Sleep deprivation is common in our culture. We pack our schedules with too much to do, and when push comes to shove, a good night’s sleep gets thrown out the window in favor of finishing off that to-do list or getting caught up on our favorite TV shows. With so much going on, most of don’t pay adequate attention to exercise, proper nutrition or maintaining good mental and emotional health—all of which can leave us feeling lethargic and rundown. When our physical state of being lags behind our busy lives, we tend to reach for a cup of coffee or a can of soda. While caffeine does provide a temporary boost of energy, it’s not enough to sustain us for the day—and it doesn’t address the underlying problems behind our lack of energy.
If you’re feeling fatigued, put down that caffeine and try these six steps to boost your energy naturally.
1. Hit the Hay
Getting a full night’s sleep is the first key to feeling fully energized. Shorting yourself on sleep does more than make you feel tired the next day. Sleep deprivation impairs judgment, reaction time and mental functions. Sleep deprivation has also been tied to depression and weight gain. Although the “perfect” amount of sleep varies from person to person (for some it’s five hours, for others 10), most adults require between seven and eight hours. If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, your bedroom could be the culprit. Check these bedroom trouble spots to get a better night’s sleep.
2. Work Out
Exercise gets the blood flowing, which helps us to feel more awake. Studies have shown that exercising on a regular basis reduces general fatigue in nearly every group, from healthy adults to the chronically ill, and that exercise has a stronger effect on sleepiness than even the narcolepsy drug modafinil.