How to Recover from an Involuntarily Sleepless Night

tired businesswoman yawning after a sleepless night

No one enjoys missing an entire night of sleep—especially when the choice is involuntary.

Whether we miss a night's sleep because of illness, disaster, drama, aging, chronic pain, a new baby, or merely because we decided to binge an entire series on Netflix and forgot for a moment that we are mortal, most of us emerge from a sleepless night with bags under our eyes and regret coursing through our veins.

When the inevitable does happen, most of us start by asking what we're going to do to recover.

The answer isn't always straightforward.

Approaching Recovery

Often, the choice of how we set about recovering from a missed night's sleep is out of our hands. In truth, most of us are not masters of our own time.

If we have jobs, raise children, or maintain daily responsibilities of any kind, the most basic decisions regarding how we handle missing a night's sleep are likely already made for us. If the kids need breakfast and rides to school, the choice to stay in bed is off the table. If we are scheduled to work, we're likewise limited in what we can do to recover. Many of us are stuck mainlining coffee and trying our best to make it through the day.

For folks in that situation, although we have all the sympathy in the world for what you're going through, your predicament comes with a silver lining.

Sticking to a routine can help you recover.

Sticking to a Routine

The human body craves rhythms and routines. It loves consistent bedtimes, mealtimes, hydration cycles—even bathroom visits! That is why so many self-help experts promote establishing healthy habits to achieve success.

Establishing a positive daily routine is both a self-investment and a way to do your best for the rest of the world. It also provides additional benefits, such as giving you structure, building forward-moving habits, and creating momentum that will carry you on the days when you feel like you don't have the strength to carry yourself. Following a daily routine can help you establish priorities, limit procrastination, keep track of goals, and even make you healthier.

The human body's love of routine is what makes missing a night's sleep such a trial. Our bodies did not get the sleep they expected, and since the routine has been broken, other routines that rest on that foundational one are now off-kilter. One way to arrest the domino effect is, if possible, to stick to your daily routine as closely as possible.

Even if you didn't sleep well (or at all)—don't try for a few extra minutes under the covers. Get out of bed and start your day, sticking to our routine as closely as possible. Despite missing an entire night's sleep, your body's love of rhythm can carry you through some (if not all) of your day's tasks with relative success.

So instead of allowing your entire day to fall apart because you are tired, eat your meals and carry on with your usual tasks as scheduled—including exercise! As counterintuitive as it may sound, some people find their daily workout routines, rather than making them feel more tired, actually work to reinvigorate them after a night of inadequate or missed sleep. (We should note, of course, if your job involves something potentially dangerous such as operating heavy machinery or practicing medicine, this bit of advice isn't meant for you).

Napping: Good Idea, Bad Idea?

While reading the above paragraph, no doubt some of you were a bit skeptical; and perhaps with good reason. Depending on your age, temperament, physiology, and many other factors, staying awake for an entire day after a night of missed sleep might not be in the cards for you!

In that case, your best bet is to treat your exhaustion like you would treat jet lag.

When your body is jet-lagged, the last thing you want to do when you feel tired is to sleep as much as you want. Whether you are adjusting to a new time zone or readjusting to your home zone after a trip, you know to get your days and nights turned back around, you must conform as best you can to the day-night divide where you are. In that case, a little nap during the day might be in order. You may need it: "As much as we like to feel invincible, after pulling an all-nighter, your body and brain will need time to recover and catch up on missed sleep."

If you find that you absolutely must nap, be sure to make your rest a short one. Twenty to 30 minutes would be ideal. Find a cold, dark room; set the alarm, and be sure to get right back up when the nap is over. (Otherwise, you might sleep the entire day away and wake up to another sleepless night.) If you're worried, you might hit snooze, before you lay down for your nap, ask someone to check on you in a set amount of time, tasking them with waking you up if you fail to reemerge on your own.

Whether you choose to nap or not, it's smart to plan on an evening in and an early bedtime the first night after missed sleep. That way, you will soon be well on your way to catching up.

We Can Help

Here at Nest Bedding, we believe in the power of a good night's sleep. That's why we offer premium mattresses at affordable rates.

While we can't do much to help you recover after a bad night's sleep, we want to ensure, at least when it comes to the comfort of your mattress; you're capable of achieving your best night's sleep—every night.

If you would like to learn more about our products, feel free to stop by one of our showrooms or contact us online at any time. We have experts standing by to answer your questions and match you up with the perfect mattress in a certified non-creepy, non-pushy way.

Whether you choose to stop by or merely contact us online, we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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