The older I get the more daylight savings seems like some sort of sick joke. Right when we start getting a little glimpse of the sun back for early morning runs, daylight savings kicks in and snatches all hope away. I’d enjoy the extra time in the evenings if I wasn’t almost passed out on my couch by 7PM. As with all annoying but necessary life occurrences I’ve formulated a method to ease the blow of severe sleep deprivation following the commencement of daylight savings. Try these 5 tips this week to prevent mental breakdowns and avoid costing your employers thousands in unproductive hours. Office nap, anyone?
Attack Early Morning Wake-ups Head-on
As painful as the first few mornings are adjusting to a whole hour sleep difference, you’re going to have to rip the bandaid off at some point. Dragging it out only throws your schedule and productiveness off further making you feel lazy and unmotivated. Attacking your morning routine immediately is the best solution to avoid weeks of being in a funk. Getting up early consistently also wears you out faster making it easier to fall asleep at what used to be your dinner time. To follow through on sticking to your schedule, find an accountability partner and work with each other to stay on track.
Drink Water, Not More Caffeine
We’ve all been there, 5 cups of coffee into the morning and no sign of your groggy brain being resuscitated. At some point the law of diminishing returns kicks in and the stress of overdosing on stimulants while being sleep deprived creates a harsh affect on your adrenal system. I suggest drinking your normal daily amount of caffeine then switching to water to clear your head and energize your day. I would also suggest temporarily cutting out alcohol for a few days since it can impair your quality of sleep making you feel even worse.
Nothing wakes you up more than a good workout. Even on days you’re mentally and physically wiped out, a walk or jog can dramatically improve your energy and focus. A boost in blood flow helps oxygenate you body and brain making you feel good and perform better at work. During the week following daylight savings I’ve found that starting off my day with exercise is good but I also need small movement breaks throughout the day to continue the momentum and ward off sleepiness. Take 5-10 mins to climb stairs, walk, or jump rope throughout the day to boost your heart rate and mentally get back in the game.
Similar to exercising, feeding your body a steady flow of nutrient dense whole foods fuels your brain and keeps your metabolism up which in return keeps you alert. Ditch sugary energy drinks, protein shakes and processed snack foods that will spike your blood sugar then make you bonk and instead sub in fruit, nuts, and veggies. The tangible act of snacking in and of itself does wonders as it breaks up workday monotony and provides a range of stimulus that keeps you sharp. Some of my favorite workday snacks are almonds, oranges, microwaved sweet potatoes, and unsweetened dried fruit like figs or prunes. If your snack has 1 ingredient you’re good to go!
Take It Easy
The most important tip to recovery is listening to your body and taking it easy when you need to. As with any stressor that enters your life, learn to evaluate your mental and physical state and be kind to yourself. We put our bodies through so much and everyone bounces back at different rates. Realize you’re human, everyone is hurting this week and cut yourself a little slack. Take that extra nap, go easier on your workout and eat foods that will nourish your adjusting body.
Happy national sleep deprivation week. Once you’ve recovered hit me up for some patio action! – L