If you want to see an increase in your energy levels during the day, then there is nothing more important than getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is what will allow you to recharge your batteries by cementing what you’ve learned during the day, by replenishing your stores of neurotransmitters and hormones and by undoing the cumulative damage that the day inflicts.
Unfortunately, most of us do not give our sleep the respect it deserves, and as a result, we aren’t able to perform at our best during the day. Read on, and we’ll look at some of the things you can do to change that.
GET YOUR TEMPERATURE RIGHT
- Temperature is highly critical for your body’s sleep-wake cycle and can impact on you in numerous different ways. Managing this is hard, however, which is why we will very often wake up feeling too hot in the night or feel freezing first thing in the morning.
- One thing to do to fix your temperature right away is to take a warm bath right before bed. Not only will this help you regulate your temperature by keeping your body warmer but it will also encourage your muscles to relax, which can contribute to improving your sleep.
- Another tip is to try and keep your room slightly cool. It is the temperature our body is designed to sleep in, and it will help you to maintain your body temperature better throughout the night.
SLEEP IN A HAMMOCK
This isn’t for everyone, but it sure is worth a try! Some people claim that sleeping in bed more closely resembles the way we would have slept during our evolutionary history. This first of all has the advantage of taking the weight off of our back and neck and allowing us to feel almost ‘weightless.’
Meanwhile, some say that it more closely resembles the way we would have slept in the wild – and thus is more likely to provide a sounder night’s sleep. Try it for yourself and see what you think!
TAKE SOME TIME OUT
Another tip is simply to take a time out before hitting the sack. This is surprisingly important – have a breather before bed can help you to not only calm your mind but also take a decisive break from things like laptop screens, phones, and other artificial light sources.
Combined, these changes prevent their light from making you feel artificially awake and stimulating the release of cortisol. That, in turn, means you can sleep much more deeply.
Simply getting outside more during the day will do wonders for your health – especially if you are getting direct sunlight, exercise, and fresh air. This will help to set your circadian rhythms (body clock) while also providing you with vitamin D (which regulates hormones) and improving your circulation (via the fresh air).
The exercise, of course, helps you to tire yourself out more, which also results in a sounder night when you get there.
SPLASH SOME COLD WATER
Try splashing some cold water on your face right after you wake up; it will have the reaction of causing blood to rush to your face and head (thus oxygenating your brain), while simultaneously giving you more adrenaline and norepinephrine – which are released whenever we get cold.
It is an excellent way to shock yourself awake, and it’s something you can do any time – just excuse yourself to the bathroom!
JUMP UP AND DOWN
Physical exercise is a great way to wake yourself up because it gets the heart pumping and blood flowing. You don’t necessarily need to do a full-blown workout, though. Just jumping up and down or doing some press ups is enough to trigger the right result and you should find this can instantly give you a burst of energy. Jumping jacks anyone?
A lot of tiredness is psychosomatic: which is to say that it’s a combination of both psychological and physical factors. If you are slumped with your shoulders down and arms hanging, for instance, this will make you feel more tired.
Stand with your arms up and out in a ‘V’ shape on the other hand, and you’ll enjoy a surge in energy. This is called a ‘power position’, and it’s a proven way to release more testosterone in the human body. Likewise, if you’re feeling down, try smiling! ‘Facial feedback’ is a psychological phenomenon that tells us you only have to smile to put yourself in a good mood – even if it’s a fake smile, it works!
AGAIN GET OUTSIDE
Not only will brisk air have the same effect as cold water but any sunshine you get will also trigger the release of positive hormones that help to wake you up and give you more energy.
HAVE A SNACK
If you’re low on blood sugar, then your energy levels will dip in accordance. Don’t eat anything too sugary, though, as this will cause a sudden spike followed by a severe dip. Instead, eat something that will slowly release energy throughout the day. An excellent choice is oats or a saturated fat source like avocado.
TAKE A POWER NAP AT WORK
If you have 10 minutes, grab a power nap. In fact, anything up to 20 minutes or over 90 minutes will work fine. Don’t stop in-between, though, or you’ll wake up during the deepest ‘SWS’ stages of sleep, resulting in grogginess and the dreaded ‘sleep inertia.’ Otherwise, this is a great way to charge your batteries to get back to work like a boss.
LISTEN TO ROCK MUSIC
Energizing music is a great way to give yourself a boost. If you don’t fancy rock music, start with something low tempo and then gradually work your way up to faster tracks. By the way, “Bring me the Horizon” is my favorite these days.