Feel Rested on Not Enough Sleep
Didn't nab your needed zzz's? Here's how to stay alert and refreshed anyhow
Play Catch-Up With a CatnapIf your eyelids are feeling so heavy you can barely keep them open, dont fight it take a quick nap to recharge your batteries. Short naps of 30 to 40 minutes have been shown to improve alertness of flight crews, explains American Academy of Sleep Medicine spokesperson Mary Esther, M.D., so just think what theyll do for you!
While a catnap wont entirely eliminate the negative effects of poor sleep (decreased alertness and bad mood among them), it should help lessen fatigue. And dont worry a short, midafternoon doze probably wont disrupt your sleep later that night. Try joining your kids during their nap time or resting your head on your office desk at work (use a small pillow if possible and close the door). Still drowsy? Knock back a cup of joe. Caffeine increases alertness, and it also extends the benefits of naps, adds Dr. Esther.
Pile On the ProteinIf youre feeling sluggish, make time to nosh every three to four hours, advises American Dietetic Association spokesperson Suzanne Farrell. Eating regularly will replenish blood sugar, and high-protein foods like chicken help trigger dopamine, a brain chemical that helps increase your energy level. But steer clear of sweets they cause blood sugar to rise quickly then come crashing down later, which can wreak havoc on your sleep-deprived system.