Presented By
Molly Cranna for TIME

We all know that it is optimal to get 8 hours of sleep per night.

The benefits of sleep for our health, happiness, and productivity have been well-documented.

There is simply no doubt that we need sleep to be at our best.

But sometimes 8 hours just isn’t in the cards.

Whether because of work stress, a crying baby, or some other late-night disturbance, we are sometimes forced to function on 4–5 hours of sleep (or less).

When that is the case, should we just resign ourselves to a day filled with moodiness and limited output? Or are there some strategies to counteract the effects of little sleep?

Fortunately, there are some effective ways to survive (and even thrive) after a night of tossing and turning.

Try this routine the next time you’re short on sleep:

Of course it is never ideal to operate on little sleep, but the reality is that we all find ourselves in this situation from time to time. And fortunately there are some proven strategies to make the most of it.

Your day will certainly be more manageable by following this plan, whether you adhere to every step or just select a few of the items.

Perhaps it also jumped out at you that this routine could maximize your day even when you are well-rested.

Here’s to a great day (sleep or not)!

Andrew Merle writes about good habits for happiness, health, productivity, and success. Subscribe to his mailing list at and follow him on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on

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