How to not wake up tired with little sleep

Proven Tricks for How to Stay Awake on Little Sleep

We've all had one of those sleepless nights—but how do you function the next day when you're sleep deprived? Here are some science-based tips for staying alert when all you want to do is snooze.

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Here’s what to do when sleep isn’t an option

Staying awake is understandably a challenge for anyone surviving on less than five hours of sleep. Of course, getting enough sleep is important for your overall health. (Especially since this is what happens to your body when you don’t get enough sleep.) You don’t want to make a habit of skimping on the z’s. Still, if you need a boost to get through your day, you’ll want to try one of these proven tricks for staying awake.


Turn on a bright light

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep a night—and although we should aim for that, it doesn’t always happen. A sick kid, deadlines on a work project, or even insomnia can cause us to get too little shut-eye. But how to stay awake when that happens? Besides taking a nap, which isn’t usually possible when we have to face the day, here’s what you can do: Reset your internal clock with the help of light. “Light therapy delivered for 20 minutes upon awakening or at particular times of day can be very effective,” says sleep expert Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist, fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan. “There are special [blue spectrum] bulbs that are commercially available that can help a person wake up—I use them in my bathroom.” A study from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that bright light at the end of a night shift was effective in increasing alertness. (If you can’t sleep, one of these 10 medical conditions could be why.)

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Get some sun

Sunlight helps to set our circadian rhythm naturally, so it might be even more effective than artificial light at making you feel bright-eyed and bushy tailed. “Sunlight signals your body and mind to wake up more,” says Richard Shane, PhD, a behavioral sleep therapist. “Get out into the sun for even five to 10 minutes, close your eyes, and turn your face toward it.” Sun exposure works by resetting your internal clock, he explains. To help you sleep better at night, the best time to get your sunshine in is first thing in the morning, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Find out more about how to sleep better when you’re sleep deprived.

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Get moving to stimulate your body. “The increased blood flow will help you feel more energized,” Dr. Shane says. Sleep-deprived participants who walked up and down stairs for 10 minutes felt more energized than drinking the amount of caffeine in a can of soda, according to a small study published in Physiology and Behavior. As an extra bonus, the exercise increased their motivation for work as opposed to the jittery energy you get from coffee. According to study author Patrick O’Connor, the experiment focused on stairs because the typical office worker has easy access to them—so you can try this the next time you’re fading fast at your desk.

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Splash cold water on your face

While warmth makes us feel like cozying up, exposure to colder temperatures is invigorating. If you need a quick pick-me-up while at work, try splashing your face with cool or cold water in the bathroom sink. “That’s a stimulant to your skin and nervous system, which wakes you up,” Dr. Shane says. This may happen because cold water is a stressor, so the body releases hormones like noradrenaline in response, which puts us on alert. This is a tip you can also use to help you stay alert on the road.

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Take a cool shower

Even better, expose your whole body to cool water to wake yourself up. “There is some data that a cool, not cold, shower in the a.m. can be very alerting,” Dr. Breus says. The cool water stimulates blood flow and gives you a rush of endorphins. You could also consider a polar bear plunge if you have access to a pool. “There are many stories out these about people doing a ‘cold swim’ in the early a.m.,” Dr. Breus says. “I have tried this personally and while invigorating, jumping into a freezing pool of water is not a ton of fun. However, a cool shower is easy to do, and very effective for me.” If you can’t bring yourself to hop right into a cool shower, Dr. Shane says suggests gradually turning the water temperature colder after it’s already running over you. It’s worth trying, especially when you know the 8 benefits of taking a cool shower.


Do some deep breathing

Although we think of deep breathing as calming, and therefore potentially more likely to put us to sleep, the increased oxygen flow actually helps the brain work better. Research on meditation and other breath-focused practices in Psychophysiology and World Journal of Clinical Cases show that they can strengthen your focus or attention and boost brain health, too. “With this I find that my patients may not be more alert but they are more focused,” Dr. Breus says, which allows you to get through a mental task easier. Dr. Shane says deep breathing can also help you shake off the tired feeling, giving you more energy. Staying awake when you want to go to sleep puts stress on the body, and in stressful situations, our breathing tends to be shallow. “Breathe just a little more deeply and slowly than usual, and your breath will become smoother and more comfortable,” he says. “That calms tension that had been contributing to your tiredness.”


