You're falling-down tired but have to stay awake - how do you get more energy fast?

I’m exhausted. The baby, who has a cold and the accompanying snootful of snot, kept me up all night. She wanted me and only me until about the time my alarm went off, at which time she was more than happy to go to daddy. I got a total of maybe 3 hours of sleep. This after a couple of days of interrupted sleep thanks to children and the end of daylight savings.

Normally, such sleepiness wouldn’t be an issue, but I have an interview with a large media outlet this afternoon and am supposed to demonstrate some sort of expertise on healthcare reform. This wouldn’t typically be a problem since that’s my field, but I feel like the walking dead. After that, I have a photo shoot I only learned about after getting to my desk this morning.

I can handle the latter - it’s internal and, even though I didn’t wear a suit, I’m dressed fairly nicely and can grab some cheap makeup from across the street to look awake (I was so tired I forgot to slap on the war paint this morning). But all I have to do is stand there and follow directions. The latter is what concerns me - I have to think on my feet while countering questions from a fairly knowledgeable reporter and somehow manage not to sound like a zombie, a moron or a combination.

So, what gives you the most energy? Does a power nap work? A walk? So much caffeine you can’t see straight? Other things? Help!

Power nap, but no more that 20 minutes. Works like a charm for me. One trick I’ve heard is to drink a cup of coffee first, so that it’s just kicking in at the end of the nap.

Good Luck!

Some sugar or simple carbs shortly before the interview should pep you up a little bit, too.

4-Hour Energy shot. My husband says that he doesn’t get a let-down after drinking one of those. I crash about 3 1/2 hours after drinking one. Your mileage may vary.

A cup of coffee or soda plus a little light exercise will usually do it for me.

Probably wouldn’t work for you but ------- RedMan chewing tobacco and if I’m really shot a little dab of the juice in the corner of my eye.

OK - meth would probably be safer but ---------------

Power nap, exercise, coffee (if you’re a coffee drinker). Try to flesh out the answers to probable questions she’ll ask you beforehand so you have responses fresh in your mind.

Get that makeup on too post-nap and cold-water face splashing. It’ll make you feel polished.

Thanks for all the responses so far. Keep 'em coming - I’ve still got an hour!

The upside is that I’m so tired I’m not terribly nervous yet. I will be soon, I’m sure.

For now, it’s out for a walk so I can think about my responses to the harder stuff.

Lots of water, sunlight and fresh air. If I’m totally bagged, I go for a walk even if I really don’t feel like it. I almost always feel better. For some reason, coffee doesn’t affect me much (it actually makes me feel worse sometimes).

I would also recommend protein instead of carbs. It’ll maintain your blood sugar and you won’t risk a crash in the middle of doing all this stuff you have to do today.

As the parent of a nine-month-old, I heartily sympathize, but I’m still going to point and chuckle.

Thanks! I thought about the carbs, too - had three-bean chili and a grilled chicken salad for lunch. The walk was wonderful. Getting outside was so nice.

Well…here I go. Now I’m getting nervous.

Good luck!! Glad you got outside - sunshine always helps me when I’m tired.

Yep, got my fingers crossed for ya overly.

Thanks for all the suggestions, guys! Interview & photo shoot are all done. I didn’t make an ass of myself, which is good, though the subject matter was hardly scintillating. The questions were much easier than I’d feared, too, which was good.

I think it was the walk that really did the trick. I can’t wait to get home tonight to sleep!

I tried this for the first time about 3 months ago and works like a charm! Chug a double espresso, then jump straight into bed. About 20 minutes later I wake up spontaneously and ready to take on the world. Lasts about 2 hours, then I crash again.