We have all had those nights where we did not get a wink of sleep. Whether you were up with the baby all night, suffering a bout of insomnia, or are stressed out about the day to come, there are ways to avoid succumbing to this dragging fatigue.

  1. Upon waking, be sure to drink at least 2 ten-ounce glasses of water. What this does is get one's digestive system working properly, increases the metabolism (which gives one energy) and hydrates you. Hydration is obvious, yet important. Reason being is that human brain tissue is actually over 75% water. Even if one were to get 8 hours of sleep, if one isn't hydrated, they will feel groggy and lethargic.
  2. Go for a 20-minute walk. This sparks one's circulatory and cardiovascular system, and increases blood flow to muscles, joints, and brain. This will leave one feeling more alert, and much less achy. Cardiovascular exercise also flushes the stress hormone cortisol out of the blood and increases endorphin levels (happy hormones).
  3. Eat one piece of fruit and a large serving of protein. The fruit is important as it will raise your blood sugar a little bit, giving you more energy, and will provide to you many of the day's essential nutrients. Protein is important because your body digests it very slowly, and it will give you more sustained energy levels throughout the morning.
  4. Drink an 8-ounce caffeinated beverage every 2-3 hours. Caffeine blocks receptors in the brain that "tell" one that they are tired, while also causing the adrenals to activate. Adrenaline in small doses keeps you very alert. Be sure to not overdue caffeine, otherwise you may become jittery and on-edge.
  5. Eat a quick, light lunch and follow it with a 10-15 minute stroll. A good recommendation is turkey, cheese, lettuce, peppers, and tomato on whole wheat flat-bread. This gives one nutrients in the form of vegetables, complex carbs, and another serving of protein. One's blood sugar will remain at optimal levels, and this meal will not bog the body down. Walking after lunch will stave off the inevitable afternoon crash.

While this will not make up for an entire night of sleep, it will make the day much more manageable. Good luck.