Functioning with Inadequate Sleep

No matter how hard we try to make sure that we get the sleep that we need, there will always be those nights that – for whatever reason – we just don’t get the sleep that our bodies need. The problem with this is that most of us are not able to just call in to work or school and just ask for the day off, even though that’s what we’d most like to do.  Not getting the sleep we need impacts our ability to think clearly, remember things, focus and pay attention, as well as our ability to control our tempers, impulses and emotions. So how do we function without having enough sleep? How do we get through the day? Whether you’re in the business world, a student, or even a mom who has to remain cool, calm, and collected when dealing with your kids despite suffering serious sleep deprivation, there are a few tricks that will help you make it through your day.


It may sound simplistic, but the more water you drink when you are sleep deprived, the better you will feel. Not only does keeping hydrated improve your overall health, but the more water you drink the more frequently you will have to go to the bathroom, and the sheer physical activity of going back and forth to the restroom, washing your hands and walking back to your desk will force you to stay awake.


Whether you have a window that you can take advantage of or need to get yourself outside into the fresh air, if there’s sunshine around then get yourself into it as much as you can. Direct exposure to the sun will give you a shot of energy while at the same time helping to reset your body clock – this will help you get to sleep better during the evening.

 Get Moving

Get up and move as much as you can. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get to the gym before work or in the middle of the day do it. If not then make sure you’re walking around your office, school or home as much as you can, even if it is just walking to and from the bathroom or taking the stairs instead of the elevators.  And if you don’t have a reason to get up and move then make one up. Movement gets your brain working and makes you feel more alert. It can fool your brain back into arousal mode when it is sliding into sleep mode.

Change your Schedule

If sleep problems are a constant and sleep deprivation is interfering with the quality of your daily performance, you may want to discuss the problem with your employer. Changing your schedule to one that allows you to grab some much needed sleep on mornings following a bad night’s sleep may sound like you’re shirking, but may actually improve your overall productivity.

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