I've been seeing a lot of sleepy clients this week, who haven't slept well due to the hot, humid weather we got hit with in the Midwest. Besides hitting the caffeine, how can you boost your energy after a night of tossing and turning? Here are a few quick tips that are guaranteed to perk you up:
Eat protein. When you've had a poor night's sleep, you're likely crave sweets and carb-heavy foods that provide quick energy. The trouble is that once you get on the quick-energy train, there's no getting off - you'll crave more sweets and will likely eat more total calories throughout the day...without actually feeling more energetic. This way of eating is hard on your adrenals (the stress-hormone producing endocrine gland), pancreas (the insulin-producing gland) and your waistline (found above your belt). Instead of tossing back a bowl of cereal for breakfast or snacking on fruit, chips or crackers, reach for a source of solid protein. Some good examples are eggs, meats, nuts and seeds. These foods will provide you with lasting and stable energy.
Move your body. When you're tired, likely the last thing you want to do is expend energy, yet doing so is just what you need to energize. To get the benefit of physical activity without the burnout of an intense workout, just take it easy. If you're a runner, go for a jog or walk instead. If you are a yogi, do some gentle Sun Salutations or an inversion or two. Even running up and down the stairs in your house a few times or doing jumping jacks will wake you up. Need some more ideas? Try these.
Avoid caffeine. You think the only way you're going to get through the day is if you hook yourself up to a caffeine drip, but the truth is it will just make you shaky, hungry, and irritable. Instead of coffee or Diet Coke, try drinking water with lemon or cucumber slices in it. These fruits are refreshing and delicious. If you need a little pick me up try green tea, which is lightly caffeinated but won't throw you over the jitter edge (Speaking of tea, have you been to Verdant Tea yet? Best. Tea. Ever.).
Take it easy. Many of us do not have the luxury of sleeping in or taking the day off to recover after a poor night's rest. That said, can you expect less of yourself? Instead of performing at your peak, strive for good enough. That's right, I just gave you permission to slack off! Take advantage of it.
Finally, go to bed early. Got plans? Cancel them. Seriously, you need your beauty rest and that's that. No compromises.
Jesse Haas, CNS, LN is a licensed functional nutritionist and certified health coach. She was a founding partner of Wellness Minneapolis and was an active practitioner with the clinic from 2014-2022. To connect with her regarding functional nutrition and health coaching services, please follow this link.