Surviving the Work Day After a Sleepless Night

At least once a week, I battle through the school day after a sleepless night. I manage to make it through the workday after tossing and turning, trying not to look at the clock and failing miserably for hours on end. Despite my best efforts and all of the precautions I have learned to take, I still periodically deal with a night here and there that is much worse than the rest of my usual insomnia-infused nights. My methods for making it through the day after lying awake for the better part of the night aren’t fancy or complicated in any way, but they do work for me.

Three things I do after a sleepless night

These three things are what I do faithfully after a sleepless night leading up to and throughout a busy work day. They haven’t failed me yet.

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1. I get up on time no matter what.

My morning alarm is in charge. No matter how much tossing I have done overnight or how long I have been awake dreading the alarm, I heed its annoying call. It would be far too easy to hit snooze, roll over, and pout about the lost sleep, but I get up on time no matter what. Staying in bed and risking running late would delay the inevitable and lead to an even more stressful start to the day.

2. I just keep moving.

That sounds way too simple to be effective, but for me, it seems to help. Operating on little to no sleep sucks the life out of me, and I know that when lunchtime hits, I will be utterly depleted. Staying still will quickly push my body into coping mode, and I will start to get sleepy midday. If I keep moving, getting up when I feel my body desperately wanting to shut down, I can ward off that dozy feeling. I have intentionally placed my trash can across the room so that I have to get up from time to time when I am working on paperwork and putting time in on the computer.

3. I snack instead of eating a meal.

Eating a big meal inevitably makes my eyelids heavy. Spacing out my lunch break has been effective in keeping me occupied and preventing me from getting so sleepy that I can’t keep my eyes open. I find that if I snack instead of sitting for a single meal during my lunch hour, I can build up a nice little defense against the previous night’s insomnia and the effects of a heavy meal.

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Today was one of those days. I saw every hour on the clock last night, and I used all three of my strategies throughout the workday. Insomnia may have my nights, but I refuse to let it overtake my days. Just like with my bedtime strategies, I am sure I will have to make adjustments along the way. For now, however, this is my mini-workday survival guide, and it’s serving its purpose well.



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