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4 Ways To Increase Your Energy Throughout The Day

4 Ways To Increase Your Energy Throughout The Day

Few people feel energized throughout an entire day. Sure, there are plenty of those “morning people” that drive everyone nuts and even more of the late-night party type who can sleep past noon on any given day. What is really rare nowadays is people who can wake up early and remain energized and mentally alert all day, and then repeat that every day.

The reason it is rare is because it is hard. It often takes a lot of discipline to get into the right schedule and to live the way that one must live to feel that way all day. For those that have the discipline, here are the four best ways to keep yourself alert for not just party of a day, but all of it.

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Understand Food

Most people never get past a basic understanding of the food pyramid. Your supposed to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables and not a lot of sugar and that is about it. There is so much more to food, and especially to utilizing food to stay energized throughout the day.

Donuts, sugary cereal, and pretty much any food high in refined sugar can reduce your energy. If you choose to eat these types of foods for breakfast you will be tired and exhausted all the way until lunch, which can be a long way away. Foods that are high in protein tend to do the opposite. Some examples are nuts, eggs, lean meats, and yogurt. These will not only leave you feeling better immediately after eating, but will digest much slower in your body and release the energy in a much more stable manner. This will inevitably lead to a day with much more energy. Here is a more inclusive list of foods that can do increase long-term energy.

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Sleep

One couldn’t discuss energy without discussing sleep. There are a lot of misconceptions about sleep out there.  A lot of people think that the key is to simply get eight hours of sleep and you will be rested. This couldn’t be further from the truth. There are plenty of people that get more than eight hours of sleep a night who still feel unrested the next day. There are plenty of others who wake up extremely early and barely scrape seven hours of sleep, and yet feel rested all day. The difference is quality.

People actually have different stages of sleep. There is light sleep, REM sleep, and deep sleep. If you can cut down the amount of hours you spend in light sleep, and increase the other two, you can get less overall sleep but still feel more rested the next day. There are quite a few ways to do this. One of the big ones is ensuring a comfortable bed. Every time you move around or try to get comfortable you bring yourself back to a light sleep.

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Memory foam is one way that people have chosen to increase sleep quality. If you have never heard of memory foam, there is a pretty good memory foam mattress guide here. Essentially memory foam is a mattress that can customize itself to the user, ensuring a better quality sleep experience.

Exercise

No one likes to hear that they need to exercise more, but exercise benefits virtually every part of someone’s life. It has been proven dozens of times that exercise increases energy and efficiency throughout the day. It is extremely important and also extremely underutilized. Just thirty minutes of exercise in the morning can lead to hours saved throughout the day via increased energy, focus, and efficiency. Make the investment and reap the rewards.

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Power Nap

People are much more willing to try this out than exercise. A power nap is just a 15-20 minute snooze right in the middle of the day. While it may not seem as if that much sleep could make a difference, power naps have been proven to make significant differences in energy levels through the rest of the day. There is actually a science behind it.

Power naps can help in quite a few categories including increased creativity, as well as greater capacity for love, efficiency, and more. Just as with exercise, a small investment of 20 minutes of time can yield much greater results.

Try these because they work! Most just require a bit of discipline—the discipline to wake up ten minutes earlier to make a better breakfast or thirty minutes earlier to exercise. Once you start getting into the habit, you won’t want to go back.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

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