How to survive a full workday after another sleepless night

Do you relate to the struggle of exhausted parents facing sleepless nights? Find valuable tips to power through the workday and overcome the overwhelming urge to sleep.

  (photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)
(photo credit: SHUTTERSTOCK)

Are you a parent of a newborn baby facing sleepless nights and the challenge of going to work the next day? Don't worry, you're not alone.

This article provides practical tips to help you survive a day at work after another sleepless night, allowing you to stay focused and productive.

Share night shifts with the other parent

To avoid burnout and constant fatigue, take turns with your partner in attending to the baby during the night. Alternate night shifts, allow each of you to have uninterrupted sleep before heading to work. Establish clear schedules and communicate in advance.

Start the day with the hardest tasks

Tackle demanding tasks that require concentration in the morning when you are relatively more alert. By addressing these tasks first, you can leverage any energy and focus you have before fatigue sets in later in the day. Completing them will also provide a sense of accomplishment and a potential energy boost.

Take short breaks throughout the day

Take periodic breaks during the workday to refresh yourself. Step outside for fresh air, grab a cup of coffee (see below), stretch your body, or engage in brief conversations with colleagues. These short breaks can revitalize your energy and help you maintain productivity.

Credit: Shutterstock
Credit: Shutterstock

Opt for a good cup of coffee

Indulge in a cup or two of strong, high-quality coffee to provide an energy boost. Coffee can help you stay alert and focused, enhancing your ability to complete tasks efficiently. Remember to consume it in moderation and avoid excessive caffeine intake that may disrupt your sleep further.

Resist the temptation of sugary foods

When fatigue strikes, it's common to crave sugary and carbohydrate-rich foods. However, indulging in these options may lead to an energy crash later on. Instead, choose nutritious and wholesome snacks that release energy slowly, ensuring you stay satiated and focused for longer periods.

Embrace a healthy diet

Prioritize a well-balanced and nutritious diet to sustain your energy levels. Consume foods that provide long-lasting energy, avoiding processed and unhealthy options. A healthy diet will help stabilize your energy and prevent additional worries, such as constant hunger, from affecting your work performance.

Seek favorable working conditions

If you find yourself in a particularly challenging period, consider discussing your situation with your supervisor. Together, you may be able to find a solution that benefits everyone. Explore options such as working from home, adjusting your schedule, or even starting later in the morning. Altering your working conditions can alleviate some of the strain and make your day more manageable.

Prioritize early bedtime

During sleepless nights, take advantage of any opportunity to rest. Avoid staying up late to watch TV shows or sports events. Instead, prioritize an early bedtime to maximize the few hours of uninterrupted sleep you can get before your baby wakes up.

Remember that this is temporary

While it may be challenging to see beyond all of the exhaustion, remember that this phase is temporary. Rest assured that it will pass, and you will regain regular sleep patterns. Take comfort in knowing that many new parents face similar fatigue, and you are not alone in your struggle.

This article was written in collaboration with JAMA