While working without sleep is ill-advised, as sleep deprivation is terrible for your health, sometimes hectic schedules call for such dreadful days. Sometimes you might have to pull all-nighters because you need to catch up on work, go out to a late concert, or just spent the whole night tossing and turning. None of these situations are ideal, but they are an unfortunate part of reality.
Luckily, you can make the most of it by using the correct techniques. If your eyelids feel heavy, here is what you should do:
First, always get your catnaps in.
If you can make time during your day to take short naps, perhaps during your lunch break or commute time, you will end up feeling much more refreshed. A short rest might give you the energy you need to power through the next few hours. The ideal nap only lasts 20 minutes, according to sleep expert and MetroSleep founder Christopher Lindholst. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and awake.
Caffeine always helps, but you probably shouldn’t need to drink more than two cups of it.
Remember that caffeine takes about half an hour for its effects to kick in, so make sure to drink your coffee before the times you need the energy boost. You should also avoid drinking coffee after 4:30 p.m. as to prevent further sleep deprivation. Caffeine sometimes takes several hours to leave your body, so you don’t want your afternoon cup of coffee to keep you awake late at night.
While working, be sure to prioritize your responsibilities. Finish your most essential or complicated tasks as soon as possible so that you don’t have to work on them when you are drained of energy later in the day. Functions that require too much brainpower and those that you don’t have the energy to complete might need to be delegated to other employees or saved until tomorrow.
You may want to use today to concentrate on mundane tasks that require very little energy.
Data from the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration shows that 1 in 6 teen driving accidents result from sleep deprivation. Many other famous disasters, such as the Challenger explosion and the Exxon Valdez oil spill, can be linked to lack of sleep.
Do not make any critical decisions that you might regret later on. People with less sleep have less energy and poorer judgment, so be careful about the choices you make.
Finally, get some extra rest when you get home. Adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, according to data from the National Sleep Foundation.
Sleep is one of the most important functions known to man. It will help you with focus, memory, emotional regulation, immunity, and a dozen other areas. Treat yourself to some shut-eye. It will make you more efficient and productive than any all-nighter ever could.
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