs because the sugar and insulin spike is going to cause a crash, which will only worsen your sleepiness. Take in some whole grains, fruit, protein, and some coffee to help clear that sleep inertia fog.

Speaking of coffee, your body may take up to 30 minutes to start feeling the effects of caffeine, so you may wanna be taking in your java earlier in the AM than you think. And you should also space out your caffeine intake throughout the day and try not to consume more than 4 cups of coffee.

Now, you may want to put off tougher tasks and creative work to later on in the day in hopes that you'll be more awake then. Unfortunately, that's not the case because if you're sleep deprived, you're actually the most alert within three hours of waking up for the day. I know, that's a super small time frame to try to complete your crucial tasks, but get it out of the way first or else you'll just end up doing mindless busy work all day that will make you sleepier and sleepier. It's just a vicious cycle.

Don't forget to have a light lunch, again try to stick to the healthy options like veggies and lean protein. And this would also be a good time for your caffeine boost since the afternoon is the drowsiest time in a workday. It'll also help if you take a step outside. Sean Drummond, a psychiatrist at UC San Diego, says that sunlight and fresh air will help clear up the haze so you can make it through the final stretch.

Join the discussion

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skatulaki3 August 30 2014 at 2:29 PM

Find a place to hide and catch a nap !

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brennemanbelkin August 30 2014 at 9:35 AM

What ever happened to black beauties?

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1 reply
Chuck Gann brennemanbelkin August 30 2014 at 3:00 PM

I remember when my pop's had a bag full of those in his truck, 1970's early

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Melanie August 30 2014 at 11:18 AM

Nothing helps when I haven't had any sleep. Just have to get through the day the best I can and hope for better nights of blissful slumber.

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1 reply
Jive Turkey Melanie August 30 2014 at 11:33 AM

It seems like sometimes it doesn't matter how much sleep I get, it matters the quality. A few hours of deep sleep seems to be better than 10 of tossing and turning or waking up a lot. Yeah, I like the way you summed it up, blissful slumber.

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DOUG August 30 2014 at 12:25 PM

I catch up by fainting alot.

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crowland503 August 30 2014 at 10:57 AM

This isn't news!!! The Muslin-Taliban sympathizing POTUS has not slept for six years in his efforts to twist this nation into a third world country. He sees himself welcoming ISIS to America as friends to Allah.

Your assignment, Students, is to ask a poor leftist liberal to stay awake for 3 days in honor of Obama.

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2 replies
Jive Turkey crowland503 August 30 2014 at 11:04 AM

Wutz a leftist librul? I don't know what that means. Are they left handed, how would staying awake for 3 days honor Obama? I'm confused.

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1 reply
crowland503 Jive Turkey August 30 2014 at 11:49 AM

Thank you for your inquiry, but it appears that you sipped too much this morning. Suggest re-reading my comments after you sober-up.

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MININUT crowland503 August 30 2014 at 8:45 PM

So sorry your lobotomy didn't work out.

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1 reply
crowland503 MININUT August 30 2014 at 9:43 PM

Thank you for recognizing the need for poor leftist liberals to learn to live without Obama holding their hands. But Jive Turkey only drunk and didn't require "your lobotomy" to cure his slurring words. Mininut, I'll have to report you to the AMA due to your incurable Obama Stockholm Syndrome. Sorry!

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Jive Turkey August 30 2014 at 10:51 AM

What if sometimes you skip a day? Like sometimes you just say: "I'll sleep tomorrow." Is that wrong?

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1 reply
songbirdgray Jive Turkey August 30 2014 at 6:18 PM

YOU CAN NEVERMAKE UP LOST SLEEP OR SO I AM TOLD.

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sandrakalomiris August 30 2014 at 10:42 AM

I rarely get over 6 hours a night; I share my apt. with 2 adult children who both work, go to school full time and there's really no place to sleep except couch. What helps me is strong instant coffee and lots of prayer. Red bulls once in awhile help. But, remember if you take those too many, it stresses your heart and you may just end up on a slab.

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Hello Gorgeous!! August 30 2014 at 8:03 PM

Who the hell writes this crap, or, better yet-who has the time to do these so called surveys. If legit-am getting the person, or persons must be getting sllllleeepyyyyyy!

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songbirdgray August 30 2014 at 6:19 PM

I KNOW ABOUT THIS , AS WE GET OLDER WE DO NOT SLEEP AS WELL, AND IF YOU CAN GET A NAP IT HELPS, BEING TIRED IS A BUMMER.

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david h August 30 2014 at 6:17 PM

This article is a total waste of space.

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