Feeling Tired? Recharge with our 5 top tips...
We all have days where we feel a little bit groggy and can’t seem to shake off the tiredness. So, we asked our resident sleep expert, Dave Gibson, to share his top 5 tips on how to give yourself a boost of energy to get through the day…
The key to shaking off the tired feeling is to establish and maintain a good sleep routine – and this means going to bed, and getting up at pretty much the same time, every 24 hours (including weekends!).
But modern life doesn’t always allow us to do this. Working or playing can easily disrupt your cycle and stress can also keep you from falling asleep and wake you in the middle of the night. Poor sleep, on a continuous basis, is not a good thing and can impact the body leaving you tired and weary. So the most ideal thing to do is look at your sleep pattern and do your best to make sure you get regular, good quality sleep.
But for those days when you just can’t seem to shake the tiredness, try these tips to give yourself a boost:
- Get A Morning Caffeine Fix
Kick starting the day with caffeine (tea or coffee is the usually the preferred choice first thing in the morning) but make sure you stop after lunch as it will affect your ability to go to sleep that evening.
Caffeine stimulates the release of cortisol in the body. Cortisol is the hormone that is designed to make us feel more alert, and its release naturally peaks in the morning. It’s also released when we are stressed, often being referred to as the stress hormone. So tactical use of caffeine in the morning will definitely give you a sharp boost, but don’t forget to stop after lunch as it’s well known to keep us awake at night!
- Go Out for a Run or Brisk Walk
If you have time, then go out for a run at lunchtime or at the very least get out in the fresh air and go for a decent walk. Running and exercise in general, helps your body release chemicals called endorphins. These feel good hormones can give you the natural euphoric boost you seek. Getting outside also means you get more sunlight and therefore more Vitamin D (sunlight creates Vitamin D in our body), which is also part of our natural wake up mechanism. Furthermore, exercise reduces stress and anxiety, boosts self-esteem, and is proven to improve sleep quality. So physical exercise around lunchtime will give you a boost and you’re less likely to hit the afternoon lull too.
- Try Glucose Instead of Coffee & Biscuits in the Afternoon
- Protein Bars Release Slow Energy
After lunch, you usually get a crash where you might reach for the coffee and your favourite biscuits or chocolate bar. But it’s best to avoid all types of caffeine in the afternoon (this includes energy drinks and chocolate as well as coffee and conventional tea) and sugary foods and drink too. Apart from being unhealthy and potentially full of unwanted calories, they will also affect your ability to get off to sleep. Try something like Gluco tabs – handy 11 calorie tablets you can suck or chew for a great pick me up to beat the afternoon lull. They contain no nasties either, including caffeine.
Protein bars are a good option for an energy boost, as they take longer to digest and therefore release energy slowly. Some protein bars are healthy yet sweet and tasty, so you can still have your sweet fix – there’s a wide variety of bars available but something as simple as an oat, nut and honey will do. Try the Almond Vanilla My Bar Zero from My Protein, it is low in calories, saturated fat and carbohydrates but packed with 20g of protein.
- Power Naps
If there’s a quiet room at work or you are at home and you’re still struggling to get through the day, a power nap is a good option. A short nap of 20-30 minutes will improve mental alertness. Even better, a full 90-minute cycle nap will be restorative if you have that amount of time. Avoid naps between 30-60 minutes, as this will leave you feeling groggy, as you would be waking up from the deepest part of the sleep cycle. Typically, the best time to nap is around 2pm, the siesta period when our body would most naturally feel tired in the day.