If you experience that afternoon energy slump you are definitely not alone. It is tempting to turn to sugar or caffeine hoping to gain a quick energy burst. There are better ways to keep awake, productive and without the sugar/caffeine crash that follows gulping down your favorite beverage.
In addition to the afternoon slump, fatigue is one of the most common complaints that are brought to doctor”s offices. The source of fatigue and lack of energy can be difficult to determine since fatigue can come from infections, depression and other diseases. Try a variety of treatments and ideas before you give up. Good nutrition, medications and exercise are some ways that will help. Find natural ways to boost your energy levels. You will be health ahead!
Advertisements and testimonials are all around that tout the energy building properties of vitamins, herbs and other supplements. There are vitamins and herbs added to waters, soft drinks and foods designed to give you more energy. However, there is very little scientific proof that energy enhancements actually work. Your body will gain some benefits from guarana, chromium picolinate or ginseng, but there are other ways to improve your own natural energy platforms.
- Stress and emotions take a great deal of energy. Try meditation, talking with a friend or relative, or join a support group if you are highly stressed. Use self-hypnosis, yoga and tai chi to naturally reduce your stress levels.
- Fatigue is caused by overwork. Overwork can be professional, family and social life. Streamline your list of ” “must-dos” . Learn to delegate. Set priorities and list them in the order of most important. Pare down those activities that are not really that important. If you need, ask for extra help at work or home.
- If you are a smoker, stop. Smoking threatens your health and siphons off energy. It causes insomnia. The nicotine in tobacco is a stimulant and speeds up the heart rate, raises blood pressure and arouses brain-wave activity. Smoking really does make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. If you are a heavy smoker you know cravings can wake you up in the middle of the night.
- Exercise is the perfect natural energy enhancer. Exercise can guarantee you sleep more soundly. Your cells have more energy to burn and oxygen is circulating throughout your body. Your body releases epinephrine and norepinephrine, the stress relieving hormones, when you exercise. Run around the block, walk the dog, vacuum, or any activity that pumps up your heart.
- Sounds a bit counterproductive, but try getting less sleep if you are sleep-deprived. Determine how much sleep you really need. Avoid napping during the day, go to bed later than normal, and add fifteen to thirty minutes of sleep each night. Continue adding real sleep minutes to your sleep patterns until you are up to the recommended eight hours.A good night’s sleep is necessary for good health and for staying alert and energetic. You need sleep to build defenses against chronic illnesses, infections and heart disease. Make a list of what triggers your insomnia and make your sleep surroundings conductive to rest. List the prompts waking you up in the middle of the night. Learn what you can do to enjoy the satisfaction of a good night’s sleep.
- Eat for energy. Small meals and nutritious snacks every few hours are better than three large meals a day. Your fatigue will be reduced as your brain gains a steady supply of nutrients.Eat foods with sugars that are absorbed slowly. Foods with low glycemic indexes include whole grains, high fiber vegetable, and nuts. Cook with healthy oils. High carbohydrates have high glycemic indexes. Avoid these foods in the afternoon when you are tired. Have a handful of nuts with a cold bottle of water. Walk around. You will be surprise at how energetic you feel.
- Avoid consuming large amounts of caffeine after 2:00 p.m. Caffeine can increase your alertness, but it can also cause insomnia. Caffeine does not provide energy. It is only chemical stimulation and causes an induced emergency state. Once caffeine has done its work, you may feel irritable and moody or even depressed and your reflexes are slower.
- Limit your alcohol intake. One of the culprits of an afternoon slump is alcohol at lunch. Don”t have a five o”clock drink if you want energy in the evening. Do drink in moderation and at a time when you don”t mind if your energy runs down.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is the ” “true” energy enhancing nutrient. Just plain water is the best. If you are short on fluids you will definitely feel tired and fatigued. You do not really need vitamin waters or sports drinks, you just need fresh water with you at all times. Drink throughout the day. If you don”t like the blah taste of water try adding lemons, limes or oranges. A few drops of essential lemon, peppermint or orange oils will go a long way in helping water taste good!