How to boost energy when you’re tired

Mostly I write about my tries – and failures – to be a better life manager, an organized, single-tasking, focused person.
But this period, as I’m organizing (not alone, thank God) my upcoming wedding, I’m starting to feel slightly burned out and very, very tired.

How does tiredness show?

  • I don’t get rest after one night’s sleep
  • Although I’m tired, I can’t fall asleep the next evening
  • I have glitches in memory
  • I can’t focus
  • Around 2 pm and 6 pm I feel exceptionally drowsy and unable to do anything

Solutions for tiredness:

The first one and most obvious is GET SOME SLEEP. But, easy to say, hard to do…

If you’re having trouble falling asleep, although you’re very tired, try relaxation techniques. I use the “breathe in and out and count the sheep” technique, which helps me fall asleep in minutes. The trick is to keep your mind focused on one thing and to stop it from rambling around, which will only make you more agitated.
Reiki also works, for two reasons: one, it makes you cozy and warm, and second, it keeps again the mind focused on one thing.

1. Don’t hit Snooze
What if you have trouble waking up? I never hit the snooze button. This way, I always set the clock as late as I can, and when it rings,  I know I have to get up immediately. It might be hard, but that’s the way to do it.

2. Eat a healthy breakfast.
When you’re tired, you just want to pump some coffee and go, but I noticed that a healthy breakfast with lots of fruits helps raise my level of energy. Cereals work very well too. Be careful though not to eat too much – skip the omelette or bacon, since these will make you feel sleepy again. If you drink coffee on an empty stomach, like I do, make sure you have something to eat at least 30 min – 1 hour afterwards.

3. Have a light lunch.
With blood  going from your head to the stomach, you will become drowsy after lunch. The trick is to eat light – no meat, if possible, just salads and maybe cheese. This way, your stomach will not be full and you won’t feel the temptation to hit another espresso after lunch.

4. Have a sleep-in day once per week.
I know this seems hard to do, but consider this – if your schedule – like mine – gets messed up because you’re trying to stuff in too much activity after work, and end up going to sleep too late, have a free evening once per week. Ideally this should be Wednesday or Thursday, the days when you normally feel the tiredness of the week piling up.
I noticed that office activity tends to pile up on Mondays and Thursdays, so I’d advise getting good sleep before these days, otherwise you’ll feel burned out.
Try to go to sleep earlier, when you feel tired. I noticed that the story repeats every evening – I feel exceptionally sleepy between 6 and 8 pm, and then start working or clicking around the Internet. And next thing I know, it’s already past 11 pm, and then I’m too tired to fall asleep!
On the other hand, if I go to bed early – which has earned me the household nickname “chicken” – I sleep well, am rested and work much better the next day. I’m a morning person, did I mention that?

5. Grapefruit, orange and water
After some desperate attempts to fill the energy level with caffeine, I got to about 3 espresso machiatto’s per day. And, for someone who’s had a history of high blood pressure, that’s not a good advice.
So I gave grapefruit juice a chance – and guess what! It boosts up the energy level.
I recommend having a dose in the morning, around 11. Fruits (and natural juices) should be consumed on an empty stomach – if you feel the need to have a bite, eat it afterwards.
Vitamin C will boost your energy level and is also good for the skin and immune system.

On a separate note, increase your water intake if you haven’t had enough sleep. The body will have the tendency to crave more food, to cover the energy loss, but if you give it much water instead, hydration will help the blood circulation and you’ll feel less hungry.
Be careful not to overeat when tired, because this will only make you even more sleepy.

Skip the alcohol – this goes without saying,  right?

6. Get out and walk or do some exercise.
Physical activity in fresh air has two benefits: One, it improves brain oxygen flow, and you’ll be able to think clearer. Two, it will make you physically tired, so you’ll be able to sleep better the next evening.  Running works well, as long as you do it at least 2 hours before going to bed. Otherwise, the chemicals produced by your body’s physical activity will boost your energy level, and it will be even harder to fall asleep!

OK, finally, don’t forget to relax, and think that tomorrow’s another day, too.

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