People used to brag about how little sleep they got. That’s slowly fading away and being replaced with a healthy sleep schedule. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to get a good night’s sleep each and every night. No matter what the reason, you’re likely to experience a long sleepless night every once in a while.

When you do, you can still function the next day, but there are some things you shouldn’t do.

Drive a Car

Driving is the most dangerous thing we do every day, and yet, we don’t treat it that way. Many people are distracted behind the wheel. That might mean they’re using their phones behind the wheel, but being tired is also a form of distracted driving.

From getting just a few hours of sleep to the slump experienced Monday morning, multiple factors can contribute to driver fatigue. No matter what your reason for feeling overly tired, you should look for a different way to get to work.

The bus is an option in most cities, while subways and trains are an option in densely populated cities. If the weather is relatively nice, consider riding a bike. You may also be able to ask a family member or a coworker to take you to work.

If you have to drive, get up earlier to give yourself a little extra time to wake up in the morning. Then, leave a little earlier to give yourself a little extra time to get to work.


You really shouldn’t multitask under the best circumstances. However, most people do anyway because they simply feel like they don’t have enough time in the day to get everything done.

Let a sleepy day motivate you to work a little differently during the day. When you’re tired, you will have an even harder time focusing, which means focusing on just one thing at a time is essential. Finish one thing before moving onto another. You just may discover that you want to make working this way your new normal!

Overdo Your Workout

It’s true that working out is a great way to get a burst of energy, but that doesn’t mean you should hit the gym too hard.

If you push your body too hard when you’re tired, you can increase the chances of experiencing the negative effects of working out. They include:

  • Tired feelings
  • Mood swings
  • Overuse injuries
  • Loss of motivation
  • Getting more colds

Instead of hitting the treadmill and doubling how far you run or spending an hour lifting weights, go easy on yourself when you’re tired. Take a walk around the block to get some fresh air or do a little stretching. It will provide you with a boost of energy without overstretching your body or your mind.

Consume More Junk

When you’re tired, you may be tempted to consume more junk. That means going back for a second and third cup of coffee, as well as swinging by the vending machine for a candy bar.

It’s true that junk food will make you feel good in the moment, and you may enjoy a quick boost to your energy, but you will eventually crash. When you do, you’ll crash hard.

Ultimately, all that caffeine and sugar will make you feel tired and lazy. Grab that cup of coffee first thing in the morning if you need it to get going, but then make better choices.

A few surprising things to eat to boost your energy include:

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Eggs
  • Dark chocolate
  • Quinoa
  • Avocados

Make Important Decisions

For many decisions, following your gut is recommended. However, more complex and important decisions deserve a little bit more time and attention. That’s time and attention you probably won’t be able to dedicate to coming to the right decision if you didn’t get enough sleep.

If you’re searching for a new home, making an important decision about your family, or you’re working on an important project at work, it’s a good idea to save the decision making for another day after you’ve gotten more sleep.

That includes having important conversations. Avoid starting or participating in intense personal or professional discussions. You’re more likely to say something you don’t mean or something you will regret if you talk while you’re overly tired.

Just because you didn’t get enough sleep doesn’t mean you should stay home from work and spend the entire day in bed! With these tips, you can still have a good and productive day.