Didn’t sleep great last night? Don’t sweat it, it happens.
Sleep can be impacted by multiple factors including stress, late night caffeine intake, or from staring at your phone for too long. In fact, the majority of us will experience symptoms of insomnia at some point in our lives. You can improve your sleep by exercising, mediating, eating well, and exercising every day. While it’s not great to lose sleep in the long term, there are a few tricks you can utilize to boost your energy on a post-sleep deprived evening. Here are 3 ways you can improve your energy today.
1) Eat a carb-friendly breakfast
No, I’m not talking about your favorite PopTart or pancakes covered in syrup. I’m talking about a breakfast comprised of blood sugar stabilizing carbohydrates that will offer you sustained energy throughout the day. After a poor night’s sleep, grabbing an on-the-go meal high in sugar and refined carbohydrates is likely to lead to a mid-morning blood sugar spiral, making your already-tired body work even harder. Instead, focus on fiber-rich foods including oats, buckwheat, seeds, apples, and berries. Try making a warm bowl of oatmeal, seeded whole wheat toast with an egg and avocado on top, or a banana with almond butter.
2) Take a brisk walk
A brisk walk is sure to get your heart pumping and blood moving. A study published in the British Medical Journal found that getting up and moving after sitting for long periods of time can improve feelings of fatigue.1 In addition, just one 30-minute walk at 4 miles per hour can burn anywhere from 135-200 calories.2 Even if you can’t fit in 30 minutes, take a quick jog around the block to help waken your mind and body.
3) Get ready the long way
Don’t skimp on self-care! Give yourself enough time to get ready the long way; take a shower, wash your face, style your hair, or whatever else you need to do. Self-care makes you feel more confident to tackle your day, even if you don’t feel energetic. If you can handle it, taking a cold shower is a sure way to fire up your body. Studies show that exposure to cold can activate the nervous system and increase endorphins and adrenaline in the brain.3 Cold showers may also send electrical impulses from nerve endings to the brain, which have been shown to reduce symptoms associated with depression.
No matter what you decide to do, focus on keeping a positive mood, even when you don’t feel like it. As Leonardo Di Vinci once said, “…a day well spent brings happy sleep”.
1) Wennberg P, Boraxbekk CJ, Wheeler M, et al. Acute effects of breaking up prolonged sitting on fatigue and cognition: a pilot study. BMJ Open. 2016;6(2):e009630.
2) Calories burned in 30 minutes for people of three different weights. Harvard Health Publishing. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diet-and-weight-loss/calories-burned-in-30-minutes-of-leisure-and-routine-activities. Published July 2004. Accessed May 7, 2019.
3) Shevchuk NA. Adapted cold shower as a potential treatment for depression. Med Hypotheses. 2008;70(5):995-1001.