Many adults in the workforce report experiencing low energy levels at certain times of the day. There are several reasons for this, but primarily we suffer from two things: One is lack of sleep, and the other is poor nutrition. We excuse making changes in these areas, claiming there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to do everything that is expected of us and still live a healthy lifestyle. But here are some simple steps that will help you get more sleep and eat better to raise your energy levels.
Studies show that the people who work the most hours each week sleep less than people working a typical 40 hours a week. This results in excessive sleep on the weekends, and less time with family and friends. If you have a heavy work and family life, your best strategy is to optimize your sleep during the week. This will raise your energy levels throughout the busy days.
Doctors recommend getting at least seven hours of quality sleep at night. This means sleeping in the deep sleep stage for 10 to 25 percent of your night sleep, 20 to 25 percent in the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep stage, and 50 to 60 percent in the light sleep stage. The more time in deep sleep and REM sleep, the more energy you’ll have throughout the day.
Of course, moving through these cycles is not in your full control. But there are some things you can do to help yourself along in your sleep. Doctors recommend no caffeine after lunch, hanging blackout curtains to block morning sunlight, and using a noise machine to prevent unexpected noises from waking you up.
For people having a hard time falling to sleep, they can listen to relaxation recordings, which walk you through how to clear your mind and relax your body, as well as coach you on breathing exercises to help you wind down.
If you find your energy levels drop midafternoon, you could need better nutrition to get that pep back in your step. When this happens to most people, they reach for a sugary soda or energy drink loaded with caffeine. But this is only a quick fix.
You’re tired in the afternoon because you’re experiencing a drop in your blood sugar, or glucose level. Glucose is an energy source for your body. Your body naturally extracts sugar from the foods you eat and drink. These sugars move through your bloodstream to your pancreas, which creates insulin for the cells of your body to use as energy.
But if you eat and drink lots of sugary things, as well as processed carbohydrates such as white bread or rice, your blood sugar level will spike. After a spike, you feel tired and sluggish again. Then you reach for another soda or energy drink. The best strategy, however, is to eat more proteins and fats with your carbohydrates. This will slow your body’s absorption of unhealthy sugar, and you will not experience as many drops in your blood sugar.
You can make the switch from sodas and energy drinks to fruits such as apples, bananas, grapes, etc. Carrots and celery are also high-energy foods. You can dip these in salad dressing or hummus. Celery coated in peanut butter is a good combination. Both salad dressing and peanut butter are fat-based and protein-based. Natural protein powders can be mixed into delicious afternoon drinks if you’re craving a drink. These protein powders are loaded with lots of energy-building nutrients.
Once you’ve improved your sleep and midday nutrition, you can further increase your energy level by squeezing in some exercise, even if it’s a simple walk at lunch. Disconnect from your phone and other distractions, and meditate for a few minutes at a time throughout your day. And drink lots of water throughout the day to help flush out toxins from your body.
To learn more about adding healthy nutritional supplements to your diet for a boost of energy, call BioPharma Scientific LLC at 877-772-4362.