6 Survival Tips When Lacking Sleep
Holistic Living

Watching The Olympics All Night? 6 Survival Tips When Lacking Sleep


12 August 2016


I’m sure we’re all excited watching the Olympics this year – more so after Pandelela & Jun Hoong won Malaysia’s first medal at RIO 2016 (Congrats again, ladies!), clinching silver in the Women’s synchronised 10m platform diving. With the time difference, staying up till the wee hours of the morning to catch your favourite sport or athlete in action can leave you feeling lethargic the next day.

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Here are 6 tips to help you survive the day ahead when you didn’t catch enough shut eye the night before! Let’s dive right into it:

1. Drink only 1 cup of coffee in the morning

Be strategic with your coffee intake. Most of us need only need about 100 mg to 200 mg of caffeine daily (1 to 2 cups of good quality black coffee) for an instant boost of energy.

It should take about 15 minutes for you to feel better and sustain you for 3 to 4 hours. Be mindful that having too much coffee will overstimulate your brain and give your body a short-lived surge of energy but will leave you with an energy slump and lethargic as the caffeine effect wears off. If coffee is not your thing, try these caffeine-free energy boosters!

2. Take a power nap

Even a nap as short as 10 minutes during lunch hour can benefit you. An afternoon nap definitely helps you feel better, if you nap right, that is.

The key is firstly, to keep it short and sweet. The best duration for a nap is about 10 to 30 minutes. Any longer than 45 minutes may leave you feeling groggy when you wake up from a deep sleep.

Secondly, sit slightly upright in a comfortable position during your nap to avoid being lulled into a deep sleep (and oversleeping!). For most people, a powerful nap can be as restorative as a whole night of sleep.

3. Use essential oils

One of the easiest remedies that you can use at your workplace or home are essential oils. The healing power of the scents is almost unbelievable as it causes you to feel alert pretty quickly. The natural, botanical smells help to stimulate your brains and reinvigorates you at both a physical and emotion level.

For energy-boosters, always select any type of citrus oil like orange, lemon, grapefruit, neroli or bergamot. Peppermint oil is very uplifting, stimulates your senses, helps you stay focused, a respiratory decongestant and an excellent analgesic. Simply put the required amount of water in your diffuser, add the drops of oil, turn it on, and prepare to be energised! Here are two blends that can help you survive the day!

Energy Bomb!

  • 2 drops Peppermint essential oil
  • 2 drops Lemon essential oil
  • 1 drop Frankincense essential oil

Fatigue Fighter

  • 3 drops Bergamot essential oil
  • 2 drops Grapefruit essential oil
  • 1 drop Peppermint essential oil

4. Eat more protein, fruits & veggies and avoid sugar

When sleep-deprived, we start to look for comfort food and most of the time, don’t make good choices. Comfort food usually means high sugar, refined-carb desserts like cake, pastry and chocolate. It’s because the lack of sleep has shown to make you crave more sweet, salty and high calorie foods. The downside is that you’ll feel even more exhausted eating these.

So, eat mindfully, start with a healthy breakfast that is packed with protein, fruits and vegetables. Research shows that eating within an hour of waking up can boost your energy levels and improve cognitive performance. Consume quality plant-based protein to keep your sugar levels steady and maintain a good level of energy for the day ahead! Try these healthy and delicious Chia Pudding Breakfast Jars, Kimchi Omelette or Vegetarian Egg Muffins.

5. Chew on fruit ice cubes

If you chew on ice, it’s almost impossible to fall asleep. The chilling temperature keeps the brain on its toes. To make it fun and healthy, you can do this by adding a little extra nutritional bang to a regular glass of water - infuse water and unsweetened teas (or the occasional cocktail) with fruits and herbs by creating fruity, flavourful ice cubes that provide an energy boost without artificial sweeteners and additives.

6. Roll on acupressure points

Instead of using acupuncture needles, you can actually massage acupressure points. Research has shown that applying pressure on acupoints may help combat fatigue. Apply very firm pressure to these 5 stimulating acupoints with your thumb or index and middle fingers; hold for 3 minutes at each point, massaging in both directions.

Massaging any of the following points will improve circulation and ease fatigue:

  • The top of your head - apply light pressure on your scalp with your fingertips or use a scalp massager.
  • The back of your neck
  • Back of your hands – the area right between the thumb and index finger is best.
  • Just below the knees
  • Earlobes

There you go! Enjoy watching the Olympics and survive the day with these six tips! To all our other Malaysian athletes, we’re rooting for you!