Everyone’s had days where they just can’t seem to focus or keep their eyes open. Even though you probably feel your least productive on days like this, reports NBC News, neuroscientist Leigh Winters gives tips on how to fake it until you can sleep later in the night.
One tip she shares is to take a few minutes to step outside. She argues that natural sunlight balances circadian rhythm, alleviates stress, and improves heart rate. Another tip is to ditch unhealthy foods — sugar, carbs, and anything process. These foods are not nutrient-rich and will not give your brain the energy to power through.
On a similar vein, balanced meals and snacks (as well as not skipping meals) are important. Skipping a meal out of the interest of time is not going to do your sleepy brain any favors — nor is overdoing it on the caffeine, she claims.
Power napping and staying active, though they may seem contradictory, are two other tips. If you can sneak in a nap during the day, she advises it. However, she also advises staying active to boost feelings of being awake.
One final piece of advice Winters offers is to “press pause” on important decisions and projects. Winters claims that allowing yourself an easier day is vital to your health if you are too tired, additionally claiming that cognitive abilities are decreased when you are tired.
If you’re sleepy and your coffee isn’t helping, try following Winters’ tips to get the most out of your day. Of course, that is until you can get some shut-eye later on in the night.