Drink water

Staying fully hydrated can help keep the body working optimally, making us feel more awake when we’re sleep-deprived. Our bodies are 60 percent water, so we need the fluid to function—if we’re dehydrated, the effects of sleep deprivation are even worse. “When we are tired, our bodies often feel ‘dried out,’ so drinking lots of water or good fluids can help you feel less tired,” Dr. Shane says. Even mild dehydration causes fatigue as well as a reduction in brain function, according to a small study published in the Journal of Nutrition. The opposite may be true as well: A study from the UK found that students who brought water into exams did better than those who didn’t (and not just because smarter people come prepared!).

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Give your eyes a break

Swollen, red eyes are often the result of not getting enough sleep, and this can make it hard to focus on the computer screen at work the next day. “Using eye lubricant to moisten your eyes can help you feel less tired,” Dr. Shane says. The American Academy of Ophthalmology offers advice on how to use lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears. In addition, make sure to take frequent breaks to look away from your screen so your eyes can readjust and not get as fatigued. The American Optometric Association recommends sticking to the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, stare at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This can help prevent digital eye strain, which could be made worse by sleep deprivation. Try some of these other ideas to boost energy naturally too.


Keep your brain stimulated

If you’re wondering how to stay awake, you’ll definitely want to keep your brain moving with some mental exercise. “Engaging in something interesting to do or talk about can stimulate your mind to feel more awake,” Dr. Shane says. Simply having a conversation can ramp up your cognitive processes and make you “forget” you’re tired. Or, focusing your mind on an engaging task—either a work project you’re excited about, or a mental break like a crossword puzzle or game—can help keep you alert. Interestingly, we tend to be more creative when we’re tired because our ideas are not as focused, according to a study published in the Journal of Thinking and Reasoning. So take advantage to write, draw, or solve some brain twisters.

Julia Sudnitskaya/Shutterstock

Eat energy-boosting snacks

When your body is missing the rest and repair it needs from sleep, you can at least make sure it has the fuel it requires to keep going—and to keep your blood sugar levels stable. “Eating protein can give you more energy, but stay away from carbohydrates and fats, as they can make you feel more sluggish,” Dr. Shane says. “Be careful with sugar because while it may temporarily give you more energy, for many people, that is followed by a slump.” If you’re in a meeting and can’t chow down, research shows that popping a piece of gum can also work to stimulate the brain. It’s a simple, yet effective, solution for how to stay awake. Or try one of these natural energy boosters that just might change your life.

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Play upbeat music

Nothing gets your blood pumping more than a good song. Instead of dragging yourself through your morning routine, try bouncing around to a favorite tune to increase your energy level. “The sound stimulates your nervous system,” Dr. Shane says. A study from Stanford found that music also stimulates areas of the brain involved with paying attention and memory. Additionally, it may help you keep alert in the car. “If you are driving, play loud music and open the window,” Dr. Shane says. But, “be very careful and pull over if you are not alert enough to drive safely.”


Drink caffeine

Lastly, you could rely on that old standby for how to stay awake: caffeine. Tons of research, and the first-hand accounts of formerly sleepy people everywhere, can attest to its effectiveness. But, it is a drug, so you should use it wisely. “Stimulant ingestion can be caffeine, the most commonly used substance, or an ‘energy drink,’ a shot of vitamins and sometimes caffeine,” Dr. Breus says. “However if used too often a person will adapt to it; and if you use it too much, your brain will have difficulty functioning without it.” Dr. Shane also warns to not drink caffeine any later than early afternoon, as you may have trouble getting to sleep at night, which will start the sleep deprivation cycle over again. If you do have time for a quick cat nap, Dr. Breus has a suggestion for timing your caffeine intake. “My favorite technique is called a nap-a-latte,” he says. “Here I have people drink a cup of drip coffee and then take a 25-minute nap.” The cat nap will reduce sleepiness, and then caffeine will kick in—so he says you’ll be good for 4 hours. These are the 18 most effective ways to beat the afternoon slump at work and 7 signs you’re drinking too much coffee.


