Energy Fixes: Tips to Boost Low Energy
Looking for more pep in your step? While fatigue is the symptom, let's look closer at the possible cause. Start by focusing on just one of these areas and feel your energy improve!
Get Enough Sleep
Let's start with the basics. If you aren’t getting enough sleep you may find it hard to maintain your energy throughout the day. The National Sleep Foundation found that 7 to 9 hours of sleep a day is optimal. Hard time falling asleep? Consider your “sleep hygiene” and everything that may affect your quality of sleep, which may include sleeping in a dark, quiet room (or with a white noise machine to block outside noise), keeping a cool temperature, and limiting screen time right before bed.
Exercise is one of the best ways to boost energy levels and get a good night’s sleep. When you exercise, you burn energy which needs to be restored with sleep. Exercise causes the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine which are hormones that give us energy. So, if you find yourself feeling sleepy at your desk try a brisk walk for a quick pick-me-up.
We all have some stress in life, but the key is to limit it so that it doesn’t become constant or overwhelming. Some stress-reducing strategies are spending time with friends, practicing meditation or yoga, speaking with a therapist, or even hanging out with your favorite furry pal. Don’t let your to-do list drive you crazy. Ask for help at home or at work.
Eat a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Specifically, choose a balance of lean protein, healthy fats, and high-fiber carbohydrates including whole fruit and plenty of vegetables. Eating small snacks and meals throughout the day is ideal because eating one large meal can cause an energy drain. Limit sugar (especially sweet drinks and desserts) and refined carbohydrates like potato chips, white crackers, white bread, pastries, and white noodles which can cause a spike in blood sugar and a crash in energy shortly after.
Even though alcohol has a sedative effect (causing you to be drowsy), it also interrupts normal REM cycle sleep, which is a restorative sleep cycle that helps you stay alert and attentive the next day. If falling and staying asleep is a challenge for you, consider an alcohol-free beverage.
Drink water consistently throughout your day. When you get dehydrated, one of the first signs is feeling tired. Avoid that by drinking and refilling your water bottle every few hours.
Enjoy Caffeine in Moderation
Caffeine has been shown to increase energy levels and response time, but don’t overdo it. Too much caffeine can keep you awake at night causing a vicious cycle of sleepless nights and over-caffeination. To avoid this be sure to enjoy your caffeine in the first half of your day and skip the sugar sweeteners.
How much sleep do we really need? (2021, March 10). Retrieved from https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Manage stress: Strengthen your support network. (2019, October 9). Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress
Gidus, T. (2020, July 17). Eating to boost energy. Retrieved from https://www.eatright.org/food/nutrition/healthy-eating/eating-to-boost-energy