How to Function on Little Sleep – 10 Ways to Get Through the Day 

Do you feel exhausted at the moment?

We know only too well that a run of sleepless nights can start to have a serious effect on your life and on your mental health.

You find it hard to perform day to day tasks, your mood suffers and you can’t seem to get yourself out of the cycle of sleep deprivation and caffeine hits. If this sounds like you then we really feel for you.

There are many reasons why you might be suffering from sleep deprivation.

These could include a new addition to the family, you could be suffering from insomnia or it could simply be that you are worrying so much about things that you can’t get off to sleep at night.

A disturbed night’s sleep is the most common cause of sleepless nights so working out what is disturbing you is important.

Is it your snoring partner? Is it the whirring of your AC unit at night? Maybe you get too hot and that wakes you up.

These are problems with simple solutions, but if your sleep deprivation is down to something else, then you might want to know how to function on little sleep. 

In this article, we have 10 ways that you can find the extra energy to help you through the day. If you ever wanted to know how to function on little sleep then these top 10 tips are going to be invaluable to you.

How To Function on Little Sleep: 10 Ways to Find That Extra Energy

Let’s get started!

1. Get Your Vitamin D

Sunshine is a natural remedy for so many things thanks to Vitamin D.

Not only will the Vitamin D help to give you more energy but it will also lift your mood.

Being out of the house will also help improve your mental wellbeing and help you to feel more positive within yourself. 

2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake

We all head for the coffee machine when we are feeling tired. Caffeine is a stimulant that most of us use every day, but unfortunately, when you are suffering from sleep deprivation the last thing you need is a stimulant in your system.

Caffeine stays in your body for up to 10 hours and this can have a negative effect on your sleep cycle. Watch this video that explains the correlation between caffeine and sleep.

If there are still remnants of caffeine in your system at bedtime, you have no hope of getting a good night’s sleep and that might be what is making you even more tired the following day.

If you can’t cut out the caffeine altogether then try to limit your intake to one or two cups of coffee in the morning.

Remember that there is caffeine in certain sodas too which could be affecting your tiredness levels. 

3. Eat Little and Often

Did you know that it actually takes a lot of physical energy to break down a large meal?

When you don’t have much in the way of energy reserves to start with, the energy exerted to break down a large meal can tip you over the edge and leave you feeling exhausted.

Add that to the fact that you will have a huge spike (and inevitable fall) in energy after a high carb meal and you have yourself a recipe for disaster.

By eating little and often, your body is able to break down these foods and not use up all of your energy reserves.

Also, by eating a balance of carbs and protein as snacks, you will be able to sustain energy throughout the day and not have any post-meal dips. 

4. Drink Plenty

Hydrating your body is so important, especially when you are tired. Your body and your organs need water, oxygen and rest to function properly.

You aren’t giving your body much rest and if you are tired then the likelihood is that you aren’t sticking to a workout regime, so you aren’t always giving your organs enough oxygen either which only leaves you with water.

If you keep your body hydrated, then your organs won’t take the strain of your exhaustion and will still be able to function and stay healthy.

Many people say that having a large glass of water it actually makes them feel more alert, so it’s definitely worth a try!

Try to drink at least 2 liters of water each day to ensure that you are keeping hydrated and healthy. Also, make it a habit to carry a good quality water bottle with you, always!

5. Power Nap

A power nap is easier said than done in some situations so we recommend that you only power nap when it is safe to do so and when it isn’t likely to increase your workload or add to your stress levels.

A power nap is a small nap (usually in the middle of the day) that should last between 18-23 minutes. Scientific studies have shown that any longer than 23 minutes and you feel worse so be sure to set your alarm!

If you have trouble falling off to sleep, you can rest your eyes in a quiet room for 10 minutes and this will have a similar effect.

6. Stretch

Full Body Stretches - book

Exercise is probably the last thing on your mind right now and in some cases, if you are really tired it wouldn’t be safe for you to exercise anyway.

Your reflexes will be slower, your co-ordination will be hindered and you might feel frustrated at the thought of going slower/lighting less/fatiguing quicker than you might usually do.

However, a good alternative to exercising is to stretch.

You can use yoga or tai chi style stretches to help your body stay oxygenated and help you feel better physically.

It doesn’t need to be a full stretching session or be overly enthusiastic, just encourage your body to remember that it can move even if it isn’t doing much of it at the moment! 

7. Adjust Your Mindset

Ok so you’re tired, we know.

We understand and can really empathize when you are so tired that the thought of having to cook dinner exhausts you, we get it when you say that going out for drinks with your friends is too much effort and we really hear you when you say you don’t have the energy to get dressed today.

But while we empathize with your tiredness, we are also strong believers in a positive mindset.

A positive mindset can really trick your brain into finding the physical energy to do these things, to tick chores off your list and to help you function through the day to day life.

Tomorrow, try saying to yourself “wow, I’m full of energy today” and see if you can trick your mind into being more productive?

8. Listen to Music

Changing your mood and your outlook when you are super tired is really important and a good playlist can do just that!

Try taking 30 minutes out to listen to a really upbeat playlist or listening to an album from your past that brings back great memories.

Remember in your youth when you had nothing to worry about and spend all day listening to music while lounging on your bed?

30 minutes of returning to those memories will not only make you feel better but might encourage you to have a positive mindset for the rest of the day! 

9. Have A Laugh

Sometimes you just need a good laugh. Not the kind of chuckle you get from a meme on Facebook, an actual proper belly laugh that makes all your worries fade away.

Watching a funny program or a stand-up comedian can not only take your mind off how little sleep you’ve had but can also improve your mental state by increasing the level of endorphins (the happy hormone) in your body.

Can’t find anything funny on TV? Why not search online to see if you can find a local laughter therapy class?

That’s right, it’s a thing!

Alternatively, participating in some team building activities within your workplace can also lighten up your mood.

10. Seek Medical Help

If all else fails, then it might be time you seek medical help.

If your sleep issues are not related to any physical factors such as a new baby or a snoring partner, then you might want to get checked out for what the cause could be.

In some cases, you might just be referred to a counselor who will be able to help you talk through anything that is worrying you, in other cases, it might be undiagnosed sleep apnoea that’s causing your sleep problems.

If you are unsure what could be causing your sleepless nights then we recommend seeking medical advice, just to make sure it isn’t anything serious.

Final Words

Now that you have 10 ways to help you function on less sleep, we hope that this gives you enough energy to feel better about your situation and maybe do something about it.

While our bodies can function on little sleep for a while, it can have a long term impact on our bodies if we don’t deal with it eventually.

Work your way through the list above and see if it can help you to get a better night’s sleep.

Also, share this article with someone you know who might want to know how to function on little sleep. Until next time!