With life becoming more and more demanding as we get older one of the first things to suffer, as a result is our energy levels. Fatigue and feeling lethargic is slowly creeping in as one of the biggest problems of modern day life, so with that in mind, we want to take you through our top tips for feeling more energetic and the best ways to fight daily fatigue.
New research has emerged that has revealed the negative effects that our snooze buttons are having on our faltering energy levels throughout the day. By continuing to snooze and fall back to sleep we are losing the morning release of cortisol that our brain releases when we wake up, that gives us the energy we need to get going.
So by interrupting this hormone cycle, this is the first thing that we are doing in our day to day lives that is playing havoc with our energy levels. So rather than snoozing for 20 minutes, set your alarm for 20 minutes later, and make sure it’s at the other side of the room so that you have to actually get out of bed to switch it off.
Create a Sleeping Routine
Scientific research also reveals that by creating a proper sleeping routine, we can trick our bodies into falling asleep quicker and then enjoy a good night of uninterrupted sleep. By going to bed at the same time every night, and waking up at the same time every morning our bodies become accustomed to a natural sleep pattern and therefore our quality of sleep is radically improved. Meaning no more groggy mornings and late nights laying in our beds, staring up at the ceiling.
Your mattress could be a contributing factor to poor quality of sleep. Sleeping on cheap or old mattresses can seriously interfere with our sleep patterns and can be a huge factor in why we can get out of bed in the morning feeling like we have barely slept.
There are a huge amount of options available these days for a wide array of problems from postural issues, right through to insomnia so the best place to start is by researching the best mattresses for any particular ailments or sleeping problems you have. One of the best products on the market at the moment are memory foam mattresses. These high-quality mattresses mould around our bodies whilst we sleep, promising a premium night’s sleep. So get online or down to your local mattress company and start looking at the best options for you.
Let There be Light
Your curtains could also be making a difference to your daily morning struggle to get out of bed. Black out blinds and very thick dark curtains fool us into thinking it is still the middle of the night when it’s time to get out of bed in the morning, which makes the daily morning fatigue an even bigger battle than it needs to be.
Light curtains, that allow the natural morning light to seep in will have your bodies adjusting normally and will help you to get out of bed easier and feel more energetic in turn.
Our bodies need fuel for energy and the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Skipping breakfast is a big mistake as we don’t have sufficient fuel to provide us with the energy we need to get the day started. Denying ourselves this vital first meal of the day means that we struggle with fatigue moving into the day as our whole system is out of kilter.
It’s not hard to understand this when we think that sleeping is a form of fasting, so it’s essential that we kick start our systems every morning with top energy releasing breakfasts such as porridge, eggs or whole grain toast.
Although it’s one of the last things we feel like doing when we are suffering from low energy, exercise actually has the opposite effect than we would think. When feeling lethargic we naturally want to protect every ounce of energy we have and we assume that any exercise is going to rid us of any last low bars of energy we are operating on.
However doing exercise actually gives us a boost of energy and research has revealed that doing regular exercise actually increases our energy levels by up to 20% If you’re not used to exercising start slowly and build yourself up to a strong exercise routine that energises you and makes you feel great.
Move Away From Your Desk
Staying seated in the same position for anything more than 2 hours can have your energy levels plummeting and your eyes closing. So make sure you regularly take a break from your desk to move around and have a quick refresh. Even if that’s only to make a cup of tea, have a quick chat with a colleague or even have a little stretch. Your body needs constant movement to feel awake and keep your oxygen flowing, so not staying at your desk for too long is really important.
Vitamin B is the best friend of anyone who suffers from low energy and is a must-have supplement for anyone wanting to feel more vibrant and energetic. So make sure that on top of a balanced diet you are washing down a dose of Vitamin B every day to keep this topped up in your system daily.
Avoid Overeating at Lunch
Carbs are definitely not to be sneered at when looking for a little extra energy, however overdoing it can have us seriously slumping in the afternoon. Large lunches will have us feeling uncomfortable and sluggish in the afternoon and will have our energy levels crashing and burning before our work day is over. So although you definitely need not fear ‘The Carb’ be mindful of not binging at lunch, instead opting for a healthy, light yet energy boosting lunch.
Change of Scenery
If you are one of the nearly 40% of people who eat their lunch at their desk this could be seriously interfering with your energy levels. Getting outside and enjoying the Vitamin D that the sun provides is one of the best things you can do to give you that lunchtime boost and have you feeling ready to take on the afternoon.
Fight the Melatonin
As the day begins to draw to an end, Melatonin, which is the hormone that helps you to sleep, will begin to rise in your system. This hormone can make it very difficult to feel motivated to do anything in the evening, however fighting it with exercise, post-work activities or even just walking home whilst listening to music, will mean you can pass through this early evening slump and reboot your energy supply once again.
Booze May be Affecting Your Sleep
Long, hard days can certainly warrant a nice refreshing beer or comforting glass of wine, but be careful about getting into the wrong routines at night. You should always stop drinking alcohol at least two hours before you go to bed as it can cause restless sleep. Also overdoing it on the booze front can mean that you don’t sleep as deeply as you normally would, meaning that you wake up feeling like you’ve had much less sleep than you actually had. A good bevvy after a busy day can be great, but being mindful of the above, and of course having a few alcohol-free nights in the week, will make a huge difference in your sleeping patterns.
We’ve talked about exercise and how being active is essential for increased energy levels, but it is also equally as important to invest time in yourself to just unwind and relax. We should all be making sure that we indulge ourselves in some serious chill time for mind and body recovery. Sometimes sofa and Netflix are exactly what the doctor ordered and if we are feeling really shattered we shouldn’t feel guilty about that urge to just down sticks and settle in for a night of Netflix and sofa time. We all need time to recharge our batteries and it’s just as important to indulge in this downtime as it is to push ourselves to be more active in other moments.
Similarly, it’s also important that we spend time pampering ourselves and doing nice things for ourselves in order to raise the feel-good hormone serotonin. By making sure we do little things like running ourselves a hot, relaxing bath or meeting our friends for dinner once a week, we are actively ensuring that we stay positive, happy and content in our day to day lives. Taking pleasure from the simple things in life is one of the most important things we can to increase our levels of happiness and in turn keep on top of our general health.
It’s all about balance and it takes the time to create the right balance that works for us individually. But starting to integrate the above tips should have you feeling more energetic and generally enjoying a greater sense of wellbeing in no time at all.