Has your get up and go, got up and gone since we have been on lockdown? Are bad nights making your days feel like a struggle? Have you downloaded full zombie mode? 

These simple tips can make you feel more like Tallahassee (Zombieland) and less like 'you've got red on you!' (Shaun of the Dead).


Shower Power

As great as PJ days are, and the idea of rolling out of bed and crawling to your work desk is easier than getting ready, a shower first thing will put your zombie brain into 'wide awake' mode. 

For extra zombie fighting power, use shower gets that contain jasmine, which studies suggest increase beta waves — the brain waves associated with alertness. Citrus and peppermint scents stimulate the same nerve that is addicted when you're revived with smelling salts! 


Damn fine coffee

I must admit, I'm pretty grumpy before my first coffee of the day — just ask my family! Enjoying a good cup of coffee first thing really helps keep tiredness at bay. I'm not suggesting a caffeine overdrive here, just a little happy perk-me-up to keep you going through the day. 

If you want to avoid caffeine, even just smelling coffee can give you a boost! In experiments with exhausted laboratory rats, Han-Seok Seo found that coffee aromas help reduce the stress of sleep deprivation. Clever, eh? So, wake up and smell the coffee for that wide-awake feeling and put your knackered brain on pause. 


Eat well! 

When you're cream-crackered, all you really want to do is eat rubbish, but it won't help you feel better when you are tired. 

I'm guilty of reaching for the pastry or biscuit tin when I'm shattered, and in moderation this is fine. But, when sleepless or late nights keep you up over and over, you need to fuel that tired body of yours to focus properly during the day.   

Did you know that eating at least an hour after waking (from what little sleep you have had) will make you feel more alert and ready for the day ahead? True story. So instead of the Coco-Pops or blueberry muffin, go for a breakfast that contains slow energy releasing carbohydrates like porridge with raisins for an extra sugar boost! It will soon have you feeling more human.


Energy-boosting foods  

When planning your meals throughout the day, and it's important to remember to eat during the day and have regular meals, go for foods that will help you hit the zombie feeling right where it hurts, which is in the forehead with a vinyl record!

These foods in particular offer some energy-boosting magic:

  • Sweet potato: Sweet potato is high in carbohydrates and loaded with vitamins A and C. Make into little homemade chips to dip in hummus or serve as a jacket potato with beans! 
  • Honey: Did you know that s spoonful of honey is nature's equivalent of an energy drink? Smart, eh? Not only is it a slow-release energy food, it is also great for a sweet kick instead of refined sugar. Add some to your morning porridge or yoghurt or add a few drops to your afternoon cuppa for a little boost. 
  • Bananas: Well known as a healthy treat, bananas are an easy snack to slice and pop on top of your breakfast! 
  • Almonds: These magical energy snacks are packed with protein, manganese, copper and riboflavin! Copper and manganese play an essential role in keeping energy flowing throughout the body and riboflavin aids oxygen-based energy production. 


Get some fresh air

Fresh air is the best cure for that super-shattered, zombie feeling! 

Going out for a walk is probably the last thing you feel like doing when you are exhausted, but it's seriously good for you both physically and mentally. Remember to keep to those safe, social distancing rules when out for your exercise, though. It's not time for a conga yet! 

There is no real way to recoup lost sleep, but there are lots of things you can do to look after yourself if you're feeling sleep deprived. Hopefully, these tips will help you feel less Zombie and more human in no time at all. 


Fi Star-Stone is a qualified child sleep consultant and parenting advisor with over 27 years of experience working with children and families. These tips feature in Fi's latest baby sleep book 'Wide Awake Baby Club - Simple Solutions for Knackered Parents' out now in print and on Kindle. We reckon they work for grown-ups as well! 

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