There’s a number of reasons why people don’t sleep through the night. Maybe they can’t fall asleep due to work or money-related stress. Others just get caught up binge-watching fantastic TV and let time slip away from them. And some people are just chronic masturbators. For me, last night’s insomnia was a combination of the three. By the time you crash at 5:00 A.M., you have two hours to sleep until you need to get ready for work and all you want to do is throw your damn iPhone out the window when your “Come And Get Your Love” alarm goes off at 7:00. How do you handle a work day on no sleep?
Fortunately for us, science has an answer. Yes, this is the same science that still hasn’t gotten around to building jetpacks or curing Ebola, but at least they’re working on something, right?
Science of Us, the science-based section of “New York Magazine”, talked to sleep researchers to see what you can do to get through a day after a sleepless night. Here’s what they came up with:
7:00 A.M.: DO NOT HIT THE SNOOZE BUTTON – Those extra 5-7 minutes of sleep are NOT restorative sleep and won’t actually make you any less tired. They’ll just screw with you in the morning.
7:30 A.M.: EAT BREAKFAST – …just like all those PSAs told you during Saturday morning cartoons as a kid (even though I still watch them every week). Research suggests that eating within an hour of waking up will boost your mood and cognitive performance for the early part of your day. And nothing sugary or carb-y either; stick to whole grains, fruit, and protein.
EARLY MORNING: DRINK SOME CAFFEINE (DUH) – You shouldn’t exceed more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day (an 8 oz. cup of coffee has 100 MG of caffeine), but caffeine from coffee or tea helps clear some of the fog in your mind due to lack of sleep.
8:00 A.M.: GO OUTSIDE, FAT ASS – Sean Drummond, a psychiatrist at the Laboratory of Sleep and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of California, San Diego, says that exposure to sunlight will help you feel more alert and energized. “First thing in the morning is one of the most important times,” he said. “It’ll boost alertness, it’ll up your body temperature, it’ll reset your circadian rhythms.” It’s even better if you take a long walk or a jog.
9:00 A.M.: GET YOUR TOUGHEST TASKS DONE FIRST – Procrastinating will actually make sleep deprivation worse and you only have a limited window of productivity when you’re sleep deprived. Seriously, it’s about a two-hour window and once that’s closed, your brain shuts down. So get to work, shithead.
10:00 A.M.: MORE COFFEE – Make sure you drink it as early as possible because coffee takes about 30 minutes or so to kick in and actually wake you up.
12:00 P.M.: LIGHT LUNCH – Nothing too heavy or you’ll pass out, so no Quesaritos for you today, Mr./Ms. sleepyhead. Stick with the healthy stuff: whole grains, veggies, lean protein.
1:00 P.M.: EVEN MORE COFFEE – Yeah, Starbucks is starting to seem like your drug pusher now and a K-Cup Machine is more tempting than the Kate Upton leaked nudes. Indulge yourself one last time, but definitely cut yourself off around 3:00 or else the caffeine will stay in your system and ruin another night’s sleep.
2:00 P.M.: SNEAK IN A NAP – Even a 20-minute nap will do you some good, so if you can close your office door, sleep in your car on a break, or even take a well-timed toilet nap, you’re golden. If not, try going back outside. Sunlight helps you, just like it does for Superman! Except that gives him the ability to fly and it gives YOU the power to push pencils.
3:00 P.M. – 5:30 P.M.: POWER THROUGH BUSY WORK ‘TIL QUITTING TIME – Anything that requires little-to-no mental engagement. Clean out old emails, file expense reports, whatever. Just do something until you can reasonably duck out and go home.
Other advice? Lie low today if you can or just call in sick/leave halfway through the day, feigning illness. Your body will thank you and your boss will be much happier tomorrow when they have a well-rested, productive employee back. Unless you re-watch “The League” tonight and — hey, are those NEW pictures from #TheFappening? No? Eh, they’re still good.