Should it be illegal to drive while you are asleep

Working despite lack of sleep? Tips against fatigue and a self-experiment

The party was really good, somehow you got stuck and hey presto ... it's already five in the morning. The stupid thing is that you actually have to go to work - in two hours. The crucial question: Go home and let the boss know that he won't see you today, or look deep into the seriousness of life and head straight to work?
Who knows? And who has ever decided on the latter?

For everyone who answered “yes” to our question: Congratulations - you have our full respect. Below you will find our top tips for coping with the working day despite a lack of sleep. For everyone else: We have taken this experience off your hands and report here how we fared. Spoiler: The human body is a fascinating thing.

In my defense: It was never planned that I would slide into the workday with sleep deprivation and the remains of a good party. The last train was just the wrong one and didn't take me where I actually wanted to go - namely to my bed. Instead, my colleague and I had the congenial idea (which appeared to be that way at the time) of simply hanging out at a hotel bar at the train station until the first train was supposed to bring us straight to work early in the morning. To avoid misunderstandings: We didn't get drunk all night, but we still slept nada and after 24 hours without sleep on the body like four glasses of red wine, it was by no means without.

24 hours without sleep have the same effect on the body as four glasses of red wine.

Here I let you participate in my next working day (with the constant assurance that after all we do not operate on the open heart, but "only" have to survive one day in the office):

Self-experiment: diary entry from hell

7.00 a.m. Arriving at the office - without having seen a bed (let alone a shower or toothbrush) in the last 24 hours before. It's amazing, so you can start working this early. (I usually don't start my working day until around 8.30 a.m.). We are the first in the office and we still feel okay. The priority list is clear: Coffee - chewing gum - deodorant shower.

7.30 am The window was open for a quarter of an hour (although the outside temperature was almost zero) and the first half liter of “Fresh Mind” tea has been consumed - you do what you can to help it Keep ghosts awake.

8.00 a.m. the office is slowly filling up and so far none of our colleagues seem to have noticed that we are wearing the same clothes as the day before, with a bun on our head (to hide the uncombed hair) and tired eyes staring into our PC and trying convulsively focus on the mails.

8.15 a.m. The first colleague asks why we are actually there so early - when we said yesterday that we will be late today. My colleague and I take a quick look and break into one Laugh flash out. At least now - we believe - we have lost our camouflage. But no - sleepy and cocky as we are now, we ask our colleagues whether they don't notice anything about us. "No, why?" We are surprised that lack of personal hygiene seems to be less relevant in everyday interaction than we previously assumed. Well, from now on, waste less time on the outside in the morning if your colleagues don't notice it anyway.

8:40 a.m. Weak, because the coffee no longer kicks in or because a lack of sleep simply makes us crumbly, we cave in ... we simply can no longer and have to reveal our "secret" to colleagues. We tell the story with a volume and a serenity that only those with limited awareness (which definitely applies to us at this moment) would. What we reap: Partly respect, partly incomprehension and lots of laughter. We don't care about that right now ...

9.00 a.m. Thank goodness, coffee break!

9.45 a.m. More thoughtful Pan into nirvana. What did I want to do right now? I have to check my e-mails three times today - there are typos in the simplest words.

11.00 a.m. Meeting with a colleague is pending. I write to myself: Don't talk too much, don't talk too little and if possible Appear "normal".

12:00 p.m. Lunch break! And there is noodles. If there is a god - thank you!

12.50 p.m. The high I just experienced - additionally pushed by another coffee - seems to have picked up speed and races with me down the roller coaster into the steepest bend. Phew, one Afternoon low of the special class announces itself. Where is the fellow sufferer? Her workplace is empty ... is she already sleeping somewhere and leaving me here all alone?

"It gets really warm before you freeze to death - that's about how I feel now." Sleep deprivation seems to make you poetic.

1.55 p.m. Hold on - only an hour left! At 3 p.m. I left here and fell straight into it Sleeping coma, from which I will wake up again at the earliest 12 hours later.

2.35 p.m. The colleague urgently needs my opinion on a text. I nod and try to make my eyes look purposeful. Just nod and don't fall asleep ...

2:55 p.m. Only five minutes left - oh god, the longest five minutes of my life! The fellow sufferer has reappeared and rattles something about freezing to death.

3:25 p.m. The way home was arduous, the bus ride an ordeal, but the prospect of sleep motivates me and supplies my body with adrenaline and endorphins. This is how marathon runners should feel in their last 100 meters!
I haven't been so grateful for a shower and a bed for a long time. We should appreciate that much more, but no time to get sentimental - sleep overtakes me and carries me far away to a place that is soft and warm and I swear to myself, “Never again, I will never do this again! "(Who bets me?)

Sleep experts say that lack of sleep creates an immediate deficit, both physically and mentally. Be who Minimum need for sleep (for most people around 8 hours) regularly disrupts the metabolism and risks diseases. After just 48 hours without sleep, the ability to concentrate for the simplest things disappears, after three sleepless days there are also hearing and vision difficulties as well as hallucinations. So sleep deprivation is a real show of strength for the body. That is why it is all the more important to do everything else right then.

The brain needs sleep to function.

So if you have no choice after a short night and have to go to work, you should stick to the following tips:

1. Do the most important things in the morning!

In the morning our energy level is at its peak (although not comparable to a good rested day) - you should reserve this time to check off the really important items on the to-do list. Ours falls from noon Performance curve even on well-rested days, with a lack of sleep we feel this low even more clearly. Long meetings and important decisions or discussions (e.g. a salary negotiation) are not ideal today - all you need to do is postpone.

2. coffee !!!

... is our friend and helper when the lack of sleep really kicks in. However, too much of a good thing is not good either. About 30 minutes you should give the caffeine some time before you empty several cups out of sheer desperation. Depending on how much coffee you consume regularly, your body may no longer respond as much to the caffeine kick. Then the next tip will help you:

3. Move!

Just staring at the monitor all day makes sleepy people tired. In your situation, you should pay particular attention to movement. Avoid the lift and walk as much as possible, work at a high table and use Breaksto really get up. Fresh air (especially a walk outside) and a cool room keep you fit.

4. Eat the right thing!

Anyone who challenges their body and mind due to lack of sleep should at least provide them with good fuel. Heavy food and an excess of carbohydrates make for one Insulin peakwhich must finally be followed by a down. Today it is better to choose healthy muesli than breakfast, a salad for lunch and a piece of fruit as a snack.

5. Don't succumb to the power nap!

An afternoon nap is something nice! But you shouldn't mean it too well. 30 minutes maximum contribute to more fitness, anything beyond that is counterproductive. You should avoid a deep sleep phase here, it belongs in the night. You can't take a nap at work? Also a quarter of an hour quiet music or a short meditation have the same effect.

6. Be kind!

Or rather: super friendly! Those who have not gotten enough sleep are more easily irritable, moody and take everything more personally. The Potential for conflict in work is then particularly high! So make an extra effort to be nice to your colleagues, then in the future you will be forgiven for one or the other sleepless remark. ;-)

And go straight to bed at home!


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