Go the F*ck to Sleep: Nobody is Getting Enough Rest
By Kurtis Bright
But Since You’re not Getting Enough Sleep Anyway, Here Are Some Natural Energy Boosters
Don’t you miss nap time like we used to have in kindergarten? It was so nice to lie down on your mat after some juice and a cookie for a luxurious afternoon sleep. It’s not fair that as adults most of us don’t get to enjoy the simple joy and energy boost that comes with a short snooze.
In this era when nobody is getting enough sleep anymore, no matter how much we know about the damage it causes us, more than ever we should be taking the time to sleep more.
But since you’re not going to do that because you’re overworked and overstressed like the rest of us, here are a few natural ways to give yourself an extra boost of energy when you really need it.
- Eat a healthy snack - Hypoglycemia or low blood sugar has a variety of ugly effects depending on the person: you might get sluggish and foggy, you might get the dreaded “hangry.” It is similar to what happens after a sugar crash: when your blood sugar skyrockets then plummets to earth, it leaves you more tired than you were before. However you can combat this with a small, healthy snack that doesn’t have a high glycemic index, for instance some carrots, or spoonful of peanut butter, maybe some avocado on toast. In short, what you want to go for is something with a bit of fiber, protein, and hopefully some iron and vitamin C to give you that extra energy boost.
- Drink up - Dehydration is tricky: it often manifests as something else. Symptoms vary: there’s the headache, of course, but another trick many people don’t realize is that a common symptom of dehydration is hunger. And one of the first effects dehydration has on our bodies is it drains our energy. It can even be dangerous: dehydration can lead to fatigue, confusion, and even fainting, so ignore it at your peril. If you’re feeling a little logy or a bit peckish on a long afternoon at the office, grab some water first before firing up the coffee maker or going to the snack vending machine.
- Get out - Going for a simple walk can have a tremendous energy boosting effect. Counterintuitively, moving around when you’re feeling sluggish--especially when you least feel like moving--can kick you an extra reserve energy boost you didn’t know you had in you. This effect is even more pronounced if you can get outside and expose yourself to the blue light that is naturally visible during the day. It has been shown in numerous studies that the bright light of the outdoors kicks the hypothalamus into high gear. That’s the part of the brain that controls our circadian rhythms, and tells us when to sleep and when to get going, so take advantage of the natural ally you have in the sun.
- Every breath you take - We all know that breathing pulls oxygen into our bodies. But did you know that deep breaths transport more oxygen to various parts of the body and brain? This has not only a relaxing effect, but also can be tremendously invigorating. Take a moment to remember that you are a living, breathing animal instead of an extension of your computer and smart phone.
- Rock it out - No matter your musical tastes, kicking out some high-energy jams when you are feeling a little dusty and dreary can really recharge your day. A study in 2011 showed that when people listened to their favorite music even for as little as 15 minutes, it flooded their brains with dopamine, which is the brain chemical associated with reward and pleasure. They also found higher levels of oxytocin and serotonin, both vital components of a sense of well-being and energy.