How many times have we heard, “get 8 hours of sleep to feel rested”! So, you ensure that you get a “full 8 hours” but still wake up feeling like a zombie and overwhelmed at the never-ending “to-do” list piling up as you half-heartedly get out of bed and get ready for the day. Around 2:00, you hit the wall and fall asleep in yet another meeting until finally 5:00 rolls around and you drag yourself home only to find dishes to wash, laundry to fold, and dinner to make- all of which seems almost insurmountable. On Saturday, you finally have an hour or two to do whatever you want, but you just end up taking a nap, wishing you had the energy to go hiking or finish your “to-do” list. (Can anyone relate?)
How often do you feel like you’re a person who wants to do a lot of things trapped inside someone that just wants to sleep? How do we break the cycle of never-ending exhaustion? Some may say, “easy! Get more sleep!” but sometimes that doesn’t even cut it. Here are some tips for boosting your energy levels!
- Water. Yep, here it is again- water is the answer to most everything! That is probably because we are composed of almost 75% water … So if you’re not getting enough- it makes sense that things start to go downhill fast! Next time you’re tired, think of the last time you’ve got a drink. We can be dehydrated without even feeling thirsty, so if you’re even feeling slightly parched you’re way past due for a drink (of water- soda, alcohol, and even juice don’t do the job)!
- Iron-Deficient. Our bodies use iron to produce red blood cells to carry oxygen and nutrients around the body. If you are deficient in iron it can make you look washed out and feeling fatigued. Besides meat, you can boost your iron supply through eating beans, tofu, baked potatoes, and dark leafy vegetables!
- Exercise. How many times have you said, “I’m too tired to exercise”? Well, that’s making your fatigue worse. Physiotherapist Tim Allardyce explains, “Body circulation and heart rate slow when we sit down and do nothing, which reduces oxygen supply to the muscles and your body starts to shut down.” Even if you’re not feeling up to an intense run or heavy lifting day, try going for a walk, low-intensity weight lifting, or yoga! Just get moving!
- Food. Resist the urge to grab a sugary drink or processed carbs when you’re exhausted. It may give you a small rush of energy, but it fades fast and hard. Go back to the water and snack on crunchy vegetables. When we feed our bodies poor quality fuel, we can't expect them to run efficiently! Eating junk makes us feel sluggish and unmotivated.
- Light. We are surrounded by lights! We have alarm clocks, artificial lights from our phones, chargers, outside lights, etc. The blue light in artificial light turns off our production of melatonin (sleep hormone). No wonder our bodies get confused when we are giving them mixed messages. Avoid screens a couple of hours before you want to sleep and get rid of excess lights.
If nothing seems to help, there may be a more serious concern: depression, anemia, thyroid disease, chronic fatigue, sleep apnea, or diabetes. See your preferred healthcare professional for further guidance and instruction!