This is a bit of a departure from my normal topics, but I do believe it ties into health, so I am going with it!
As a personal trainer, I work earlier in the morning. Five days a week, I am up at 5am to teach a 6am class, and Saturday’s I am up after a brief sleep in to 6am. (People are surprising motivated early Saturday mornings!) Needless to say, I try and get to bed early to ensure a full nights sleep.
It’s a great lifestyle, until you factor in a partner that works evening hours. And his friends working the same hours. Then things get a bit complicated, and well, my sleep schedule kind of goes wacky as I try to be social!
After a late night Saturday, I was super tired Sunday and Monday. And while I would have loved to spend Monday catching up on my sleep, there are classes to teach, demos to be done, and paperwork that doesn’t do itself! As this isn’t a one off thing (my partner is quite social), I have come up with some techniques to help me make it through the next day, whether I am at home or at work.
Here are my tips for dealing with the next day after a late night:
1) If possible, take a nap. A 20 minute nap can recharge your batteries, and refocus you. Be careful not to sleep to long, as it may make you more sluggish and disturb your normal sleep cycle.
2) To stay alert, splash your face with cool water or better yet, take a cool shower. The cool water will often make you perk up, and a shower can generally make you feel better. At least, I know I feel better when I am squeaky clean! (It also can act as a reset, so good for days that you feel sick-ish too.)
3) If you have some time, exercise! While this may not completely solve the problem, moving around can stop the dreaded head nodding that can happen if you are sitting for long periods of time. Either try some light cardio in the house (think jumping jacks, high knees, or mountain climbers) or go outside for a walk (I like heading to the beach for the sea breeze. My puppy loves this idea too!).
1) Drink Green tea or coffee. Both these liquids has a good dose of caffeine in them, and are much better choices then energy drinks, as long as you aren’t adding a ton of sugar yourself to the drink.
2) Eat some fruit. A healthier way to get your sugar fix, I’ve been finding that having an orange or peach wakes me up better then coffee. It also gives you other nutritional benefits, without the diuretic effect of coffee or copious amount of water.
3) If sitting, get up and move around. This is especially important if you work at a computer, as it is a good check for your posture too! (see https://theartoffitandnerd.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/good-posture-for-the-computer/.) Go for a quick lap around the office, do a couple squats, make a cup of tea, or do some cleaning. Anything to break the routine and hopefully keep you awake long enough to last a few more minutes.
Lastly, get back onto your sleep schedule. Things will come up that break your carefully maintained bedtime, and that’s life! But reality is, as much fun as it is to stay up late and be a night owl, morning does come and unless you don’t start work till noon, it will be mighty hard to get a full nights rest in repeatedly staying out late.
Got any other tips for working after a late night? Post them in the comments below!