Are you among the majority of Americans who suffer from fatigue and low energy? If you have a hard time getting up in the morning, you certainly aren’t alone. Studies show that only one in 7 Americans get up in the morning feeling well rested every day of the week.
How are people supposed to get ahead if they continue to fall back on their sleep? Experts say that seven hours of sleep is sufficient, but there are other things you can do throughout the day to combat your fatigue and naturally boost your energy.
Set the afternoon coffee aside and consider these 5 ways to increase your energy and decrease your fatigue throughout the day.
1. Improve the quality of your sleep
While you may be getting enough sleep, is it quality sleep? It is important to stay asleep through the night so your body gets enough of that deep, restorative level of sleep that it needs.
One way to make sure you get a good night’s sleep is to begin every night with a bedtime routine that lets your body know it is time to sleep. Renee Zellweger has a relaxing bedtime routine which helps her calm down after a long day and prepare her mind to wind down.
Also, make sure that your sleeping environment is conducive to a full night’s rest. Turn off all of the lights in and around your room and make sure that there is nothing that will make noise in the middle of the night and wake you up. Use a fan to help keep the air circulating and to add some white noise to your bedroom.
Finally, make sure that you don’t drink a lot of fluids before heading to bed and certainly don’t drink caffeine during the afternoon or evening hours. You don’t want get up multiple times in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, so hydrate as much as you can during the day and stop drinking soon after dinner.
2. Exercise more!
Exercise is a natural stress reducer because it pumps up your endorphins. When you engage in physical activity, your brain produces more of these feel-good neurotransmitters that also act as a natural pain reliever.
Research has proven multiple times that physical activity positively impacts sleep quality. Professor Brad Cardinal, an expert in exercise science at Oregon State University, says that getting physical activity on a regular basis may be one of the best non-pharmaceutical alternatives to improving sleep.
If you do not already exercise, start small. You can take your time to gradually build up your physical activity over several weeks until you reach the recommended amount of 2.5 hours of moderate aerobic exercise every week. You can start with some fast walking or swimming. As long as you get your heart rate up, you will be benefitting your body.
3. Engage in relaxing activities
One of the best ways to combat fatigue is to engage in relaxing activities during the day, in order to calm your mind. Because stress uses up a lot of energy, try to reduce it by including more relaxing activities into your daily routine.
Whenever you feel your stress level rise during the day, resort to a relaxing activity that you know will calm you down. You can either do a gentle workout, take a walk, listen to some music, read a book, or you can just spend time with your friends.
Because in our modern society, people are overwhelmed with work, stress and responsibilities, it’s highly important that we try to find the right balance in our lives, mixing up work with fun and relaxing activities. This balance is, in itself, an energy booster.
Try some light meditation or yoga to help calm your body and get your focus back. There are several ways that yoga helps relieve stress and calm the brain. Yoga will also help stretch out your muscles to reduce the chance that you will get muscle cramps during the night.
Mindfulness meditation is also a great way to help the mind wind down. This type of meditation involves focusing on your breath and paying attention to the present moment without allowing your mind to drift onto other concerns about the future or the past. This type of meditation helps to evoke the relaxation response, which is one of the best ways to combat fatigue.
Meditating will help you let go of things in your life that may be causing you stress and allow your mind to refocus on the things that are important to you.
5. Sleep on your side
You are probably wondering what does your sleep position have to do with this whatsoever. However, you will be surprised to find out that side sleeping is the optimal sleeping position to get the best rest. Doctors actually encourage pregnant women to sleep on their left side because it helps increase circulation to the heart, benefitting both the mother and the baby.
For those who are not expecting, sleeping on the left side is beneficial because it can ease heartburn and reduce acid reflux, which makes it easier for people suffering from these conditions to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Furthermore, choosing to sleep in other positions, such as on your stomach, can lead to pain throughout the day. Sleeping on your stomach flattens the natural curve of your spine, which can result in lower back pain. Also, sleeping with your head turned to one side strains the neck and can lead to neck pain.
Sleeping on your side also helps you to avoid instances of snoring and sleep apnea that are likely to happen if you sleep on your back. When you sleep on your back, gravity forces your tongue to collapse into your airway, obstructing breathing and creating snoring noises.
If you are finding that you are tired throughout the day and need a boost of energy, try these tips to increase your energy levels and get rid of fatigue.
Don’t forget that the quality of your sleep has a huge impact on your overall health, so think twice before grabbing a mid-afternoon coffee drink for a pick-me-up.
Author bio: Alex Moore is a Side Sleeper Guide writer and editor. He is keen on health and sleep research, sustainable living and motivational advice. If you’re interested in reading more of his work, go on Twitter.