Are you feeling tired, sluggish or simply disinterested in things that used to excite you? These 10 tips will help to boost your energy and revive your get-up-and-go.
1. Eat breakfast
It sounds simple, but studies show that eating breakfast puts you in a better mood and leaves you with more energy all day long. In fact, skipping any meal can leave you feeling lethargic, and make it more likely that you will snack on unhealthy foods.
2. Power nap
Our brains are asked to process so much information so quickly these days that mental fatigue and information overload are common causes of afternoon energy slumps. Taking a 30 to 60-minute powernap can give you a boost for the rest of the day and may also help you to better retain what you have learnt.
3. Go for a walk
Exercising to increase your energy may seem counterintuitive, but physical activity, especially walking, increases your energy levels. A brisk 10-minute walk can wake you up and make you more productive for up to two hours afterwards. And you don’t need any special training or equipment to do it, so you can start right away.
4. Drink more water
Thirst signals from your body can masquerade in a number of different ways. Often when you think you feel hungry or fatigued, you may actually be a little dehydrated. So when lethargy strikes, try drinking a refreshing glass of water. If you often feel a little tired during the day, try keeping a 500ml water bottle with you, and drink one full bottle before and one full bottle after lunch. The best way to stay hydrated is to take small sips throughout the day, as this allows your body to absorb the water more easily.
5. Get a better night’s sleep
There are a number of things that can disrupt our sleep, most of which can be dealt with fairly easily.
Drinking alcohol just before bed may help you fall asleep, but it can also stop you from entering your REM cycle, which is when you get your best rest during the night. By cutting down on alcohol before bedtime you will get a better night’s sleep, and wake up feeling more refreshed.
The time you fall asleep is important in how rested you feel. Getting eight hours of sleep is good, but if you sleep from 10pm to 6am you will feel more rested than if you sleep from 1am to 9am.
It is normal to toss and turn a little at night, but if you are lying awake for hours every night then you may have a form of insomnia. If you wish to look at some other options before taking the medical route, then give these quick tips a go. If they don’t work, then you should make an appointment with your GP. Try to refrain from eating within two hours of going to bed, ensuring your bedroom is pitch black and letting a little fresh air into the room as you sleep. Try not to overheat your bedroom, as you will sleep better if the room is slightly cool.
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6. Change your diet
Keeping your blood sugar balanced can be the quickest way to deal with fatigue. Eating sweet, sugary food will cause your blood sugar levels to spike, which gives you an initial burst of energy but leaves you feeling tired afterwards. Eating whole grains, which provide a slow and steady release of energy, and cutting back on sugar will keep your blood sugar levels more consistent, leaving you with more energy at the end of the day.
7. Check your blood pressure
Aproximately 36 per cent of Australians have high blood pressure, and this statistic increases dramatically with age. High blood pressure can be a source of ongoing fatigue, so ensure you have your blood pressure checked once a year by your GP.
8. Consume more magnesium
Even if you are eating a balanced diet you may still feel a little wilted by the early hours of the afternoon. It is possible this is caused by a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is necessary for your body to perform over 300 biochemical reactions, including breaking down glucose to supply your body with energy.
To increase your magnesium intake you can either try taking a course of supplements, or simply add a handful of hazelnuts, almonds or cashews to your daily diet, and increase your intake of wholegrains.
9. Have your thyroid function and complete blood cell count checked
If you are waking up sluggish after a good night’s sleep, you may have a thyroid problem or anemia. Thyroid issues often develop during perimenopause for women, but anyone can have a thyroid dysfunction.
Anemia is a reduction in your red blood cell count, and it can mean that your body isn’t getting enough oxygen to sustain your energy.
Either of these problems can cause fatigue, and can be tested for with a simple blood test.
10. Deal with stress and anger
Stress and contained anger are two of the biggest energy killers. Stress can leave you mentally and physically exhausted, and long term stress can leave you doing less every day, but still feeling more and more tired.
Similarly, containing anger can make you feel fatigued, as you are spending so much energy containing your angry feelings that you don’t have any reserves left for anything else.
Both stress and anger can be dealt with. Some people find that doing exercise can burn off the chemicals produced by stress and anger, while others find doing something quiet and relaxing can stop them from experiencing these emotions in the first place.
Make sure you take time out for yourself every single day, even if it is only 20 minutes. Incorporate activities into your daily routine which leave you happy and relaxed. You may not think you have time, but if it increases your energy levels then you will still be able to get everything done, and you will feel better while you’re doing it.
Does your get-up-and-go fluctuate? Do you often wake up tired? Could it be for one of the reasons suggested?
Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.