Here Are 5 Helpful Ways You Can Recover From Another Sleepless Night

By Krista


Last Updated: April 7, 2022

You’ve had yet another sleepless night, and all you can think is that you don’t have time for this! You have stuff to do and people to see. 

Not sleeping can leave you feeling less-than-optimal. And the worst part is that for some of us, we’re just dreading when it all happens all over again the following night. But let’s focus on the now. What can you do after a night of no sleep?


Feel Sick After a Bad Night’s Sleep? Try These Tips!

“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” — Benjamin Franklin

All of the best sleep tips in the world can’t exactly help you when you’ve had a sleepless night. In many cases, the best advice you’ll get is “Try again this eve!” Not that useful. So, we’re offering up five tips you can actually make use of after a night of no sleep. Let’s dig in!


Tip #1: Get Outside & Get Some Sun

The body’s hormones are hardwired to work in conjunction with the sun. Exposure to sunlight leads to increased serotonin in the body, which increases mood and enhances focus. It also suppresses melatonin, which makes you feel sleepy!

This is why exposing yourself to some sun and nature is so important. Even just getting outside in your backyard for 15 minutes can work wonders.


Tip #2: Don’t Use Carbs & Sugar As a Crutch

A sleepless night really sucks. But this doesn’t mean you deserve all the treats (and yes, your body will absolutely work against you and drive you to them!). Balance is still important here.

Why? This is because eating too much sugar and junk food all in one go can inevitably lead to a crash. This means you’ll actually end up feeling more tired. Instead, stick to whole veggies, fruits, and lean meats. These whole foods will provide much more sustained energy than refined sugar ever will.


Tip #3: Take Breaks

Getting outside can help boost your attention span (as mentioned above), but when you haven’t slept, your focus will drop. This might mean it’s better to work in small spurts, rather than trying to simply push through.

You could even try different methods, such as the Pomodoro method, if you need to get through the workday with something to show for it. 

Alternatively, you could take breaks every hour or take a quick power nap of no more than 20 minutes. This time cap is important since you never want to get into a full-fledged sleep cycle during a nap, as this will leave you feeling more tired and groggy than before.

Related Article: 5 Practical Tips to Becoming More Productive, According to Science


Tip #4: Use Caffeine — But Don’t Overdo It!

An extra cup of coffee might actually prove useful on those days when you’ve had no sleep the night before. The main goal is to do so in moderation and avoid overdoing it. This means not drinking caffeine after 2 pm, and not drinking over 3-4 cups. 

If you drink too much, you might still get the jitters, as well as experience high stress or anxiety. This can leave you feeling even more depleted later on and less equipped to tackle your day.


Tip #5: Avoid Making Big Decisions

That big project at work? Yeah, it’s probably best to leave it until tomorrow. That big decision you have to make on that house? Also, probably best for the following morning after you’ve had a better sleep. 

This is because your decision-making processes aren’t on point after a sleepless night. In fact, some studies have shown how being sleep deprived is equal to cognitive dysfunction related to alcohol intoxication.

You probably wouldn’t make any big decisions after a bunch of drinks, so you probably shouldn’t make any big decisions after a sleepless night. 

In other words, maybe stick to simpler tasks that don’t require too much brain power!


How Do I Recover After a Night of No Sleep?

Using the five tips above can help you slowly recover and bounce back after no sleep. Yet, considering you’re likely a bit sleepy reading this, let’s break this down a bit further.

The Dos and Don’ts After a Bad Night’s Sleep

What should you do and not do after a bad night’s sleep? Here are some further tips:

  • DO drink plenty of water to improve your energy levels and help your body detoxify.
  • DON’T eat large meals or tons of processed and sugary foods.
  • DO get outside and soak up some sun.
  • DON’T make any big decisions.
  • DO try taking a quick power nap before 2 pm for 15-20 minutes.
  • DON’T try to sleep the day away as this will continue to cascade your sleep issues into the following night.
  • DO drink coffee in the morning.
  • DON’T drink caffeine past 2 pm or in excessive amounts.
  • DO eat plenty of veggies, fruits, and meat.
  • DON’T try to hit personal bests in the gym. 
  • DO participate in gentle movements, such as yoga, stretching, or walking.

Related Article: 10 Ways to Help You Fall Back Asleep After Waking Up in the Night


Turn That Sleepless Night Around!

On top of the tips above, you’ll want to focus on improving your sleep in the upcoming night. Maybe you did go to bed too late or drank too much, and this is why you ended up with a sleepless night. The following night strive to do your very best so that you can set yourself up for success and get the rest you need. 

At the end of the day, sleep is one of the most important aspects of health. If you want to improve your cognitive or physical performance (or even just your mental and physical health!), prioritizing your sleep is always a great place to start. Go get that rest you need and deserve!

Read Next: 18 Tips For Better Sleep At Night

Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash


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