A bad night’s sleep has the potential to throw your week’s plans completely off course. It can take a while to get back to feeling yourself again, but with work and life more stressful than ever, the pressure to bounce back can feel too much sometimes (which just makes it worse). What are the tricks and tips that successful women use when they’ve spent the night tossing and turning?
From mindset switch-ups to apps, supplements and go-to products for waking up fatigued skin, we asked six industry high-fliers about what works for them when they have work the next morning.
“It's important not to take your bad mood into work and have it affect others,” Susannah Taylor, Editor-at-Large, Get The Gloss
“After a bad night's sleep, I feel that mind over matter is really important. It might feel like hell on earth but you have to remember that it won't last so I think it's important not to dwell on it too much or take your bad mood into work and have it affect others. There are a few things that I also do that also help get me through the day: I have a strong shower with something zingy such as Aromatherapy Associates Revive Bath & Shower Oil , £35, which is like a shot of coffee for the senses.
I also always wash my face properly as I find that really wakes me up. I then make sure I eat well throughout the day – a proper breakfast and healthy lunch will get me through until leaving time. I try to avoid the things we crave in that state such as coffee, which I think will wake me up but will actually make me more jittery. However, I might succumb to some comforting chocolate with my tea at tea time.”
“I have my morning shot of probiotics.” – Eve Kalinik, nutritional therapist
“If I’ve had a night of tossing and turning, then the next day I try to minimise my energetic outgoings where possible and conserve the batteries so to speak. If that means cancelling a planned workout or even meetings that can wait until another day, I will do that.
"There’s no point pushing yourself and your body when it’s flagging already. From a food perspective, I consciously make an effort to eat small and often to keep my energy and blood sugar levels more consistent as insulin can be negatively affected by not having enough shut-eye. Digestion can also be a bit on the sluggish side too since the gut is also ‘tired,’ so eating smaller meals gives it a bit less work to do. I also eat earlier that evening and give myself an early night making sure to have an extra-long soak in the bath with scented candles, read a book and have a hot Plenish almond milk with turmeric, cinnamon and a touch of raw honey stirred through. I generally make that pre-bedtime ritual a bit longer than usual.
"Supplement-wise, I’d make sure to have my morning shot of Symprove , £79, as the gut microbiome can also suffer from poor sleep and I might take an additional dose of Wild Nutrition Food-State B Complex Plus , £24, for an energy boost."
“I listen to podcasts or sleep stories.” – Michelle Kennedy, co-founder of women's networking app, Peanut
“I am a horrible sleeper, have been since I was pregnant. Prior to that, I could sleep anywhere, even a nightclub, I was that friend! Now, I find sleep elusive, I find it hard to turn off my internal monologue. Even when I do fall asleep, I often wake up again and find it hard to drift back off.
"One thing I do in the morning is to listen to sleep stories on Calm or a podcast. It's more productive than my own thoughts reminding me of all the things I haven't done. Sometimes you hear something amazing, and it inspires you when the alarm goes off (I also love How I Built This, and Emma Gannon Ctrl, Alt, Delete).
"I make sure to eat breakfast. I am not a big one for breakfast, but I need to get my reserves from somewhere! Fruit, cereal, coffee are a must (try not to go for the pastries, even though that's what you really want - it will make you sluggish). I also force myself to take a walk at lunchtime - it gives me energy to get through the day and I try not to succumb to the 8pm bedtime call; however tempting, you'll find yourself waking up in the middle of the night again! Try to push it until 10pm, and then go all out with the bedtime routine, lavender oil on the pillow, no devices, warm bath etc.
"I must say though some of my best days with Peanut have been when I've been suffering from lack of sleep, because you push harder, you’re more focused because you can't drop a ball, so give yourself a break, don't freak out about sleep. Oh, and having some good mama friends around you to help you out, telling you it's OK to have the little ones have a morning of Peppa Pig and bring you Starbucks. That's important too!"
