A sleepless night sucks!
There’s the tossing, the turning and the fretful glances at the bedside clock…
Then there’s the worry that you won’t possibly survive the busy day ahead on zero z’s, plus the growing resentment that your partner’s snoozing away beside you, oblivious to your night-time turmoil..
Whether it’s due to a late night out, a noisy neighbour, a mind that won’t shut up or one too many mysterious bumps in the night, a night with no shut-eye feels dreadful.
But, (sigh), the day must go on, right?
Here are 8 ways to help you feel better after no sleep and have a cracking day anyway:
Live a white lie (just for a day)
While it’s easy to curse your bad night’s sleep all day, it’s much better to pretend those wakeful hours never happened and just get on with it. Tell yourself you had an awesome sleep, and act as if you’re bursting with energy. (Perhaps just avoid the mirror to see those tell-tale dark circles staring back at you…)
Pamper your peepers
Hit the deck for 5 minutes with an eye pillow positioned over your eyes. The gentle weight is oh-so soothing to the eyes and surrounding tiny muscles. Plus, shutting down your eyes for even a little while mimics the gorgeous feeling of sleep, so you can almost trick yourself into thinking you’ve slept well. Bonus – many eye pillows are infused with the calming scent of lavender.
Fuel up, buttercup
While it’s tempting to coax an energy fix into existence with caffeine and sugary treats, resist the urge – you’ll only crash and feel crappy later. Instead, fuel up on the good stuff like a zingy fresh juice or a light, protein-rich meal.
Pep up on smell
Smell is a fast way to stimulate the emotion processing part of the brain. Whiff an invigorating essential oil such as peppermint or lemon to wake-up your senses. Sprinkle a drop or two on your wrists or shirt collar to subtly ramp up energy levels throughout your day.
When you can’t possible face a fast-paced vinyasa yoga sequence, restorative yoga is the answer. For this passive, floor-based style, comfortable yoga props cradle the body in specialised asanas (postures). You still get to move the body in all directions, only very gently, and while the body and soul rest deeply.
Take a ‘yoga nap’
Yoga Nidra is a super-charged relaxation practice to soothe the entire body, mind and soul on a deep level. All you need do is lie down and listen to a set of instructions that take your awareness around different parts of the body. This sets up a lovely circuit of energy while the physical body rests. Many say a 20-30 minute practice feels as refreshing as 4 hours sleep!
Clear the cobwebs
Icky air-conditioning, bright, artificial lighting and – heaven forbid – ‘Musak’; inside environments can deplete your energy, and mood even more. Save your soul and escape outside for an invigorating dose of fresh air, peace and natural light. Plus, outside environments are naturally super-charged with negative ions which promote the ‘feel goods’ and boost energy.
Big, deep belly breaths have an instant energising effect on the body, mind and soul. It sounds simple, yet most of us spend our days in very shallow breathing, which then impacts our ability to fall asleep. So the next time you are trying to fall asleep and you notice your breathing being quite shallow give this a try!
Here’s how to do deep belly breath work:
- Lie on your back on a flat surface (or in bed) with your knees bent. You can use a pillow under your head and your knees for support, if that’s more comfortable.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly, just below your rib cage.
- Breathe in slowly through your nose, letting the air in deeply, towards your lower belly. The hand on your chest should remain still, while the one on your belly should rise.
- Tighten your abdominal muscles and let them fall inward as you exhale through pursed lips. The hand on your belly should move down to its original position.
You can also practice this sitting in a chair, with your knees bent and your shoulders, head, and neck relaxed. Practice for five to 10 minutes, several times a day if possible.
We’ve all experienced a horrible night’s sleep, but with a few little tricks up your sleeve, it needn’t ruin your day.
To find out the best relaxation technique for you, try Bronni’s awesome quiz, The Calm Compass here:
Here’s to a great day, and an awesome night’s sleep.
OTHER ARTICLES YOU MAY ENJOY
Bronni Page is nuts about health, wellness and living a vibrant, lit up life. She’s quite the “word nerd” and uses this superpower as a writer and blogger, crafting engaging articles to inspire everyday people be their healthiest, most awesome selves. She’s also a qualified yoga instructor, specialising in restorative yoga. When she’s not mucking around with yoga props, writing or embarrassing her three kids with hilarious mum jokes, you’ll find Bronni searching out the best cappuccino in her hometown of Newcastle, Australia.
To find out the best relaxation technique for you, try Bronni’s awesome quiz, The Calm Compass here: https://quiz.tryinteract.com/#/5a7287a481a3080014bce998/