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Skimping on sleep? Tips to help you survive...

animated business worker in office chair with head down on desk

A lot of people skimp on sleep. Sometimes it just can’t be helped. Nonetheless, long-term sleep deprivation can have a significantly negative impact on your health, so for those times when you fall short on much needed shuteye, use these tips to help you survive.

Learn to power nap.
A quick 20- to 30-minute nap can boost your energy and help you power through an additional few hours if needed. This kind of sleep can leave you feeling more refreshed than trying to “catch up” by sleeping for longer periods of time on a sporadic schedule.

Delegate.
Do you wish you could sleep more but never seem to have the time to do so? It may be time to simply offload some of your “must-do’s.” Lean on coworkers, friends and family members when you need to delegate tasks, instead of skimping on sleep and trying to do it all yourself.

Delay decision making when you are sleep deprived.
We all get tired sometimes, but if you are routinely not getting enough sleep, it can be both mentally and physically draining. During these periods, it’s best to delay big decisions until your brain is better rested.

Practice healthful habits.
If you do have to skimp on sleep, make sure you remain healthy in other areas, such as diet and water intake. Even a little exercise can help you feel more energized when you are sleep deprived. What you want to avoid is trying to fuel your body with sugar and caffeine—which will only make you feel more tired eventually.

Prioritize your responsibilities.
You can’t work 24 hours a day, so when you reach the point of exhaustion, it’s time to prioritize. Focus on things that absolutely need to get done, and leave the rest until the next day or later.

Know your sleep minimum.
While pulling an all-nighter every now and then may be unavoidable, doing so regularly is a recipe for disaster. Make a minimum amount of sleep non-negotiable. Most people need at least six hours of sleep a night. Find your happy minimum and vow not to dip below it unless absolutely necessary.

There are times when we all have to run on less sleep than is optimal for our well-being. Use these tips to help you through these times. If you are routinely sleep deprived, it’s important to consider lifestyle changes that allow you to get the sleep you need—and deserve!