top of page

Four Part Sleep Series 3/4: Coping With Bad Sleep

Rough night last night? We’ve all been there and some of us, a lot more than others!

Welcome to part 3 of the sleep series! We’ve talked about the importance of sleep and we’ve gone over good sleep strategies, but what if sleep just won’t come? That’s what we’re covering today.

It could be that you’re just not able to fall asleep or the kids keep you up or you have a spouse that snores – it could be any reason. But we’re not here for the reason; we’re here to talk about what the heck you do to get by with little sleep!

Your life won't wait until you're rested, so you'll need all the energy you can to get through today. Here’s where you focus should go:

1. Water up! Yup, I’m bringing up water again. Even if you got awesome sleep, if you’re dehydrated you’re going to feel fatigued – so on days you’re running on low sleep, you really want to up your water game!

Keep a huge water bottle with you all day and refill it as you need too. It will help you feel more refreshed and it all else fails, it will at least get you up and going to the washroom 20 times throughout the day so that will help distract you from the sleepiness!

But seriously, drink water – it helps.

2. Don't Rely on Your Friend Sugar You know the’re tired, eyes drooping and thinking that a pick-em-up should help. You’ll want to turn to candy bars, pastries and sugar filled drink. Don’t do it! It’s just cheap, quick energy that will send you crashing down harder than before.

Instead, focus on a protein for days you’re lacking sleep. It will help provide energy to all your cells and make you feel satisfied. Think grilled chicken, yogurt, nuts and other lean meats. And if you really, really want to reach for sugar, go the natural route and opt for fresh fruit.

3. Take Breaks After crappy sleep, your attention span will be shot. Instead of trying to fight, roll with by taking more breaks throughout the day. And I mean, actual breaks – step away from work or whatever you’re focusing on. You can go for a walk outside, exercise, listen to music or if you can spare, a 20 minute or less nap!

4. Do Less

Let's face it, you’re not going to be super woman when you haven’t slept well. Again, don’t fight this – instead, lean into it. Simplfy your day as much as possible – this might mean only half a to-do list, or cancelling outings, declining a meeting or tackling less chores. By doing less, you’ll still have a productive day and you won’t put extra stress on your already tired body and mind.

4. Be Kind to Yourself and Your Family

Lack of sleep can mean being cranky, irrational and irritable – it is what it is. The pattern here is to not fight it. When you start your day, let those around you know that you’re not going to be running at 100% today and hope they’ll help where they can. You can also check in with them – they might not be 100% either, and perhaps could use grace from you as well! Accept that you’re going to drag a bit today – just let it be.

The main points from this post are to stop fighting against the lack of sleeping –feeling like you have to still do it all and to be okay with going easier on yourself. Your body and mind are already missing a huge piece of what makes them operate well, they don’t need you to add extra strain by trying to make them function as if they don’t need sleep. Be gentle on these days – trim down your responsibilities, be more present and do what you can.

Stay tuned next week when I bring you real life tips and advice from those in the trenches with you! I’ve talked to my clients who are struggling with sleep for all kinds of reasons and they’ve provided some awesome coping methods!


Refire Fitness is active on social media and aims to provide an engaging community with education on fitness, nutrition and mental health. Join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!



bottom of page