Despite our best plans, it can be hard to escape some sleepless night. Whatever the reason, this snag in your sleep routine can make your next day a groggy mess. But according to sleep experts, your sleepiness does not have to go on beyond two days.
Your best move to lower your recovery time after a sting of sleeplessness, then, is to not get stressed about the situation. Below, we share what sleep experts tell us are more actionable tips to shorten how long it takes for you to recover from one night sleep deprivation.
3 tips for getting over a bad night’s sleep:
1. Change your thinking about sleep.
It is good to prioritize your sleep—especially since getting good sleep is connected to the health of many bodily systems—but be careful of over-prioritizing this. One expert told us he always tells his patients not to transform sleep into an unrequited love.
Instead, make a mental choice to be okay with getting a sleep-free night every once in a while, and then see each night as another great opportunity to get a deep night’s sleep.
2. Take an afternoon nap.
If you are very sleepy the day after your bad night’s rest, you could think of taking a power nap to aid in resetting your body and get back some of your alertness.
30 minutes between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m. should be your maximum length for a nap. Because any longer than this, and you could go into the deeper stages of sleep, which might use some of what we refer to as your sleep drive, which is your natural cycle of feeling sleepy at night. In comparison, a brief 30-minute nap can aid you in fighting fatigue and even increase your mood without interrupting your ability to go to sleep later on.
3. Stick to your usual sleep schedule the next night—but don’t overcompensate.
Returning to your normal sleep pattern the night after a bad night can help protect your circadian rhythm. If you are extra-tired earlier at night on the day after your sleep-free night, you could go to bed somewhat sooner, but sleep experts recommend not changing your usual bedtime by over an hour .
Your sleep is self-correcting, so when you miss some of those deep stages of sleep, your body will over-correct by giving you more high-quality sleep over the next few nights, even if you are sleeping the same amount of time as normal.
Author: Blake Ambrose