We’ve all had those days where we’re just dragging. It feels never-ending, your patience and energy are running low, and you just can’t get much done. As for an effective workout…. you can’t see that happening either.
Whether you stayed up too late watching Ted Lasso or lie awake staring at the ceiling going over the presentation you have in the morning, the next day is just not going to go well. It happens.
It’s when we repeatedly have days like this that our internal sleep systems are disrupted, and it will eventually show up on the scale.
Read more about the science of sleep and how to catch more Z’s here.
Instead of reaching for unregulated energy drinks that cause jitters and causing long-term damage to your central nervous system, your metabolism and your liver, here are 5 ways to boost energy by day without disrupting sleep by night:
Take a 20-minute nap -OR- sleep for 90-minutes
The length of the nap really determines the brain boosting effect it may have. A 20-minute power nap for example — sometimes called the stage two nap — is good for alertness and motor learning skills like typing, whereas longer naps help boost memory and enhance creativity.
Remember though, the longer you nap, the more it will lower your need for sleep that same night. So plan ahead and use caution. Set your alarm, turn off devices, and make sure it’s not too close to bedtime to prevent you from falling asleep.
Try a caffeine boost
Coffee or green tea with caffeine will stimulate the central nervous system and give you a quick pick me up. Some experts even suggest a small cup of coffee right before taking a short nap as the ultimate energy booster because it takes about 30 minutes for caffeine to kick in. Try to cut it out about six hours before bedtime, as studies show it can disrupt the sleep cycle.
A brisk 10-minute walk or climbing a few flights of stairs in the office several times a day will get the blood flowing and can increase your productivity. It might not be the best time to go for a PR on the Peloton, but don’t skip movement entirely. A yoga session or stretch might even help you sleep better.
Sleep deprivation can lead to dehydration which can make us feel even more tired. Add fruits and vegetables to your H20 or find a new sparkling flavor.
Enjoy an extra snack
When we are tired, we are pulled toward salt, sugar, and processed snacks because our willpower is naturally lower. It’s easier to talk ourselves into the rush of junk food. Our rational brain is simply not as in tune as it might be if we were well-rested. Carbs found in boxes and bags will give us a quick hit of energy but adding in a more nutrient-dense option like cucumber with lemon, boiled eggs, an apple, frozen fruit, or “ants on a log” will give us that natural longer energy, all the way until bedtime!