Fake a Good Night's Sleep

Feeling fatigued? Worn out? Weary? Well sure, everyone does once in awhile. But too little sleep shouldn’t dampen your day. Here are some eye-opening tips to make you look and feel well rested no matter how few zzz’s you caught last night.

Take a shower

Pour some citrus essential oil on the bottom of the tub, suggests Nancy Cotter, MD, medical director of Atlantic Integrative Medicine in Morristown, NJ. When the hot water hits it, you’ll get a stimulating citrus steam bath that will awaken your senses (and make you smell nice!).

Practice a balancing act

Walk around the living room with a book poised on top of your head, suggests Stephanie Tourles, author of 365 Ways to Energize Mind, Body & Soul. Poor posture compresses your lungs, depriving the body of oxygen. Balancing the book forces you to stand up straight. A bonus rouser: Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and see how ridiculous you look. Your giggles may even perk up your neighbors!

Color you awake!

Change out of your same old same old neutral clothing and don something red, yellow, or orange. “These colors stimulate emotional centers in the brain that make us feel more upbeat and cheerful,” says Tourles.

Take a big gulp

Dehydration is a major fatigue factor. Carry around a 24-oz stainless steel bottle of water if your handbag’s big enough or leave one on your desk at work. Your goal: To down two to three of these bottles per day.

Don’t skimp on breakfast

Try oatmeal and bananas with skim milk. “A breakfast that contains protein and complex grains won’t cause a spike in sugar levels, so you’ll think more clearly,” says Lauren Slayton, RD, a nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York City.

Take a deep breath

When you’re under stress (and when are you not under stress?) your breathing is shallow and blood may be low in oxygen and high in carbon monoxide, says Dr. Cotter, making you feel foggy. Try this trick to breathe deeper: Every time the phone rings, imagine bringing your breath all the way up from your feet. “It may sound odd, but it will force you to take more full breaths throughout the day,” says Dr. Cotter. (And if your phone never rings, well, that’s another article!)

Crank up some tunes

Put some rock music on the disc player and bust-a-move. (Catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror again!)

Wash your face

Use peppermint soap, or put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a wet washcloth and breathe in the vapors.

Work it out

Just five minutes of aerobic exercise can bring oxygen to the muscles, putting more pep in your step. Try jumping rope or a dash up and down the steps, suggests Geralyn Coopersmith, senior manager at Equinox in Scarsdale, NY.

Step away from the breadbox!

Bread is high on the glycemic index—it enters your bloodstream quickly and satisfies you for the least amount of time, sending your blood sugar, and you, crashing. Instead: Grab a handful of high-fiber cereal, whole grain pretzels, raw almonds, or healthy trail mix. Add protein—like organic cheese—to keep you satisfied longer and increase dopamine production, a brain chemical that helps you stay alert.

Clear some clutter

Mail piling up? Haven’t seen the top of your desk since 2007? Pick one clutter cluster to purge and see how much lighter you feel.

Chew a wad of gum

Try peppermint to stimulate your senses.

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