How to Survive the Day When You Have Had Basically No Sleep

You’ve enjoyed your Saturday night so much that you’re shocked to see the sun has risen when you finally look out the window. 

No problem, except that you’ve got things to do this Sunday and can’t crash. What do you do? Here’s how to survive (a little while) on no sleep. 

Have a nap

If you can grab a small amount of sleep after the party, it will make a massive difference. 

A 20-minute nap will make you more alert without plunging you into the deeper phases of sleep. If you have 60-90 minutes, you can fit in a full sleep cycle — deep sleep, REM, light sleep and waking. Try to grab whatever you can. 

Hit the stimulants

Coffee will make you more alert and combat sleepiness, but don’t overdo it, say the experts. 

You should have no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine during the day (about 4-5 strong cups of coffee). Any more and you’ll feel jittery and worse than if you hadn’t had any. 

Eat chocolate and blueberries

According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, a rich source of flavonols has been shown to fight the fog from lack of sleep.

Flavonols are known to boost cognitive function, metabolism and memory. Vitamin C can also help as it lowers cortisol and reduces your response to stress — say, from no sleep. Our fave picks? Blueberries and dark chocolate. 

Low-carb, high-protein breakfast

After an all-nighter, you need to do everything you can to avoid an energy crash. 

Stay away from refined carbs like croissants and toast and sugary drinks and snacks — these will give you a sugar crash and make you feel even sleepier. 

Instead, snack through the day on lean protein, whole grains and some fruit. Think about making meals that include eggs, yoghurt, nuts and whole fruit. 

Dump the sunglasses

It’s so Hollywood to slap on your Ray-Bans after an all-nighter, but it’s actually the worst thing you can do. Sunglasses prevent certain light frequencies from reaching your eyes, meaning your circadian rhythms won’t be rebooted by exposure to natural light. 

Getting some sunlight will boost your alertness, body temperature and reset your body clock. Ditching sunglasses won’t help the hangover headache though. 

Chew mint or peppermint gum

This is a weird one, but studies have shown that chewing gum increases alertness, with mint or peppermint being the best flavours for waking up.

And lastly, if you know you’ll be out all night…

If you know in advance the party will be a big one, get some sleep beforehand. According to the US National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, it’s possible to bank some sleep a few days before. Get 9 to 10 hours for a couple of days pre-party.