“If I have a bad night the only things that help are hydration and concealer." – Dr Sam Bunting, dermatologist
“Sleep is such an essential wellbeing factor for me and yet I’ve been prone to insomnia ever since the tough years of my medical training doing hospital night shifts and on-calls. I’m fair-skinned and prone to stress-related acne so poor sleep quality leaves my skin bumpy and lacklustre, with dark circles even Vichy Dermablend can’t conceal!
"If I've had a bad night's sleep, the only things that help are hydration and concealer. I'll apply a layer of Avene Tolerance Extreme Mask , £16, and give that 10 minutes (it's even better if applied from the fridge). I'll then conceal the dreaded blue tones under my eyes with Sisley Phyto-Cernes Eclat Under-eye Concealer in Number 1 , £75. I'll use a light coating of Burberry Fresh Glow Foundation , £38, and a pop of Stila Convertible Colour Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in Camellia , £16.20, to simulate a fresh, just-been-out-for-a-walk look and if I curl lashes to mimic a wide-awake state, I'll just about get away with it!
"With work, I'm generally very engaged anyway as I love my job, so provided I have a proper Flat White and a light but nourishing breakfast, I'll be OK. Once work is over though, I will generally hit the wall and collapse in a heap! To get the most out of my beauty sleep and prevent any poor sleep-connected skin concerns from happening, I always apply a prescription retinoid to my skin at night. It’s the best way to suppress breakouts and premature ageing in one fell swoop. I use tretinoin on prescription to keep my skin stimulated, no matter what life throws at me.”
Watch Dr Bunting's Youtube channel here
“I try not to have a sugar boost and eat berries instead.” – Christine d’Ornano, Global Vice President, Sisley Paris
“If I have a late night, I try to drink a lot of water before going to bed and if I’ve slept badly, going for an early morning swim really helps boost me. Exercise definitely clears the head and gives me energy. I then either have a fresh green juice or an 8Greens Effervescent Tablet, £16. Skincare-wise, I keep Sisley’s Eye Contour Mask , £100, on standby in the fridge and apply it while I have breakfast, leaving it on for fifteen minutes. I also use the ridoki tool which comes with our new Sisleÿa L’Intégral Eye Cream , £145.50, to massage the area around the eyes. This reduces puffiness and helps me look more rested. I then apply our Black Rose Mask , £110, over the whole face for a few minutes, followed by Sisleÿa L’Intégral , £350.
"If I feel tired later in the day, I really try not to have a sugar boost as it’s such a temporary quick fix. I have a cup of tea though (the caffeine does help) and an apple. I also try to eat berries as often as possible as this helps clear toxins and re-energises me throughout the day.”
“I add a ginger shot and moringa into my diet for a natural energy boost.” –Abigail James, top facialist
“I’m a seasoned on-and-off insomniac, but life and work have to go on! These days, I definitely step totally away from any sugary pick-me-ups, I’ve learned they are counterproductive. You might think they will give you that energy lift, but I find the slump after about 20 minutes is even worse! Instead, I add in things like a ginger shot and moringa into my diet for a natural energy boost. A walk outside in the fresh air between clients is essential too. And lots of water; I will have a coffee mid-morning then switch to green tea. If I’m still feeling a slump afterwards, I’ll have a banana too.
"If my skin looks tired, I’ll do a deep, fast facial massage during my cleansing in the morning and I might get my Foreo Luna 3 Facial Cleansing Brush, £169 out to really get the blood circulation going. I find that a good vitamin C serum such as Medik8 CE Tetra Serum , £35, really helps as does a more nourishing moisturiser too. I also add a glowing primer into my foundation to trick the radiance look and a concealer is a must. I’m loving Tropic Illuma Light Diffusing Concealer , £18, right now - the coverage is amazing. My skin always looks drier on bad sleep days too, so I reapply eye cream over my concealer throughout the day ( Murad Resurgence Renewing Eye Cream, £70, is fab) and I will also spritz CosMedix Mystic Hydrating Treatment , £45.26, over my makeup too.”
MORE GLOSS: 15 ways to get a better night's sleep