Didn't Sleep Much? Tips for Today's Energy Boost

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Have a bad night's sleep? Here are a few tips to get you through your day without ruining the next ones.

Didn't Sleep Much? Tips for Today's Energy Boost

It happens, we toss and turn all night and don't get that night's sleep we desperately needed. Now what? Don't solve the problem with a double-shot of espresso or a couple candy bars. There are better ways to get through the day. The bottom-line: moderation and exercise are just what the sleep experts ordered.

A little caffeine will go a long way. Experts say that only two cups of coffee will provide you with as much energy as you are going to get from them. Draining more than that probably won't do you any better. What happens when you are sleep-deprived is that "sleep hormones" collect in the brain throughout the day and not even caffeine can stop them.

Sugar won't get you where you want to be. Sugar can provide a quick shot of energy, but it won't carry you through the day. Better choices are protein-rich foods, such as nuts and lean meats. Don't go for large meals either; keep it simple and balanced. If you do battle a sweet tooth during the day, turn to fruit instead of sweets; that way your blood sugar won't act as loopy as you might feel.

An important tip for energy is to conserve what you've got and charge yourself by easy exercise. Something as simple as a walk outdoors can stimulate alertness, and the sunlight will help too. If you do plan on exercising, take it easy. Vigorous exercise will deplete your energy stores quickly, and you will be more prone to injury.

If you have time, take a power nap. Napping up to 25 minutes can do wonders for recharging, but napping any longer than that will leave you feeling drained. One trick is to drink a cup of coffee or caffeinated tea, then nap for 25 minutes. When you awake, you'll be good to go for about four hours, as you get the benefit of sleep and the boost of caffeine right when you wake up.

If you have even more flexibility, lighten your work load that day. If you can cut a third of your "to-do" list with great consequence, you'll be able to do those "have-tos" even better.

Don't be a drowsy driver, especially after lunch, when most people naturally drift. If you have to drive, don't wear sunglasses as the sunlight will help boost your energy. Best yet, don't drive at all.

Catching up on sleep isn't as straightforward as you might think. The goal is to get your sleep schedule back on track, not overcompensate by oversleeping. Never take more than two extra hours of sleep, as more than that will do more harm than good. It's also best to break up the "extra" sleep, so you're not going to bed too early or rising too late in relation to your normal schedule. Also, sleeping more than 10 hours in a night will not make you feel any better.

And if you find that you just can't sleep at night, one trick the experts suggest is counting backwards from 300 in multiples of three, as doing math problems makes it hard to think about anything else and keep your eyes open.

Exercise->Health Other Health Issues->Energy & Fatigue
Jun 6, 2013
Ryan Newhouse - health writer, MyNetDiary

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