I have a riddle for you. What does a college student who stays up late working at a bar have in common with a single working mother? Well for starters, me. I’ve been both. Other than that, both have to learn how to function on very little sleep. While cocktail waitressing I had to work until 3am and wake up for an 8am class. On those depressingly exhausted mornings, I always tried my best to look more awake than I was. When you’re in small classes, walking in with streaky make-up and sweat pants just begs the teacher to call on you. Even if I was walking dead, I didn’t want the professor to know.

Seven years later, I’m still putting the tips I learned back then to use. Motherhood teaches us a few new sleeping skills, like how to get rest in 45 minute increments. But the general process for faking a good night’s sleep is the same now as it was in college. Even though no teacher is going to be testing my comprehension of One Hundred Years of Solitude, I still don’t enjoy looking as tired as I feel, especially if I have meetings with my bosses or clients. So I’ve perfected a few tips to battle the look of exhaustion. As I’ve said before, the only thing worse that coming to work on 2 hours sleep is being told that you look like you got 2 hours sleep.

Whether it’s the most optimal way to go through life or not doesn’t always matter. Sometimes, we all have to deal with being tired. Whether you have two jobs, two toddlers, or two new puppies, there’s always a possibility that you’ll have to function on two hours sleep. These are a couple of my strategies for making sure that I don’t look like a zombie: [ITPGallery]