4 Simple Strategies for Coping With Less Sleep at Work

Walk more, drink water, get sun, and seek a flexible schedule.
No matter how little sleep you get one night, chances are you still have to go to work the next day and do your job successfully enough to keep your boss, clients, and colleagues happy. And the more sleep debt you rack up from a chronic sleep condition, the harder it is to function normally during the day.

Poor sleep affects work performance, there's no question: The indirect costs of insomnia, including time lost from work and losses in productivity, are estimated at nearly $28 billion a year, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Somehow you've got to work around your sleep problem until it's gone, which could be soon, eventually, or never. Try these tips for staying awake during the day while searching for better sleep at night.

Drink lots of water
Not only will it quench your thirst, it'll keep you active, running back and forth to the bathroom.

"I drink enough to use the bathroom every hour," says Ann Austin, 46, a health-care training and development specialist in St. Louis who has narcolepsy, which causes her to have sudden sleep attacks during the day, particularly when she is driving or working at the computer for long stretches. "As soon as I leave the bathroom, there's a water fountain, and I drink until I feel full. And there's always water at my desk."

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Last Updated: May 19, 2008

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