  • The National Sleep Foundation: “National sleep foundation recommends new sleep times”
  • Michael Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist, Fellow of The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, and author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan
  • Richard Shane, PhD, a behavioral sleep therapist
  • The National Sleep Foundation: “Sunlight and Sleep”
  • Physiology and Behavior: “Stair walking is more energizing than low dose caffeine in sleep deprived young women”
  • World Journal of Clinical Cases: "Breath-based meditation: A mechanism to restore the physiological and cognitive reserves for optimal human performance"
  • Psychophysiology: "Coupling of respiration and attention via the locus coeruleus: Effects of meditation and pranayama"
  • The Journal of Nutrition: “Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women”
  • British Psychological Society: “Bring water into exams to improve your grade”
  • American Optometric Society: “Computer Vision Syndrome”
  • Journal of Thinking and Reasoning: “Time of day effects on problem solving: When the non-optimal is optimal”
  • Nutritional Neuroscience: “Effects of chewing gum on cognitive function, mood and physiology in stressed and non-stressed volunteers”
  • Stanford Medicine: “Music moves brain to pay attention, Stanford study finds”
  • Food Components to Enhance Performance: “Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans”

Originally Published: March 21, 2018

Tina Donvito

Tina Donvito is a writer, editor, and blogger who writes about health and wellness, travel, lifestyle, parenting, and culture. Her work has been published online in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Parents, among others. Chosen by Riverhead Books and author Elizabeth Gilbert, her writing appears in the anthology Eat Pray Love Made Me Do It: Life Journeys Inspired by the Bestselling Memoir. Tina was previously editor-in-chief of TWIST magazine, a celebrity news title for teen girls with an emphasis on health, body image, beauty, and fashion.

Couldn't Sleep Last Night? Tips for Energy Today

Written by Robyn Abree

Rough night last night? Everyone has a bad night of sleep now and then.

Your life won't wait until you're rested, so you'll need all the energy you can to get through today. Some of the nation's leading sleep doctors offer tips on how to power through the day after a bad night's rest.

1. Caffeine, in Moderation

Caffeine can help when you need an energy boost, as long as you don't overdo it, says sleep disorders expert Joyce Walsleben, PhD, of the NYU School of Medicine.

Two cups of coffee, for instance, will give you about as much alertness as you're going to get. Drinking more than that probably won't make you more alert, especially if you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, says Jeffrey Durmer, MD, chief medical officer at FusionSleep Center in Atlanta.

That's partly about your brain chemistry. When you're sleep deprived, '[sleep hormones] collect in the brain all day and drinking excessive amounts of caffeine isn't going to stop that process," Durmer says. If anything, too much caffeine can give you the jitters, he says.

The same goes for over-the-counter supplements that promise to help you stay alert.

"Caffeine and supplements ... do increase attention and focus and are fine once in awhile, but in no way replace a bad night's sleep," Durmer says. If you use stay-awake supplements regularly, you might need to check with a doctor to see if you have a sleep disorder.

Energy drinks can serve a purpose when used appropriately, but for the most part, usually do more harm than good, says Michael Breus, PhD, who writes WebMD's sleep blog. Breus suggests sticking with plain black or green tea and coffee. Also, steer clear of all caffeine after 4 p.m. to avoid problems falling asleep at night, Breus says.

2. Don't Rely on Sugar

When you're sleep deprived, you may be tempted to reach for a candy bar. Don't.

Sugar will give you quick energy. It doesn't last, though, and you'll just end up crashing later, Breus says.

Instead, stick to a balanced diet and put extra emphasis on protein-rich foods like nuts and lean meats, he says. Also, avoid large meals and simple carbohydrates, like having pasta for lunch, to avoid energy dips.

Breus suggests eating a salad with grilled chicken, or another lean protein, like fish with veggies for lunch and dinner.

