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Sleep is the most unreasonable lover in the world. You hop into bed with it expecting the goods, but it ignores your one basic need. And nothing tops the agony of the morning after the sleepless night before.
A study by the University of New South Wales found that after 19-plus hours of no sleep (ie your average all-nighter) people’s responses functioned as badly as when they were at the maximum legal alcohol limit to drive.
We’re not going to lie to you – getting through today is not going to be easy. But these 11 tips will make it easier. We promise.
1. Open the curtains as soon as you get out of bed
We know you don’t want to be vertical – but being vertical in a dark room drags your mood to a dark place. A Japanese study found that bright natural light regulates the brain’s production of serotonin and melatonin – waking you up and improving happiness. Two things you need on your side right now.
2. Don’t skip breakfast
When you’re tired, even pouring a bowl of Cornflakes can feel like a challenge in an Ironman contest. But a study on schoolchildren found those who ate breakfast were more energetic and cheerful than those who didn’t. Listen to the kids, but skip the sugary stuff they’d probably pick for eggs or wholegrains.
3. Drink caffeine one hour after waking
Your natural route is snooze button, then kettle button. But scientists suggest a detour.
Cortisol – a hormone that regulates your body’s internal clock and alertness – is naturally pretty high when you start the day. It dips after about an hour, which should be your new coffee o’clock, according to neuroscientist Steven Miller.
4. Do your toughest tasks first
Because what seems challenging after 10 hours without sleep isn’t going to get any easier after 15. Write a plan of attack, and nail the gnarly tasks at the same speed you’ll use to get into your pyjamas this evening.