How to Fake a Good Night's Sleep | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

How to Fake a Good Night’s Sleep

Swap sleep deprived for bright-eyed and bushy-tailed with Tara Kergon's top tips

Let me preface this with a quick disclaimer: Sleep is one of the most important things for your mental and physical health, and I’m in no way saying you should deprive yourself of it! But let’s face it, sometimes you just can’t get those eight hours of restful sleep, especially when university workloads soar. Whether you are staying up late to meet deadlines and then dragging yourself out of bed for a 9am, foolishly accepted the offer of a night out when you’ve got an early start the next day, or simply couldn’t get to sleep, some mornings you wake up lethargic, still exhausted, and bemoaning your haggard appearance. So if you don’t want the rest of the world to know how tired you are, here are a few tips for faking it (at least on the outside!).

Invest in an eye cream

Most of us are far from considering the threat of crows’ feet, but eye creams aren’t just for anti-aging - if you’ve had a long night the biggest giveaway are the inevitable dark circles. My life-saving product is Clinique’s Pep Start: a hydrating, plumping under eye cream that honestly makes me look like I’ve got a great sleep schedule! Apply it at night to wake up looking fresh, and add a bit more on before doing your makeup if you’ve really burned the midnight oil.

If you can’t beat it, conceal it

Even if you don’t usually wear makeup to class, a quick dab of concealer will instantly brighten your eyes and make you look well-rested. It’s well worth taking five minutes to cover up your dark circles and any blemishes, and get your skin glowing a bit. I personally pride myself on never looking tired, despite all the stress and late nights of final year, and that’s largely thanks to concealer. My current favourite is the Collection Lasting Perfection: it’s brightening, with buildable coverage, and a complete bargain at £4.19.

The bolder the better

In my experience it’s far easier to take on the day if your appearance doesn’t scream ‘two hours of sleep’. Whether that means some bold liquid liner, a pop of colour on your lips (the Nyx soft matte lip creams are perfect for easy application and colour payoff), or a brightening dose of highlighter, in just a few minutes you’ll look far more awake. Everyone will be distracted from your tired eyes, and besides, it’s a bit of time to mentally prepare for the day which never fails to give me a much-needed boost!

Tr(eat) yourself right

When you’re trying to run on little sleep it’s tempting (and far too easily done) to just get wired on caffeine. And yes, coffee is a lifesaver, but it also causes dehydration – guaranteed to make you look more tired. Your body will thank you far more for drinking plenty of water and getting plenty of vitamins in. Instead of artificial alertness, eating well, with plenty of fruit and vegetables, will help keep your energy levels up so you’re not slumped over in class wondering why you got out of bed. If you really struggle with that, take a multivitamin or pop a Berocca!

Don’t wallow in your sweats

Dressing up for lectures isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking to trick people into thinking you’re well-rested then sweats and a hoodie aren’t your friends. Comfy as they may be, it’s only a step above wearing your pyjamas and bringing blankets to class (tempting I know!). Putting a bit of effort into an outfit makes you look put-together and prepared, and will boost your mood and motivation too.


4th February 2018 at 9:00 am

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