For breakfast, Durmer suggests eating protein-rich foods like eggs and plain Greek yogurt. If you have a sweet tooth, choose fruit, not a doughnut. The natural sugar in fruit takes longer to digest than table sugar and won't make your blood sugar swing as much, Durmer says.

3. Take Breaks

After a bad night's sleep, your attention span may drag a little more than usual. To keep focused, take breaks throughout the day, Durmer says.

  • Go for a walk outdoors. You'll get sunlight along with activity. "Movement stimulates alertness in the brain, and sunlight provides your body with natural cues to promote wakefulness," Durmer says.
  • When you exercise, take it easy. Keep it light or moderate, not vigorous, when you're exhausted. You're much more likely to get injured if you do hard exercise when you're fatigued, Walsleben says.
  • Take a brief nap, if you have time. Napping up to 25 minutes will help recharge your body and mind, Breus says. Napping longer than that will make you drowsier than you already are. For a supercharged nap, Breus suggests a "nap-a-latte." Drink a cup of iced drip coffee as fast as you can then take a 25-minute nap and you'll be good to go "for at least four hours," he says. That way you'll reap all the benefits of a short nap, but wake up just in time for the caffeine to kick in.

4. Simplify Your Day

Let's face it, you're not at your best when you don't sleep well. So lighten your work load as much as possible. By doing fewer things, you can still do a quality job without stressing out, Durmer says.

Let's say you have five tasks for the day. Shave them down to two or three, and focus on doing those really well, Durmer says.

You may also want to hold off on making any big decisions until after you've rested, Breus says.

5. Avoid Driving

Drowsy driving is dangerous, since it can lead to accidents. Stay off the road as much as possible if you haven't slept.

If you absolutely can't carpool or take transit, power nap before driving, Walsleben says. When driving, don't wear your sunglasses since sunlight may make you feel more energetic, Durmer says. That won't undo your tiredness, so you should still avoid driving, for safety's sake.

Be particularly careful when driving in the early afternoon. "Most people naturally drift around 1 or 2 p. m., and those who are sleep deprived will take a bigger hit," Walsleben says.

6. Sleep in, a Little, Tonight

When you go to bed tonight, you might be tempted to sleep longer than normal. Moderation, again, is the key here.

Sleeping in after a bad night's sleep is OK, but you're trying to get your sleep schedule back on track. Sleeping in too long can make that harder, because it shifts your normal sleep pattern.

If you sleep in, limit it to no more than two extra hours, Durmer says. If you normally get seven hours of sleep at night, aim for nine.

Going to bed too early can also disturb sleep patterns, says Walsleben. If you're exhausted and want to hit the sack, try to wait until it's about an hour before normal bedtime.

No matter how tired you feel, there's no reason to sleep all day, since the most recovery sleep time you can get is 10 hours, Durmer says.

If you're exhausted but still having trouble falling asleep, count backwards from 300 in multiples of three, Breus says. Doing math problems makes it hard to think about anything else and keep your eyes open, he says.

How sleep deprivation affects the brain: the largest study ever

  • Fergus Walsh
  • BBC Medical Columnist


Photo copyright, Elenathewise

Photo caption,

Chronic sleep deprivation is one of the problems of modern life.

A team of researchers from the University of Western Ontario is calling on volunteers from around the world to complete a series of online cognitive tests.

With the help of specially designed computer programs, those who wish can evaluate their logic, language understanding and decision-making skills.

  • Scientists: sleep is the key to beauty and success in communication
  • Why we get sleepy after eating and what foods are to blame
  • American company pays employees extra for sleep

I also decided to take these tests, agreeing that my brain would be scanned.


Leading the study is Adrian Owen, a British professor of neuroscience at the Institute of Brain and Consciousness at the University of Western Ontario.

"We're all familiar with the sensations of lack of sleep, but we don't know much about how sleep deprivation affects the brain," explains Professor Owen. "We want to find out how it affects cognition, memory, and concentration." ".

In the course of research, scientists intend to find out how people's cognitive performance will differ depending on how much they were assigned to sleep.

Of course, each person's sleep needs are different, but if researchers can recruit enough volunteers, they can determine the average number of hours of sleep needed for optimal brain function.

