What food kept you up last night
How to get through the day when you haven't slept
The first night of drinking is still fun. The second and third too, maybe the tenth will give you a kick too.
Regardless of whether such a sleepless night was spent dancing and drinking or rolling and lying awake, we can all agree that the day after is one big horror.
Personally, I've been a restless sleeper for as long as I can remember. I've tried all the tips and means for falling asleep. But what nobody talks about - apart from the sporadic ode to the thermo mug full of coffee - is the morning after. Let's say I gave everything to fall asleep and still failed. How do I get through the next day when my eyelids weigh more than twice me? Sleep disorders are examined, sleep rhythms analyzed, dissected, evaluated - but how the hell do I stay awake when I'm dead tired in the office?
I've gotten into the habit of saying I'm sick. “I haven't slept” is then usually replied with unimpressed looks and an unspoken “Little mouse, everyone is tired here”. So I decided to talk to doctors and therapists who specialize in sleep diagnostics and somnography and asked them about solutions that could be used every day.
For example, should you really drink coffee if you haven't closed your eyes all night? What about the sugar consumption? Should you snap or not? I gave this and more to Dr. Guy Meadows from Sleep School and Dr. Neil Stanley, a freelance sleep diagnostician and therapist, asked. Also consulted: quite a few of my sleepless friends.
First of all, accept the symptoms
Dr. Meadows represents a new form of sleep therapy, which in turn is based on the principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. However, instead of eliminating symptoms such as headache, nausea, irritability, he trains his patients to accept and accept them.
“When we have these symptoms, we want to get rid of them. However, the more we try to get rid of it, the more the frustration increases if it doesn't work, ”explains Dr. Meadows. “Classically, cognitive behavioral therapy is supposed to bring us to suppress frustration and other negative emotions and to eliminate them. But why not try a more mindful approach? Mindfulness can also make a big difference in moments like this. Tell yourself, 'I'm feeling bad right now, but I'll try to be aware of the things around me. I will feel my hands and the bag they hold. I'll feel the wind on my face I notice the people around me ‘- it sounds a little too easy, but actually it's really just about not constantly judging and condemning everything and letting go of the negativity."
The basic idea behind this is that sleep is a biological process that we cannot control. The more we try to control our sleep, the more this process gets out of control and the more negative feelings arise in us. "If you stay as neutral and balanced as possible during the day after a restless night, you will get through the day better and have a better chance in the evening that the spectacle will not repeat itself," says Dr. Meadows.
In short, sunlight - or daylight in general - signals to the brain that you are awake. Although the thought of blinding rays of sun will usually feel like an idea from hell, you should overcome your weaker self and drag yourself out.
“You should start the day as positively as possible,” explains Dr. Neil Stanley and adds that this has very little to do with laughing all the time when you get up. “This includes natural daylight, a shower, a cup of tea or coffee. Nobody has to go to the treadmill as soon as they get up, but just a short walk to the bus stop or part of the way to work can really help. "
Many of my friends who also suffer from insomnia, i.e. who are insomniac, recommend several short walks in the fresh air. “And open the window regularly,” adds one of them. “And work standing up!” Advice that has also been scientifically confirmed. “A lot of movement, really a lot of movement” and “FOR GOD'S SAKE, DON'T WORK IN A DARK ROOM” are still the answers I get often.
Yes, caffeine is strictly unhealthy. Both Dr. Stanley and Dr. Meadows advise, however, not to demonize the pick-me-up entirely.
“I feel like I spend a lot of the time convincing my patients that they can drink coffee,” explains Dr. Meadows. “Many more traditional methods of fighting insomnia are so rule-based that they ignore an important principle: Be good to yourself! This also includes a freshly brewed coffee. Two things should only be considered: not ten cups a day, and ideally not even after 3 p.m. "
Dr. Stanley agrees, “The benefits of coffee are definitely short-lived, but if it gets you started or helps you get through the day, why not. The only thing you shouldn't consume is too much coffee and don't forget that even after the caffeine high there will be a noticeable drop in energy that needs to be factored in. "
Science also says that 10:30 am is the best time to have a coffee because this is the average low point in the body's production of cortisol. Cortisol is a hormone that, among other things, also causes wakefulness - so if you drink coffee when your cortisol level is already high, you will hardly feel the effect. The problem with insomnia is that cortisol production no longer follows the biological rhythm and at 10:30 a.m. is probably not at its lowest point but somewhere between 1 and 1,000, which nullifies the scientific thesis.
