The Crash: 4 Tips for Defeating Sleep Deprivation

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Everyone has days where they just can’t get enough Zzz’s

We all ideally want to get a solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day – this is a health goal worth striving for, especially when we are in school trying to absorb knowledge. But, let’s face it. The college life at times is not that forgiving on us. Sometimes, we find ourselves stuck with less than 6 hours of sleep over a period of two days to a week or even longer. In the long term, I would recommend that everyone prioritize sleeping well over academic or social obligations, but in the short term, I’ve come up with 4 simple tips that might help make a sleep-deprived college student’s life a tad bit easier. Enjoy.

1) Drink coffee right after you wake up.

This means, no, don’t slurp down a Starbucks expresso shot at 4pm, when your energy is on average at its lowest. When your system is slowly waking up from its ‘sleep mode’ in the morning, coffee speeds up that process so your brain becomes alert at a quicker pace, eliminating that long period of morning grogginess that tags along with a bad night’s sleep. Getting your caffeine in the morning will make you feel, for at least three hours, like you just got 8 hours of sleep. Trying to make your energy level high when it is on the path of crashing in the afternoon literally does nothing except make you jittery.

Get caffeine in the morning.

Get caffeine in the morning.

2) Eat a bit more fruit, but keep your sugar intake in moderation.

Your mood will obviously be affected if you got a mere 3 hours of sleep the night before. The best way to adjust your diet accordingly is to eat a balanced meal with more protein for energy, but most importantly to “feed your soul” with a little something sweet. I definitely would choose an extra serving or two of fruit with extra sugars such as watermelon or bananas, or two little blocks of dark chocolate. Try to avoid processed sugars as much as you can, because it might make you feel better temporarily, but puts you in danger of severe energy crashes later on in the day. Natural sugars digest more slowly in the body, providing long term supply of energy. 

3) Take a nap at 3pm.

3-5pm is usually the time when people have a crash in their energy. It’s after lunch and most of the energy from your food has been burned, but it’s not quite time for dinner yet. Also, you just read from my first tip that drinking coffee can actually have negative effects on your energy levels. Oh no – what to do? Simple. Lay your head on a desk or a pillow and sleep – for no more than 25 minutes. You might logically believe that since you got two hours less that the amount of sleep you usually get, you should make it up with a two or at least one hour nap. Think again. Studies show that sleeping for more than thirty minutes makes up more tired than before! You start entering a deeper state of sleep after a certain time, and when you must wake up from that deep state, it makes you grumpy and groggy at the same time.

4) Accept the fact that your body needs a break.

You got 3 hours of sleep. Stop assuming that you can function as if you got 8. This may seem really obvious to some people, but as we pressure ourselves to get things done, we forget that our bodies have limits too. The best thing you can do when you are low on sleep is to constantly try to cut yourself some slack. Give yourself more breaks, and don’t exercise too vigorously as it may cause unexpected injuries. You are a human being too.

Did you enjoy this life tips post? Reblog it or share it so your friends can learn how to deal with sleep deprivation too! Thanks!

I am in no way a health or sleep expert, and so I’m just sharing personal tips in this post.

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