I joined a group of 4 volunteers who agreed to spend the night at the University of Western Ontario, where we experienced "brain games" that showed how the ability to perceive information depends on the amount of sleep.

Photo copyright, Alamy

Photo caption,

Volunteers (clockwise from top left): Dr. Human Ganjavi, Sylvia Salewski, Evan Agnew, Cecilia Kramar


  • Dr. Human Ganjavi, psychiatrist, 42 often working with patients on night shifts: "4-5 hours of sleep per night is normal for me. I know that lack of sleep leads to heart disease and can cause a stroke, but like many doctors, I do not consider this to myself."
  • Silvia Salewski, 31 years old. Mother of two girls who are under 5 years old: “A good night is when they wake me up only two or three times. I don’t even remember what it’s like to sleep peacefully all night, and I often feel scattered in the morning” .
  • Evan Agnew, 75, retired, night shift clerk: "I've never needed 8 hours of sleep in a row, and at my age now I don't need more than 4 hours in a row. I get sleep during the day with a couple of naps. "
  • Cecilia Kramar, 31, neuroscientist, she studies the cognitive abilities of nocturnal mice, so she often stays up late in the lab: my brain can't function properly."


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The tests offered by the authors of the study can be taken on regular computers, tablets and even smartphones.

Double Trouble: Seemingly simple, this test makes your gray matter move. You need to click on the word below that matches the color of the word above. If the word at the top is "blue" but it is red, you must click on the word at the bottom that is written in red, even if that word is "blue". Sounds crazy...

"Cut Out": The test starts out easy, but gets more difficult as you try to find a piece that is out of line.

Grammar logic: is the statement about the presented diagram true or false? At first glance, there is nothing difficult in this, until it comes to negative statements.

Spatial Planning: Like all games, these quizzes test your planning abilities by measuring the cognitive skills you use in everyday life.

How did we manage?

We were awake until 4 am, after which we were allowed to sleep for 4 hours.

When we took the cognitive test again in the morning, Evan's, Cecilia's, and mine's scores were much worse than the night before.

The result of Human, who is used to working with patients in shifts, has not changed much, while it has even improved with Sylvia.

Image copyright, OWEN LAB, WESTERN

Image caption,

The scan on the left shows brain activity after a full sleep, on the right - brain activity after a sleepless night

"Even though I'm feeling a bit scattered this morning, maybe it's because I'm used to not getting enough sleep," she explains. "I need to turn on as soon as the kids wake up, so that's okay for me."

I've always known that if I don't get enough sleep, I don't function well, so it wasn't surprising that my cognitive performance dropped dramatically in the morning.

To find out what was happening in my brain, I repeated the cognitive test already inside the MRI machine.

I was scanned twice: after a normal night's sleep and after a sleepless night.

MRI is able to detect blood flow in the brain: areas with increased activity are characterized by stronger flows, which look like orange clots on the graph.

The difference between the two scans was impressive: after a sleepless night, my brain activity was clearly inadequate, there were far fewer processes observed in it.

"Activity in the frontal and parietal lobes, which are known to be responsible for decision making, memory and problem solving, is markedly reduced," explains Professor Owen.

Photo copyright, FERGUS WALSH

Photo caption,

Study led by Professor Adrian Owen of the University of Western Ontario

We all know how dangerous it is to drive when tired, as your reaction time slows down and you can fall asleep behind the wheel.

However, we know much less about the subtle effects of daily lack of sleep.

"It's possible that lack of sleep can have a significant impact on decision making, and perhaps we should avoid making big decisions like buying a house or getting married without a good night's sleep," says Professor Owen.

Why is this important?

We spend almost a third of our lives sleeping, and sleep is as important as the food and air we breathe.

However, the modern pace of life means that there is less and less time for sleep.

Yet, as noted in an article published in Nature Reviews Neuroscience, we have surprisingly little understanding of the effects of chronic lack of sleep on our brains.

The article discussed the dramatic decline in sleep duration in developed countries and the urgent need for more research.

And those volunteers who took part in the sleep study were a great help in finding important answers that our society and scientists alike need.

