Do you need more energy?
Do you find yourself relying too much on energy drinks and coffee to stay awake throughout the day?
A few days ago, one of my clients complained of low energy levels. We all have those days, but when they become the norm, our work and lifestyle may suffer. Here are a few tips from us that hopefully help.
1. Hit that 2 pm drag?
Take a few minute break to go for a walk, do jumping jacks…. Get your heart rate up. This will help you focus more, be more productive, and vanquish your droopy lids.
2. Eat from multiple food groups at meals & snack times.
Carbs will help you get quick energy. While protein, fat, & fiber will provide more energy to last you until your next meal. I typically recommend 2 food groups for snacks & 3 for meals.
3. Eat smaller more frequent meals.
Food = energy (calories). If you eat a huge meal, you may not feel so great afterward and may need a nap, but if you eat smaller meals and eat them throughout the day, you can feel more energized & less full.
4. Eat breakfast.
Remember that food give you energy, you need energy to think well & move. Get it? Breakfast may not be imperative to promote weight loss, but I really believe it’s important to give you brain power & fuel you throughout the day.
5. Get your 7-9 hours.
6. Go To Bed
why we need to go to bed. Because, really, how many times did you skip exercise or grab a double cheeseburger because you were just too tired to think about it. Outside of not planning, and not knowing how, aren’t energy levels a major barrier to making healthful choices? Last week, I talked about some tips to boost your energy in the moment, but unfortunately those tips won’t help you if you chronically get 4-5 hours of sleep per night.
Why do we need sleep?
Kids & teenagers need it to grow and develop
It allows our brain to prep for the following day, making pathways to help you learn & remember information. It helps you learn better.
It promotes brain activity to help you make decisions, solve problems, control emotions and behavior, and cope with change. (hello, those late night cookie binges are coming from poor decision making and impulse control!)
It gives your body time to heal and repair itself, particularly your heart and blood vessels, also your immune response.
Sleep deficiency affects your risk of obesity and your hormone balance (particularly your blood sugar regulation, and your hunger/satiety cues)
You can be more productive in your job/school
To prevent drowsy related accidents.
What can affect our sleep quality:
Electronics (particularly the bright light)
Inconsistent sleep schedule
Lack of relaxing bedtime rituals
Temperature and environment of your bedroom
What can yo do to improve sleep quality:
Unplug from technology at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
Participate in consistent exercise. (you saw that coming right?!) Some people aren’t even affected by exercising at night. (here and here are additional benefits of exercise)
Manage your stress as your anxiety can keep you awake at night.
Reduce caffeine intake in the afternoon/evening (even starting at 2pm)
Create a nighttime ritual and consistent bed/wake times
If you wake up in the middle of the night, try a relaxation technique instead of grabbing your smartphone.
Go To Bed: the importance of sleep. Personally, I have to be up and at work or class way earlier than I ever did before, but I feel more energized and less tired than I did while in my undergrad. I would attribute that to reduced stress levels (by learning how to better manage those), and a more consistent sleep schedule. I’m nowhere near perfect at keeping to the good sleep guidelines (especially when it comes to nighttime rituals & electronics) but I’m way better than I used to be.
Although sleep may seem like an easy first thing to go, it really should be made a priority. I mean who isn’t nicer, healthier, and able to make better decisions after a good night’s sleep.