Whether you like to go out partying all night at the weekend or perhaps you watched Super Bowl 51  – staying up for most of the night can be seriously detrimental to both your health and your sleep cycle. Yet that doesn’t mean you should go to bed every night at your bedtime, every once in a while you will stay up well into the small hours. What is key are the steps you take to recover from your all-nighter in order to minimise the damage.

We all know we need good quality sleep every night. Without it we get poor cogitative function, bad moods and, in the long term, issues like diabetes and obesity. So if you regularly pull an all-nighter at the weekend these side effects might seem like normal day-to-day life, however this need not be the case. All you need is a few simple steps:

Lady-Sleeping-at-Desk1: Kick the Sugar Cravings

If you have been up most of the night, you’re probably craving something that’s high in sugar and carbs because they will give you a quick burst of energy. However, this energy is fleeting and the comedown from you sugar-high will actually make you feel more tired in the long run. This is because high-carbohydrate foods and sugary foods, although causing a blood sugar peak, will also crash relatively quickly causing your energy to dip even worse than before. Instead you should look to eat food that is high in fibre, protein and healthy fat as this will give lasting energy.

2: Get in your B Vitamins

Just like you might load up on vitamin C in order to avoid a cold, you can also take vitamin B in order to help alleviate the effects of a late night. This is because when you’re up all night partying, your body will use up its stores of B vitamins – especially your high-energy B12 stores. When you deplete this source you’ll wake up the next day not only feeling knackered but also with the side effects you’d expect from the lack of sleep such as bad mood and feeling ‘dumber’ than you’d probably like. You can take B12 as a supplement or get it from foods like cottage cheese.

3: Regulate Your Cortisol Levels

When you sleep your cortisol – your body’s steroid hormone – levels are at their lowest. So when you are awake during the night, you get elevated levels of cortisol in your system. Your body really doesn’t like this though, and in response to the high levels of cortisol will start to stress by raising your blood pressure, causing mood swings, lowering your immune response and even causing anxiety. You can regulate these cortisol levels though by supplementing your diet with a herb called ginseng. This can be easily drunk in tea and is available in some supermarkets or from health food stores. Using this when you’re low on sleep will help keep your brain feeling sharper.

4: Get More Sleep!

Of course, the best way to recover from an all-nighter is to get more sleep. But that doesn’t mean you should sleep all day – this will totally ruin your sleep schedule. Instead try to get around a 2 hour (one sleep cycle) nap before 3pm. A nap any later than that will interfere with your sleeping later. 

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