Deadly sleep deprivation: how to harness the hormone of the night and survive | Articles

Cold and sleet are approaching, and with them the autumn melancholy and an irresistible desire to sleep all day. A seasonal phenomenon over time, under the influence of various factors, can turn into a chronic problem and even cause a serious illness. About why we don’t get enough sleep on winter nights, is it useful to take a nap during the day in the office, what to do to quickly find yourself in the arms of Morpheus in the evening, and how to curb the hormone of the night - in the material of Izvestia.

Malfunction of internal chimes

The autumn-winter period is a negative background for the development of many diseases, primarily cardiovascular diseases. At this time, interruptions in the work of the internal biological clock begin, which leads to seasonal depression. This was told to Izvestia by Alexander Kalinkin, head of the Center for Sleep Medicine at Moscow State University. M.V. Lomonosov and an expert of the European Society of Sleep Researchers (ESRS). He is a cardiologist by profession, but he has been studying the problems of sleep disorders and has been relieving people of them for 27 years.

Photo: RIA Novosti/Aleksey Malgavko

The scientist explained that sleepiness in the autumn-winter period has a specific reason associated with the lack of sun in the northern latitudes. Sunlight is the main regulator of the production of the night hormone melatonin. In the evening, with the onset of darkness, its concentration increases sharply, it gives a signal to all organs to adjust to the night mode of operation. As soon as the light hits the retina in the morning, the melatonin concentration drops sharply to a minimum value.

“Melatonin is produced in the pineal gland, a small process in the central part of the brain. The signal about the presence of light to the pineal gland comes through the so-called suprachiasmatic nuclei - these are such a central clock, we call them chimes. But each cell in the body contains its own clock, which runs on completely different clock faces, somewhere it can be six hours, somewhere 12 hours, and so on. And even the activity of the genome at night, during sleep, differs from the activity of the genome during wakefulness,” said Kalinkin. When seasonal changes in nature begin, this complex mechanism has to adapt to them.

Death from lack of sleep

The body of a city dweller, already suffering from a seasonal lack of sunlight, experiences an additional load due to lack of time for proper sleep - a long road to work and back, traffic jams, household chores ...

Considered that over the past hundred years, the average duration of human sleep has decreased from eight hours to six, and in some megacities it is already less than six hours, and this is a very big problem, the somnologist notes. The fact is that during sleep, the cerebral cortex processes information coming from internal organs, and recovery processes are launched. If sleep is disturbed, then the work of internal organs immediately goes wrong and immunity drops sharply. Therefore, if a person does not fill up his norm, then the risk of getting the flu or any viral disease increases significantly.

Photo: TASS/Artem Korotaev

“This is indeed a global problem, because, on the one hand, we treat, reduce blood pressure with pills, use high-tech methods of treating coronary heart disease, oncology and other diseases, and by reducing sleep and deteriorating its quality, we increase the prevalence of these diseases, and to a large extent. Therefore, we are chasing a carrot here, and it is tied in front of us, and we cannot catch up with it, ”the scientist explained.

If any living organism is left without sleep for seven days, it will die, says Alexander Kalinkin: “If we deprive a person of water, he will live 18 days, 72 days without food, and only a week without sleep. Of course, no heart attacks, no strokes, no oncological diseases, no atherosclerosis, no other significant morphological changes occur in a week, but there is a sharp decrease in immunity. Since we are surrounded by microbes, both on the skin and in the gastrointestinal tract, the invasion of the microbial flora occurs, and a person dies from intoxication.

Office passions

To avoid seasonal sleep problems, the main condition for office workers is to stay in a place with daylight as much as possible. According to the scientist, advanced companies that care about the health of their employees even use special light lamps that mimic sunlight in the workplace.

The somnologist explained that ordinary artificial lighting does not have this effect, because it has a spectrum different from that of sunlight. On the contrary, it enhances the negative effect of discoordination in nature, since an excessive amount of light devices, any gadgets, computers, especially in the evening, disrupts the production of melatonin.

Recently, clerks have the opportunity to sleep right in the office - special capsules for daytime relaxation are gaining popularity in the world. In the West, this trend is widespread, while most domestic employers are not yet ready for such a step. However, some large companies have been selling capsules for several years.

