This Is How To Recover After a Bad Night’s Sleep

Your head aches. Your limbs feel heavy. You can barely bear to drag yourself out of bed and on the bus to work. You’re dreaming of a cup of coffee, in fact, you might marry the barista who gives it to you.

This is what it feels like when you’ve had a terrible night’s sleep. In fact, this is just a little slice of what it feels like. There are plenty of other feelings, symptoms and niggling tells that showcase just how exhausted you are.

There are two solutions: the first is to stay in bed. Not exactly the gentleman’s choice, but there you have it. Sometimes nothing will help a bout of bone-tired exhaustion than crawling back into bed and staying there. But the option is more noble. Get out of bed, and get on with it. If you choose to go with the latter, we salute you. Here are a couple of tricks to help you bounce back from a bad night’s sleep.

Have a bracing shower

It can be tempting to laze about in bed, milking as much time under the covers as you can, but the best thing to do when you’re really tired is to get in the shower. The water will wake you up and you feel better once you’ve been washed and dried, trust us. If you’re game, have a slightly cooler shower than you might usually like. If that doesn’t wake you up, then nothing will.

Start moving

This might sound counterintuitive and the last thing that you want to do, but if you get your body moving your energy levels will increase, especially if you do it in sunshine. Sun on your skin will tell your internal body clock that it’s time to wake up, which will help with the feelings of exhaustion that you’re probably feeling right about now. Plus, moving your body, whether it’s walking to the bus stop or going for a stroll to the cafe for some breakfast, will help to rouse your limbs and mind from slumber.

Have coffee, but not too much

You’re probably going to need that first cup of coffee, and we don’t blame you. But try not to spend the rest of the day mainlining the caffeine. By that, we mean steer clear of relying on a coffee crutch to get you through the day, and definitely don’t spend the afternoon drinking Diet Coke.

One coffee is OK, and probably exactly what you need to get going. But if you’re starting to flag, try drinking more water, or even a caffeine-free herbal tea. The mere act of doing something like walking to the kitchen to prepare a drink, or heading to the water fountain to fill your bottle, will help to keep you awake.

Make the most of the morning

If you’ve had a really bad sleep the night before, you’re going to start feeling it in the afternoon and well into the evening. The likelihood of you getting anything done after lunch is slim to none, you’ll be lucky not to start nodding off at your desk.

Don’t beat yourself up about it, it’s not you, it’s your body. But take the precautions and make sure that your morning is stacked with everything that you need to get down. Anything important, make sure that you tackle it before lunch, and preferably after that cup of coffee. Everything else that’s not pressing can wait till tomorrow, when you’re less tired.

Have a (small) sleep in the next day

Finally, the day is over. You made it. Well done you, your reward is to be able to sleep in the next morning, a tiny little bit.

You’re going to feel pretty tired after a bad night’s sleep, so it’s only natural that you might want to sleep in. Give yourself the opportunity to have a small lie in, but try to get up at the hour that you usually would, because otherwise you’ll never get your normal sleep cycle back on track.

And if you don’t, then you’ll be needing to use these tricks far more often than you should be.


Enjoyed this? This is how much sleep you need, according to your star sign, plus the exact amount of sleep you should be getting a night, here.

If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan. 

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