How To Feel Less Awful After A Restless Night

If you spent last night tossing and turning, you're probably feeling the consequences today. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people 18 years and older should aim to get seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. Not getting enough sleep takes a physical and mental toll on us not only the next day but in the long run.

Sleep disorder specialist Dr. Samuel Gurevich explains via the Cleveland Clinic how just one night of lost sleep can impact our ability to function. "Lack of sleep causes an increase in stress hormones," he says and adds, "That triggers your resting heart rate and blood pressure to increase" (via Cleveland Clinic). In terms of cognitive function, a poor night's sleep can result in mood swings, difficulties with concentration and memory, and an increased risk for accidents or conflicts among coworkers and family, reports Koa Health.

So what are some hacks that can help us bounce back after a restless night?

The power of mindset

So you've had a restless night's sleep and now you're sure you won't be able to function at work. Before you reach for an extra cup of coffee, pause and shift your mindset. In a 2021 study that examined the relationship between sleep duration and effectiveness on the job, researchers determined that those who slept poorly and had preconceived notions that their work performance the next day would be limited experienced more cognitive challenges than those who believed they had unlimited willpower (via MindBodyGreen). 

In addition to a strong mindset, experts at Koa Health offer a few hacks to jolt you out of your drowsy state. For one, taking a brief and icy shower can boost your energy and attention before you head out the door. Also, stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. If you can, spend some time — even if only a few minutes  — outside. Getting 15 minutes of sun exposure, and getting your body into motion, can reduce fatigue, increase energy, and have a positive effect on your mood. Lastly, put on some tunes! Experts say that listening to upbeat music can do wonders for focus and attention.