As a university student, it’s pretty common to run your life with very little sleep. For some students, functioning with little sleep is their version of “normal”. There’s little doubt that some people can get by with less sleep than others. But every one of us will ultimately reach that point where lack of sleep begins to take a toll on productivity. It’s important then for a student to learn how to thrive on very little sleep.
Here are some ways to do that…
Go Outside And Take A Breath Of Cold Air
Whenever you are feeling tired, step outside for a few minutes and take a breath of cold air. There’s something about cold that invigorates the body and at least temporarily overcomes feelings of drowsiness. You can take it a step further by taking a short walk – exercise can not only help you to overcome feeling sleepy, but it can also enhance your energy level if you do on a regular basis.
If it is summertime and cold air is scarce – or the cold air is too cold in the winter – you can also stay inside and take a cold shower. Cold is cold no matter where it comes from, and it will wake you up in a hurry.
Have A Good Meal
It often seems as if a lack of sleep is a close traveling companion to functioning on an empty stomach. Many people who don’t get enough sleep have their lives and their schedules stretched a little bit too thin. Often, there is no time to eat for all the same reasons there’s no time to sleep.
This is also a losing combination.
If you are tired from a lack of sleep, an empty stomach will only finish the job. Lack of proper nutrition can leave you feeling weak and drained. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, then at least try to make up for some of the energy deficit by having a good meal.
One note of caution: be sure that you don’t overeat! Feeling overstuffed is as bad as being exhausted, and you don’t ever want to combine the two.
Drink Plenty Of Water
What does water have to do with not getting enough sleep? Nothing actually, the two are completely unrelated. However, water can be an excellent antidote to insufficient sleep. It has to do with hydration. The more hydrated your body is, the more energetic you’ll feel. If you don’t drink enough water, dehydration can begin to set in, leading to feelings of exhaustion.
Often when a person feels tired it isn’t even because they aren’t getting enough sleep. It’s because they aren’t drinking enough water.
Caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and Coke don’t provide the same benefits. Since water is a totally natural substance, it is quickly assimilated by the body and provides the fastest and most lasting energy benefit. Drink plenty of it on those days when you can’t seem to get in gear.
Get Moving – And Keep Moving
Dealing with a lack of sleep is often a process of mind over matter. You have to use your mind to override what your body is feeling, and you can usually do this at least for short spells.
When you’re tired, you need to accept what it is that you need to do for the day, and then get moving toward accomplishing it. You need to set up a mental sequence (or written if you can’t remember) of what you need to do, and follow-up mechanically. This is partially about not allowing your body to give into the exhaustion, by using your mind to override what your body is feeling. You can do that by creating a sense of purpose.
Do Your Most Important Assignments First
There are different levels of exhaustion. With a moderate level, you may be able accomplish everything that you would in a normal day. But if you are really tired, you may only be able accomplish one or two tasks. If so, make sure that those tasks are the most important ones you have for the day.
Related: Carving Out More Time to Study
If you can’t accomplish anything else, completing the most important assignments should at least get you through. And sometimes by getting the big, ugly tasks out of the way first, you find the energy and the time to do whatever else you need to do.
Schedule Rest Time Later In The Day – And Use It For That Purpose
No one – not even people who generally require very little sleep – can go without it for too long. You may be able to pull it off for a day or two, or even three, but eventually it will catch up with you. It should be obvious, but one of the most basic strategies to deal with being tired is to get some sleep!
But if you are facing a day that involves a lot of responsibilities, and you’re in a sleep deprived state, it may help you get through the day by promising yourself to be in bed early at the end of the day.
Related: Time Management Tips
Let’s say the you have a day in which you only got three hours sleep the night before, but it’s also a day in which you have five or six very important assignments due. Use all of the strategies above to do as much is you can, but also promise yourself that you will get to bed later that day – say at 5 or 6 PM
Just knowing that sleep is coming at a definite time of the day – and early at that – can provide you with the incentive that you need to complete all of your important tasks. This is another example of using your mind to control your body.
Do you feel that you don’t get enough sleep? How do you deal with that without letting your coursework slip?