The way we think about energy in this age of productivity has become a point of contention for many when it comes to looking after your mental and physical well-being. We think we need to be on the go constantly, churning out results and functioning at the highest level of productivity. In this process, you find yourself constantly reaching for caffeine to fuel your body and brain to keep going. But that doesn’t qualify as ‘Real Energy’. The result is late nights and early morning calls, trying to get in a power nap to keep the fire burning during the day, and then doing it all over again the next day.
The truth is, that caffeine doesn’t actually give you any source of energy in the first place. Instead, it’s an Adenosine-receptor antagonist. What that means in simple terms is that caffeine dulls our response to fatigue. It makes us forget that we are tired, so we feel stimulated and alert. While this in itself isn’t particularly dangerous, addiction to caffeine is.
In order to live an optimal, healthy life, you must get restful, restorative sleep each night. It fuels your brain, heals your skin, fights ageing and diseases and gives you a reservoir of energy to get through each day. What’s important is to have a grasp on the importance of sleep and how to cultivate your own personal routine that works best for you, since we are all unique and need different things.
Unfortunately, it’s all too easy and delicious to consume a frothy latte in the morning and get going with your day. Building up a better sleeping habit takes time and effort. But the benefits that come with it are incredible and set you up for a lifetime of better sleep and energy. Here are some tips on how to have more energy, hold on to taking that first sip before getting through this list.
Wake up at the same time every day
When you wake up every day based on your body’s natural sleep cycle, it is an immediate step in the right direction. The science behind it, is that when you wake up at a specific time, the melatonin production in your brain slows down. This takes sleep inertia out of the equation.
Sleep inertia is that groggy, cloudy feeling you get when your alarm sounds. It feels obtrusive and all you can think of in the moment is tossing over and going back to sleep, like it’s the only comfort in the world. This is a real indication that something is amiss with your sleeping patterns, which impact your energy through the rest of the day, if not your overall wellness.
Get light within 15 minutes of waking up
While this may sound like a farce, the science behind it is real. Getting sunlight, or even artificial light in your eyes first thing in the morning triggers melatonin production 16 hours later. This will make you naturally sleepy when it’s time for the lights to go out at your regular bedtime. Not to mention, that early morning light acts as a natural stimulant and wake up call to boost your energy through the morning.
Wake up your respiratory system with 15 deep breaths. This floods your brain with oxygen and wakes up your system. As soon as you wake up and open your eyes, take a few deep breaths right from bed. Continue some mindful breathing as you go on your morning walk while getting in that early sunlight, which brings us to our next tip…
Once you’re able to get moving, it will help get your energy levels going in your body. This is because it forces your metabolism to increase and causes a cascade of hormonal changes. It promotes cortisol production, which in simple terms is the energy hormone. Here’s a special guided yoga video courtesy ThinkRight.me to get you going in the morning.
This is why practicing mindful meditation, slow yoga, breathwork and other stress busters is essential when it’s time for bed. It reduces cortisol production for better sleep.
Hydrate, Don’t Caffeinate
Sleep itself dehydrates you. A sound night of sleep drains you of almost a litre of water. Hydration helps get every system in your body working, which promotes energy. When you hydrate in the morning, you rehydrate your brain, which has been working overtime to get rid of metabolic waste. Rehydrating gets you ready for a day of clear thinking. A bonus is if you drink some warm lemon and mint infused water to see the natural boost of energy your body gets!
We hope this article has inspired you to put down that cup of coffee and focus on natural, tried, and tested methods of boosting energy.