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Our Top Tips on How to Survive the Day When You’re Sleep Deprived

Stay Hydrated

Even mild dehydration can affect mental focus so don’t add that on top of sleep deprivation. Keep water handy and aim to finish a bottle or two.


Coffee is fine but try not to overuse it, you’ll be wired and snappy and it’ll affect your blood pressure, attention span and too much will undermine the next night’s sleep quality.

As a general rule, avoid drinking coffee after 3pm to ensure you can wind down in time for lights out.


Probably the most important one as it stimulates memory and learning centres of the brain and oxygenates the body.

Try doing more tasks that require you to move, get up and stretch and deep breathe more often.

Even do a short low to moderate intensity workout like a walk outside. It’ll feel like you’ve had a nap.

You could even try a useful timer App like Flat Tomato – it is designed to make you more productive and prompts you to get up from your desk every half hour.


If you can have one, do it, but avoid doing a ‘George Castanza’ under the desk nap, it’s too risky.

Avoid Heavy Carbs, Energy Drinks and Sugar Fixes

You’ll be vulnerable to cravings when feeling low, your body wants energy and before modern times a piece of fruit would have sufficed, giving it a healthy energy kick and loads of nutritional benefits to boot.

Now there are loads of high fat and sugar ‘hyper palatable’ and well marketed foods trying their best to seduce you when you’re at your most vulnerable. They are usually low in fibre so offer an instant rush, a lot more calories and a big come down followed by more cravings.

Avoid temptation and stay away from the chocolate fundraisers and café sweet section. Ultimately, have a stash of better options for these moments.

Eat Protein with Each Meal

Protein triggers satiety or ‘fullness’ hormones and takes more energy to digest than carbs or fat. The result – a higher metabolic response and that great feeling of satisfaction without over eating.

Pop on Some Upbeat Music

Pick something that stimulates your mind. YouTube has some good study soundtracks for mental stimulation. Here is one I use regularly

If you’ve got any great tips you use, we’d love to hear them.

Coach Ange Gawthorne

  • BBus (Accounting)
  • Fitness Australia Level 2 Exercise Professional
  • Nutrition Coach: Precision Nutrition Level One Certified
  • CrossFit® Level 1 Trainer
  • Australian Weightlifting Federation Level 1 Coach