Photo: Global Look Press/Jenny Acheson

The Izvestia correspondent was lucky enough to try this miracle of technology on himself, but he could not fall asleep there. Perhaps the fact that it happened in the morning, after a full night's sleep and a large glass of coffee, played a role.

Lying down in someone else's office to relax turned out to be a simple matter and does not require any special emancipation - you lie down in an armchair, a large hemisphere covers you from above, a blanket is placed on your feet, and headphones are placed on your head. At the beginning of the session, a wave of vibrations runs through the chair, relaxing music sounds - it's time to sleep. But for some reason I can’t sleep - thoughts about past negotiations and upcoming business begin to swarm in my head, it’s very convenient, no one interferes. Attempts to immerse yourself in nirvana forcibly cause the opposite effect. The rest of the time passes in a struggle with oneself, finally the music sounds louder, the chair vibrates again - it's time to go to work.

“When a person has a peak of activity, he has no reason to go there. If he processes a large amount of data and the reaction slows down, or there was some important meeting and relaxation is needed, or he cannot work at a high pace, puts off important things for tomorrow and starts a strategy of living out until the end of the working day, then the capsule will extend the period of activity for about 3-4 hours,” Viktor Khodanov, managing partner of EnergyPoint, a Russian developer and manufacturer of sleep recovery capsules, told Izvestia.

A whole team of Russian specialists of various profiles, from scientists to musicians, is working on the constant improvement of the gadget. “In our laboratory, the frequency of falling asleep is about 70-80%. We look at the encephalogram, and the appearance of certain rhythms on it indicates that the brain has fallen into a state of superficial sleep and the necessary processes of restoring cognitive abilities have begun - memory, attention, concentration, information assimilation. It’s like a reboot, it doesn’t replace a night’s sleep because there is no deep phase, but it gives you the opportunity to extend the working day.”

Photo: Getty Images/ Todd Warnock

Some people think that daytime naps are bad, because after sleeping, a person worsens the quality of night sleep. “A short 20-30-minute sleep, no more, really increases a person’s working capacity, attentiveness and cognitive functions,” confirms somnologist Alexander Kalinkin. “Therefore, from the point of view of performance, it is useful. It can worsen the likelihood of falling asleep at night, reduce the so-called sleep pressure in the evening, but only for a longer time.

According to the scientist, it is important to understand why a person develops drowsiness: he sleeps little at night or he has some kind of pathology. How to distinguish temporary difficulties from the chronicle? Acute insomnia happens to any person and is associated with stressful situations, and it can be both negative and positive emotions. If, after the disappearance of the stress factor, this situation does not recover and continues for more than three months, it's time to go to the doctor.

Scheduled insomnia

In some cases, a simple observance of the daily routine, an increase in physical activity - exercise, swimming pool, proper nutrition will help solve the problem. But not in all, since more than 80 causes of sleep disturbance have already been identified.

“I had a patient with a very interesting case,” recalls Alexander Kalinkin, “she had insomnia exactly on October 15, and exactly on April 15 it ended. We began to deal with her, and it turned out that she had a very dark iris, which reduces the likelihood of penetration of sunlight. We gave her the use of a special light lamp in the morning for 30-40 minutes. Moreover, she didn’t have to look at her all the time, it was enough just to be nearby - to have breakfast, put on makeup. And as a result, her sleep was completely restored - this light in the morning was enough to suppress the production of melatonin during the daytime and restore its reproduction at night."

Photo: Getty Images/sturti

Sleeping pills, the most popular drug among the people, are used by the specialists of the Center for Sleep Medicine of Moscow State University only in exceptional cases - to relieve an acute condition. “There used to be a hope that an ideal hypnotic (sleeping pill) would be created, but so far this does not exist, because the mechanisms responsible for wakefulness are too complex, and there is no single sleep center in the brain, there are several of them. And maybe it will never be created,” Kalinkin believes.

In each case, experts identify the specific cause of sleep disturbance, of which more than 80 are known to date, and act on it.

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