Updated: Dec 19, 2022
My clients often tell me that they struggle with persistent tiredness, and struggle to muster the energy to carry out every day tasks. This is a common feeling in our modern world. Luckily, there are several things you can do that can help you regain your energy. Read on to find out more:
Prioritise Sleep and Hit The Hay!
It might sound rather obvious, but if you're consistently sleeping less than your body needs, it's going to impact your energy levels!
Because we live in a world that never seems to sleep, it's easy to try and stretch your day and fit more things in (just one more episode...!), however, sleeping less than your body needs can not only have an impact on long -term health, it can mean that on a daily basis, you can find youself reaching for caffeinated drinks and sugary treats to help "top up" your energy or pick you up from a slump.
There is no set number for how many hours a night you should be sleeping, but general advice is 7-8 hours. Of course, you might find you need more or less than this to feel at your best.
Focus On Hydration!
It's easy to forget to drink enough water, especially on a busy day. Since many processes in the human body require water, it's important to prioritise drinking water.
Signs of dehydration include: headaches, low energy, dizziness, tiredness.
In order to make drinking more water a habit, get youself a paraben-free or glass water bottle that you enjoy using, and aim to drink 2 litres of liquid a day (caffeinated beverages do not count!). Work out how many times you need to refill your bottle/day in order to hit your goal, and keep it next to you on your desk/place of work and aim to take regular sips throughout the day.
If you don't like the taste of water, try cutting a couple of slices of cucumber and lemon or your favourite fruit into the water and let it infuse.
Keep On Moving!
Exercising regularly will help to improve your energy levels. Exercise releases endorphins, which is an instant energy surge, but also, exercise can help lower stress levels and improve quality of sleep - both of which can help to increase your energy the following day.
There are many recommendations out there in terms of how much exercise is advised, however the main thing is to move throughout the day, whether that's using the stairs, getting up to walk around the house every hour, getting off a bus stop early and walking, all help to keep you moving, healthy and can help to lift your energy levels.
In terms of exercise, find something you enjoy doing - you're far more likely to make it part of your daily/weekly routine!
We all know how much easier it is to get up in the summer versus the winter, when daylight streams in through the curtains much earlier. Daylight will help you to brush away the night's sleep as it helps to get rid of melatonin (source) and make you feel more awake. Try and get some daylight or sunshine on your eyes within 30 minutes of waking up, for at least 10-15 minutes every morning.
Try a quick walk around the block when you wake up, or sit in your garden with a morning drink. It's also important to get some daylight on your lunchbreak, even if it's 5 minutes around the block. The fresh air, movement and light will naturally increase your energy levels and help you to think more clearly.
In the evenings, aim to reduce exposure to electronic devices and aim to use low lighting to aid the production of melatonin (the sleepy hormone). These devices emit blue light and can block your body's production of melatonin and make it harder to fall asleep or get good quality sleep.
Say bye bye to those sugary treats!
We've all been there, it's 3pm and we suddenly feel really flat and tired and we are desperate for a little something to help see us through the afternoon. It's easy to reach for something sugary and quick like a biscuit or chocolate bar, and although it gives us that immediate buzz, the truth is that it makes us even more tired.
Refined sugar can play havoc with our energy levels, and subsequent energy dips make us crave even more. As hard as it sounds, try and reach for something which will help to keep your blood sugar more stable - this usually means something with protein. It's important to ensure you're eating enough protein through the day and ensuring that your meals are satisfying and that you reach for things that won't keep spiking your blood sugar levels (leading to those energy dips in between meals).
Aim to include a variety of vegetables, protein and complex carbohydrates in your meals, and include healthy snacks such as a handful of nuts and dried fruit, an apple dipped in a spoon of peanut butter, or some veg sticks and hummus. If you focus on whole foods to fuel your body, you will find that cravings for sweet, sugary snacks starts to decrease and as a result your energy levels can increase.
If you'd like to find out more about supporting your energy levels through lifestyle and nutrition changes, please book your complimentary 20 minute call with me, to see how I can help you to feel ready for whatever each day brings!
Registered Nutritional Therapist
Please note that Amy Cottrell Nutrition does not claim to prevent, treat or cure any physical, mental or emotional conditions. These blog articles are written for educational & informational purposes only and are not a substitute for medical advice.
Do not stop or start taking medication or supplements without first talking to your primary health care provider.