6 ways to feel rested with no sleep last night

I know, I know what you’re thinking…the only way to rest is to get sleep or to veg out on the sofa all day. But I find that often actually leads to feeling even more lethargic. So here is what I do to rest up on those nights I haven’t quite managed the recommended 8 hours of sleep. 

HOW on earth are you going to tell us to feel more rested, Ali? 

I hear you. Here are the 6 things I personally do when I haven’t slept the night before (and then gone on to work a 12 hour day on my feet the whole time).

1- I eat an apple and drink a shit ton of water

I know, tempting as it is to reach for the coffee first thing in the morning, I actually feel more awake if I drink loads of water and eat something acidic like a green apple. Something about it waking up my taste buds, I suppose. 

I don’t process caffiene quickly either. Honestly, I could drink a cup at 2am and go to sleep without issue most nights. Plus there is nothing worse than the post caffiene crash if you are already shattered.

Stay up, drink lots of water and pee lots. It works, trust me.

2- I adjust my to do list for the day where I can

If I know I’m exhausted, I’m not going to try and cram in everything my original to do list had on it. Instead, I’m going to go at a much more mellow pace for the day. I know it sounds counterintuitive. Surely doing lots would push you past the fatigue? Wrong. 

Your body can only run on so much energy before it gives out. 

Adjust your pace to manage the day.

You’ll actually find the much more mellow pace helps you regain energy while you’re still awake.  

3- Nap for only 45 or 90 minutes

I read somewhere once that you should either nap for 45 minutes or 90 minutes. Any less than the 45 min didn’t recover energy levels or do jack shit and any time beyond 90 minutes just made you groggy. It also said not to sleep for an exact hour because that threw your body clock out for the day. 

I don’t know how true it all is, but when I do day nap I stick to these times and have never woken up feeling groggy yet.

4- Magnesium tablets 

There has been enough research to show that during your 8 hours of sleep, your body does most of its recovery from everyday use. To do this, it uses the chemical magnesium to repair cells in your body systems. On a sleepless night, your body isn’t doing this recovery at the same speed. 

This means when you do get up, not only do you not feel rested but your body hasn’t actually done all the recovery it needed to either. 

I have a sneaking suspicion the two go hand in hand, so I help my body out with magnesium tablets. 2 a day on normal days, 4 on a sleepless night. Hello recovery while I’m awake! 

5- Grapefruit essential oil

I know that when most people think of essential oils, they think of lavendar to relax them and help them sleep. Honestly, I’m over lavendar. Apart from healing burns, I think it’s a sorely overrated essential oil. 

Grapefruit on the other hand – now that oil I love. Your daily dose of vitamin c without having to drink orange juice every day, and it has such an uplifting quality that my clients have gone on to spring clean the house after finishing a massage. It’s THAT good. 

Two drops in 10mls of grapeseed oil and applied to your face, neck, arms, legs, feet…wherever and feel the benefits all day long. 

6- Get a massage

It would be remiss of me – a massage therapist – if I didn’t point out that a massage does as much recovery to your body as 8 hours of sleep. It boosts circulation, repairing muslce damage, soothing nerves and a whole host of other physical benefits. 

But instead of 8 hours, it only takes 1 hour. Kind of a win-win when you think about it. 

So..those are my go-to’s. I’m not saying you have to fit them ALL in every day. That would definitely be challenging, particularly for those of us who have new babies at home or night shift work. But even if you just try one of these ways next time you’re shattered and need something OTHER than coffee, I hope you find one that works for you. 

Ali x

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