With the tiresome things we do each day, we always feel very tired as soon as we get home. Even after long hours of sleep, we wake up every morning feeling heavy and exhausted, as well as restless of the tasks that needs to be finished throughout the day. Especially when engaging in jobs that implies high stress levels, staying energetic is nearly impossible. However, there are certain tips to keep us optimistic all day long which will give us the energy to outlast the many hurdles along the way
We not only need our physical self energetic, but as well as our emotional and mental selves. First of all, a person’s daily lifestyle and eating habits is a big factor to determine his/her level of performance for the day. A person with poor lifestyle habits such as staying up late and the lack of exercise will surely easily feel tired and exhausted easily. The same is true for a person who does not observe proper eating habits. This will cause a lack in nutrients that the body needs to supply energy.
To keep the body revitalized and optimistic throughout the day, these following tips are recommended to help you maintain your energy levels.
• Wake up at a similar time each day and expose yourself to sunlight
Rather than sleeping in and staying asleep in bed for a couple more hours, why not try waking up at the same time everyday and exposing yourself to sunlight? Our “master clock”, the hypothalamus gland, enables circadian rhythms to stay in tune for the rest of the day. Getting 30 minutes of sunlight daily, even on weekends when sleeping in is very tempting and is a norm, is needed to keep the circadian rhythms in time with the 24 hours of the day. The easiest ways are to take a stroll outdoors in the morning and opening your windows to let the sunlight in. These simple actions can truly help. The body’s sleep-wake cycle delays by 12 minutes, postponing your bedtime to a much later time if there is an absence of light. This is according to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lighting Research Center’s program director, Mariana Figueiro, PhD. However, she also said that if this is continued and you still wake up at a similar time each day, you’re going to get tired.
• Limit your Carbohydrate intake and load up on Protein
Most of us are aware that carbohydrates function as an energy supplier for the body. They also fuel our basal metabolic rates (the rate which we use energy at rest) and activity levels. This is because carbs produce glucose that gives us the quick spurt of energy that we need. However, a recent research conducted by University of Illinois’ nutrition professor, Donald K. Layman PhD, showed that women who reduced carbohydrate intake and raised amounts of protein in their diet feel more energetic. Protein gives longer lasting energy compared to the quick energy spurts provided by carbohydrates. Therefore, it is suggested that the daily intake of healthy carbohydrates should not be more than 150 grams.
• Drink coffee late in the day, instead of doing it early in the morning
Caffeine intake is needed by a person in order to perform actively through out the day. This is because caffeine blocks the effects of a brain chemical that is known to induce sleep called adenosine which, in turn, keeps you moving at high levels. The levels of adenosine accumulate as the day progresses. However, most people take their coffee early in the morning, and when the time that the adenosine starts to build up they feel sleepy. The caffeine from their morning coffee has already worn off. This is according to James L. Wyatt, PhD, Rush University Medical Center’s director of the Sleep Disorders Service and Research Center. He also says that ½ to 1 cup of coffee will keep a person energized during the later part of the afternoon when the temptation to take a nap is actually very high.
• Eat meals at similar times each day
According to Donald K. Layman, PhD, “Chaotic eating leads to greater hunger and over eating”.
This is because the nutrient needs of the body are connected to the other daily rhythms like the time for getting up and going to bed. He also says that one thing that will make the body tired is not meeting the regular time schedule when your body expects you to eat. Therefore, eating your meals at similar times everyday will keep you energized and hunger-free.
• Take time to meditate- all through out the day
Stress is one of the greatest factors that affect our daily performance. A stressful person will most likely feel tired and burdened all day, making him/her less active, less productive and less energized. To get rid of the stress, finding a quiet place on your own and meditating will be of great help. Sit down, close your eyes and listen to your breathing and get rid of the things that trouble you. Instead, visualize someone or something that causes you happiness, or something that you love to do. You don’t really need to meditate for long hours. A shorter, more frequent meditation will do. According to Judith Orloff, MD, a UCLA psychiatrist, even just a 2-minute meditation can decrease stress hormones that tense the muscles and constrict the blood vessels.
• Get some sunshine in the afternoon
Like a bathe of sunlight does wonders in the morning, sunlight in the afternoon may beat the afternoon slump. Figueiro says that because of the interaction of the circadian and homeostatic systems, most people experiences a lull approximately 17-18 hours after sleeping the night before. Taking a short stroll outside and a rejuvenating sunlight in the afternoon will surely help.
• Listen to Music
Music provides a lot of revitalizing and refreshing effects to the body. While the body needs exercise to boost energy, some people just feel too tired to do it. The solution? Put on your headphones and start moving to the beat of the music. According to a report written by Japanese researchers in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, volunteers who exercised with tunes for 30 minutes felt more like they weren’t working too hard compared to when they were doing it without music.
Have you been feeling a little low on energy lately? Before you reach for the coffee or some other pick-me-up, consider using herbs for a much-needed boost. There are several different herbs that are great for increasing your energy and making you feel better in general. Here are four of our favourites.