Having a bad night’s sleep can throw a wrench into your entire day or worse multiple days.  You feel exhausted, your mind is foggy, and you are motivated to do nothing other than crawl back into bed.  Thankfully, there are ways to help speed up recovery and make you feel better even when that seems impossible.  Here are some tips to help alleviate the impact of a bad night sleep.

Do not hit the snooze button:

Do not kid yourself that extra 10 minutes of “sleep” will not help at all.  You would need at least 1 hour of extra sleep to help offset the lost sleep.  Hitting the snooze button will only create stress in your day as you lose a few precious minutes in your morning routine.

Do not sleep in:

If you are thinking of calling in to work and take the morning off to sleep, think again.  This could mess up your body’s internal clock resulting in another difficult night’s sleep.

Get some sun and fresh air:

Getting up and out, into the sunlight, will help your body wake up and kick start the brain.  Get in to the sun first thing in the morning and again mid-day to help keep you awake and functioning.  If you can, get outside and do a short walk around a park.

Have a shot of caffeine – just do not over do it:

If you are normally a coffee drinker in the morning, do not skip it after a bad night’s sleep.  In fact, have a little extra by having a second cup.  Just remember the effects of caffeine can linger in your body so do not drink it later in the day as it might hinder another night’s sleep.


Exercise can improve sleep and help you fall asleep as long as you do not do it right before bedtime. Aim to have your workout completed 3 hours before bedtime.

Take a nap:

A twenty-minute nap will sharpen your attention and motor skills.  A 90-minute nap may improve your creative thinking.  However, naps between 20 and 90 minutes may leave you feeling worse than without one.  Set an alarm for the desired time (20 or 90 minutes) and avoid napping later in the day as that can disrupt your body’s internal clock and make it harder to fall asleep at night.

Avoid alcohol:

Alcohol will make you sleepy but after a few hours when your body has processed the alcohol, it will wake you up.

Eat light and early:

Avoid eating late in the evening and avoid fatty foods that take longer to digest.  Eat a light dinner early and if you are a bit hungry later in the evening have a light snack of food that will help with sleep (yogurt, oatmeal, etc.).


Do not smoke close to bedtime:

Tobacco is a stimulant that can hinder you getting to sleep.

Do not go to bed with your device:

The blue light from you device can mess up your body’s clock and keep you awake longer than you like.

Stay hydrated:

Keeping your body hydrated will help you get a good night sleep.  Drink enough that you don’t wake up thirsty but not so much that you are up peeing all night.

Keep the bedroom dark and cool:

The ideal temperature for sleeping is 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit or 15-19 Celsius.

Losing sleep and having the odd bad night’s sleep is normal.  However if this happens frequently it might be time to talk to your doctor.