So if you haven't slept all night, you shouldn't take your coffee "preventively", but really when he or she notices that energy is just about zero - shortly before your head hits the desk, because that's how you can at the very least, make sure your cortisol levels are very low, if not the lowest. We are so clever.
“I once had a patient who couldn't sleep. During the course of treatment, it was found that she took shorter naps for up to six hours a day. Aha! I thought. There we have it!", Remembers Dr. Meadows. “There are a lot of rules that I am against - one of them is 'No naps so you are more tired in the evening and can fall asleep better'. That is too far from reality for me. You should allow yourself naps, but they shouldn't be longer than 30 minutes and only before 3 p.m. Short, regular naps can prevent anxiety, increase well-being and promote pain tolerance. Just don't nod off for more than 30 minutes. "
Dr. Stanley even recommends taking shorter naps: “One or two 20-minute naps a day is great for relieving the symptoms of insomnia. Those who sleep more will only increase the nocturnal restlessness in the long term. "
Many insomnics, emphasizes Dr. Meadows still say they are almost unable to take naps. He recommends seeing it not so much as a sleep break, but much more as an opportunity to briefly close your eyes and relax - completely detached from sleep.
I now sometimes use this tip in the evening: Instead of driving myself crazy that I should fall asleep right away, I try to see it as an opportunity to lie in my bed for ages and not have to do anything else. Something that one allows oneself less and less.
Everyone has their own rhythm when working. In general, however, one can recommend ticking off the most important tasks right at the beginning. “Towards the end of the day, the ability to concentrate decreases and the attention span gets shorter. So putting off the bigger things is not such a good idea, ”said Dr. Meadows.
Another idea before your head hits the screen: a short 10-minute power nap while sitting in the toilet.
"In addition, you should always reckon with a low point after eating, which also requires preventive measures" adds Dr. Meadows. This includes, for example, a large coffee (before 3 p.m.) and lots of water - which brings me to the next point:
Watch your diet
Of course, you will especially want to eat fat and sugar when you are exhausted and in a bad mood. And although sugary snacks do indeed cause short sugar highs time and again, there is also scientific evidence that people who are not well rested consume an average of 1,000 calories too much. They also make it difficult to fall asleep at night, which would continue to lead to a true vicious circle.
"There is no food that helps against fatigue," says Dr. Stanley, "however, fatty and sweet foods do not improve the state of fatigue."
My sleepless friends gave me a few more realistic tips: "If you feel you need to snack, nuts are a good alternative because they contain good oils and are full of proteins." I even used vitamin effervescent tablets as a remedy for acute ones Another friend recommended daily drowsiness attacks.
So it turns out that my favorite technique doesn't help at all: You shouldn't retire "to work in peace", because that only worsens the state of fatigue and the shift in mood that most people already have when they are sleepy is not super, favored.
Instead, you should force yourself to come into contact with people, engage in exchanges and even be specifically nice and polite, maybe give a compliment. Being nice and being happy are still the best ways to get a good night's sleep.
Drag yourself through the day, no matter how
If you read this article at 6 a.m. in your dark room, lying on your bright cell phone screen because you couldn't sleep again, you're welcome to scream. However, that doesn't change the fact that you will have a whole new work day ahead of you.
Try not to cling on, just tell yourself that you just have to go through it. There is no way around the new day. Imagine the upcoming evening and try to visualize how nice it will feel to end up in your soft bed with freshly brushed teeth in 15-17 hours. Even the experts prove that self-confidence and belief in yourself can do more than you can initially imagine. Do it like a mantra - it takes practice, but it can work - we promise!
Conclusion: Get up, stretch, move, drink a lot of water, take a break with a clear conscience (!) And go to the bathroom in between and splash cold water on your face. In addition, a coffee before three and always nice to keep the light on while working. In addition, a good playlist and positive thoughts about your own bed and the next night.
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