How to recover from a poor night's sleep

How to recover from a poor night's sleep

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by Erica Heartquist

Bio | Email | Follow: @EricaHeartquist

kgw.com

Posted on May 10, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Updated Thursday, May 10 at 4:52 PM

PORTLAND -- You're up and starting a new day but you didn't get a great night's sleep the night before. How can you still make the most of your day?

"It's hard getting up because I usually don't sleep long enough to begin with," said Matthew Town, a Portland resident getting his Ph.D. at Portland State University.

"So few of us actually do sleep long enough," said Providence sleep expert Dr. Bill Bowerfind.

But there are ways a person can be productive even if they had a poor night's sleep.

"Expose yourself to bright light. It'll help reset the body's eternal time clock and help promote wakefulness," said Doctor Bowerfind.

Exercise can also be beneficial.  "It improves alertness and stimulates wakefulness," he said.

Also, Bowerfind said eating right is key. "Consider things like whole grains or protein for your meal in the morning. Making sure that you get a decent meal in the morning. A lot of people tend to gravitate toward the energy drinks with high sugar content and I would recommend avoiding those. The sugar can actually lead to a crash later on," he explained.

There are other healthy options for getting caffeine, like coffee, but not too much. "A judicious use of caffeine can be helpful, so somewhere in the range of 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine used judiciously throughout the day. That might mean one or two cups of coffee generally not later than noon or 2 o'clock in the afternoon," he said.

And, even if you've just gotten off work after an overnight shift, you can still be productive. "If you've just worked the graveyard shift, one of the things you can do on your way home is wear sunglasses. This keeps the early morning light from re-setting your body's time clock," said Bowerfind.

Adults who get less than seven hours of sleep a night are 30-80 percent more likely to develop diabetes and heart disease.

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