Here’s how to get by with little to no sleep

Posted at 1:38 PM, Sep 03, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-03 14:05:36-04

ATLANTA -- If you have a hard time getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep, you're not alone -- the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate fewer and fewer Americans are getting a full night's rest.

But not to worry -- sleep experts say there are a few ways to make it through your day with little or no sleep.

First, they recommend not hitting the snooze button when your alarm goes off.

That's because the extra few minutes that you "sleep" do not actually help restore sleep. Instead, they recommend setting your alarm for the latest time possible for getting up.

The next recommendation -- eat breakfast.

Eating within an hour of waking up can improve move and cognitive performance.

Then, there's caffeine -- the recommended amount is 400 milligrams or less. That's the same as about four cups of coffee. A light and healthy lunch can precede a second cup of coffee or tea later in the day.

If that second cup does not give you the energy you need to get through the afternoon, a trip outside might. That's because exposure to natural light can help you feel more alert.

Lastly, experts say you can leave the busy work for the end of the day. That can include replying to emails and maintaining your office space. Tasks that do not require much focus are best left for this time.

However, despite these recommendations, experts say there is no substitute for sleeping the full recommended seven to eight hours at night.