10 ways to recover from a bad night’s sleep (aka: fake a well-rested glow)

recover from bad sleep

You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again: Sleep is so important. It is more important than catching up on Twitter on your phone, finishing the latest episode of [insert-must-see-TV-or-Netflix-show-here]. Regularly getting a good night’s sleep contributes so much to your mental and full-body health. In other words, get enough sleep for your body and wonderful things happen. If you’re lucky (and possibly a magical fairy princess), you might only need 5 hours. Many people need 6-7. But if you’re like me*, you might need 8-9 to be at your best. It’s like any other genetics – you either “won the lottery” or have to figure out how to handle the cards you were dealt.

*Side note >> I’ve experienced beaucoup sleep issues in my life and was even prescribed Ambien at the ripe old age of 18. Say what?! Oy vey. A change in diet finally fixed my insomnia and other sleep problems. Hurrah! Here’s the diet I used.

If you don’t get a good night’s sleep and still need to face the day as your (almost) best self, here are some tips to put your most fabulous face (and brain) forward:

  1. Water, water, everywhere!
    water, hydrationChug 12 oz or more of water when you first wake up. Chuuuuuug it! Chug it! Drink some coconut water to get some calories and electrolytes into your system, too. Then, drink liquid throughout the day. A good rule of thumb: aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. Try to stick with water if you can but any liquid – milk, juices mixed with water, seltzer, etc. – will get the job done. Go ahead and grab coffee (black is best, though…). I go one-for-one with coffee and water, on top of the oz I’m aiming for. So if I drink a mug (approx 10 oz) of coffee, I drink an additional 10 oz of water. It’s not an exact science, folks, but try your best. Don’t beat yourself up if you forgot to track your water intake. Just make a conscious effort to continue filling up your cup/bottle and drink = gold star. Keeping up the hydration will help your face look nice and your brain sharp.
  2. Clean yo face!
    spa treatments, diy beauty, fake a well rested sleep, morning routineAs soon as you can, wash your face. Use your favorite face wash regardless of it’s special properties (acne fighting, age defying, meant for morning, meant for evening). The point is to wash your face AND get yourself in a positive, happy place mentally. Perhaps it has an incredible scent, or maybe it was a splurge that you try to use only on special occasions. Or maybe it just has a nice texture. Afterwards, moisturize with a favorite moisturizer. Stick with daytime formulas here but again, go for something that makes you smile if you can.
  3. Shower (…or fake shower)
    Ideally you’ll have time to take a shower (again, with your favorite products/ones with delightful scents) but you might have to fake it. Dry shampoo (or try this one EWG Skin Deep Rating: 1) and a fabulous deodorant to the rescue.
  4. Pile on the concealer
    concealer tutorial, consealer tutorial, highlighter to look awake, fake a rested sleep
    Image source: Makeup.com

    Well, don’t actually pile it on. A thin layer set with translucent powder should do the trick! If you can believe it, my mom and older sisters were not into makeup. At all. Not even a little bit. They rarely wore makeup and if they did it was usually mascara and mayyyybe lip gloss. Yes it’s true, I am a self-taught product junkie. I remember one super early morning before high school (it was probably still dark out, eww), my mom walked by my room to see me applying concealer under my eyes. It was a eureka moment for her. “Oooooh! That’s how you always look so awake!” I probably said something charming annoying like “Um, duh!!!” The point is, use concealer strategically and it can absolutely transform a tired face.

  5. Highlight your assets
    If you have time and if you know how to apply it best for your face shape, highlighter paired with concealer can up the ante on making your face look fresh and awake. Air on the side of caution. Less is more. Sometimes, tired hands can apply things a little too liberally and you might end up looking like a disco ball. Disco balls are great, but maybe not on your face at 8 in the morning.
  6. Give your brows some attention
    I’ll skip most products if I’m in a hurry but having nice brows (yes you might have heard this a zillion times) frames. your. face. I haven’t yet found a green/clean product that I love for brows (suggestions are WELCOME!) but I currently use Benefit Gimme Brow.
  7. Breathe
    breathe, relaxation, meditate, meditationTrust me, you have 12.7 seconds on a hectic morning for a deep breath. Try breathing in for a count of 4 through your nose and out for a count of 6-8 through your mouth. Fill your belly with air, stretch out your arms, shake it out like you’re doing the hokey-pokey. Whatever feels good. This step can take less than 30 seconds but be totally transformative. Try not to skip it.
  8. Smile
    I heard once that smiling can release endorphins and feel-good hormones even if you’re totally faking it. Take a moment to ham it up for your mirror and you might just find that your mood and brain fog has lifted. Bonus, this brighter mood can mean a fresher-looking face.
  9. Do what you can and keep it simple
    Rushing out the door with wet hair? Throw it up in a nice bun, maybe add an accessory (headband, ribbon, etc.) and head out. Simple! Or keep your hair down and let it air dry with my tips for fighting frizz. When I’m feeling foggy from a bad night’s sleep, I find it more difficult to operate heavy machinery do anything. Stick with a basic outfit you know you love, looks good on you, and you won’t be tugging on every 5 seconds. For me that’s a black dress and comfy shoes. Do what you can… and realize you can’t do everything.
  10. Eat breakfast
    breakfastEvery other day we see articles saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” or “breakfast isn’t actually the most important meal of the day.” Um, what?? All I know is, if I skip breakfast or if I don’t get enough protein when I wake up, I can’t ever quite shake off a bad night’s sleep. I make eggs if I have time (leave the dishes until you get home, it’ll be OK I swear!!), or a make a protein smoothie/grab a protein bar and some fruit as a last resort. I’ve even been known to grab dinner leftovers. Chicken and broccoli or green beans are not a traditional breakfast but they definitely fulfill my nutrition needs! Next, make like a toddler and always have snacks at the ready for mid-morning/mid-afternoon slumps. Lara bars and Justin’s almond butter packets are my fave. Or realllly make like a toddler and grab a GoGo Squeez for a no-mess/no-fuss fruity snack.


xo, Meredith

Good luck and try to get enough sleep tonight! Any other tips you would add to this list?

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