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7 Actionable Tips to Sleep Better and Wake up Energized

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7 Actionable Tips to Sleep Better and Wake up Energized

Do you feel sluggish in the morning? Are you tossing and turning all night long? If so, you could certainly use some sleep better tips.

2020 has thrown a lot at us, and if your sleep patterns have been disrupted, then you could be feeling groggy and unenergized throughout your whole day.

If you’re feeling this way all day, it might feel like your day just drags on without offering any chance for productivity. Fortunately, there are ways to sleep better so that you can wake up feeling rested and energized.

These sleep better tips will help you rest and start your day feeling alert and motivated.

1. Stick to a Schedule

Going to bed at the same time every night will help you train your mind to relax and get in the pattern of producing sleep hormones when it best serves you.

My two kids go to bed at 9:30 pm every night, 7 days a week. My wife and I follow close behind; she typically goes to bed at about 11 pm, and I go to bed at midnight.

I’m the first to wake up in the morning. My alarm is set to 7:24 am every morning, with the exception of Saturdays.

What I found by sticking to a schedule is that my body has become accustomed to it, and my internal clock has kicked into high gear.

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Once you get into a routine, you’ll be more likely to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. This will allow you to be more focused and alert through your entire day.

2. Pay Attention to What You Eat and Drink

I always knew the basics around this idea. For example, I always knew not to eat a lot of sugar or drink soda before bed, but there is much more to it.

You should do your best not to eat within two hours of going to bed. Spicy and acidic foods should be avoided, too, as they can cause you to have an upset stomach, indigestion, or even heartburn.

Coffee and caffeinated drinks are culprits as well. Avoid drinking these liquids hours before bedtime. In fact, based on a 2013 study[1], it’s best to avoid caffeine for a minimum of 6 hours before bed.

3. Stay Away From Technology

These days we are glued to our phones more than ever before, but one of the best sleep better tips I can offer is to resist the urge to look at your phone while you’re trying to fall asleep.

Once your head hits the pillow, it is imperative that you don’t expose yourself to direct light because it acts as an alerting signal that will reduce the secretion of your body’s natural hormone melatonin[2], which is heavily responsible for helping you sleep.

If watching TV or checking your phone has become a habit for you, resisting this urge will help you sleep better because you’ll be cutting down on your consumption of blue light[3].

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Sleep Vs Smartphones

    Blue light, specifically, happens to have a more severe effect on your sleep cycle as opposed to light omitted from a light bulb.

    4. Exercise Earlier

    Exercising earlier in your day will help you feel more energized. I used to exercise later in the evening, and this never did serve me well.

    I always found that the gym was always busier during the hours of 5pm to 8pm because a lot of people were going to the gym after they were done work for the day.

    Not only did my workouts take longer because of how busy the gym was, but by the time I left the gym, I was so energized with adrenaline that it took several hours to become relaxed.

    Exercising during the morning or throughout the day is a great better sleep tip if you are able to accommodate those timeframes.

    When you exercise, you raise your core body temperature, and you place a mild amount of stress on your central nervous system. Therefore, if you exercise later in the day, it can make it difficult for you to sleep better.

    5. Update Your Sleep Environment

    The area that you sleep is where you spend a great deal of time. It’s time you spend sleeping, but you spend a lot of time there nonetheless.

    Let’s say for example you got on average 5 to 7 hours of sleep per night. When you multiply that by 7 days a week, you spend anywhere from 35 to 49 hours a week in one spot. Now, multiple that by 52 weeks a year. That’s a lot of time spent in your sleep environment.

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    That’s why it’s important to take a closer look at your pillow, mattress, and blankets. It’s recommended that you replace your pillow every couple of years.

    The type of pillow is important, too. Side sleepers and back sleepers generally require different kinds of pillows in order to sleep well and without neck or back pain.

    The firmness of your mattress and the softness of your blankets also have an effect on your sleep.

    If you are spending roughly 50 hours a week in bed, it’s worthwhile making sure you’re as comfortable as you can be. You can even add a few drops of lavender oil to your pillow as it is known to promote relaxation.

    Also, check the temperature of your room. Experts recommend keeping your bedroom around 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 degrees Celsius) for the most comfortable sleep[4].

    6. Meditate

    While this is an actionable tip to sleep better, it may not be for everyone.

    Prior to 2017, I never knew how meditation even worked. I certainly didn’t think it was going to work for me. To say that I was skeptical to try meditation is an understatement.

    One evening, I found a 15 minute audio meditation, plugged in my ear buds, and listened. I listened with my eyes closed and did my best to stay comfortable and relaxed. Then, something unexpected happened: I fell asleep.

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    In fact, I typically fall asleep every time that I listen to guided meditation, and I can honestly say that I always wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and clear headed.

    Meditation can help with sleep, as it helps us settle our thoughts and be more present. Instead of worrying about the critical email our boss sent us this morning or planning out the next day’s big presentation, meditation brings you back to your center, which is a great place to be for better sleep.

    If you want some help getting started with meditation, check out this article.

    7. Hide Your Clock

    One of the most effective tips for better sleep is to make it so that you cannot see the current time.

    When you are constantly checking the time, it could be causing you to get anxious about how many more hours you have left before you have to get out of bed.

    Getting more anxious will only keep you awake longer. Whether you have a digital clock or an analog one, cover up the time.

    Final Thoughts

    In order to feel energized in the morning, it’s imperative to follow these better sleep tips. These seven actionable steps to help you sleep better are things that you can implement as early as tonight.

    Try experimenting with one or all of these tips until you find a tip or technique that works for you.

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    More on How to Sleep Better

    Featured photo credit: Sharon McCutcheon via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine: Caffeine Effects on Sleep Taken 0, 3, or 6 Hours before Going to Bed
    [2] Sleep Foundation: Melatonin and Sleep
    [3] Iris: How to fight insomnia with Iris
    [4] Sleep Foundation: The Best Temperature For Sleep

    More by this author

    Tim Lekach

    Father I Husband I Health & Wellness Entrepreneur

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    Published on December 15, 2021

    What Supplements Should I Take Daily To Stay Healthy?

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    What Supplements Should I Take Daily To Stay Healthy?

    Having quality nutrition every day is key to staying healthy and fit. Many people wonder if taking supplements is needed to supply their needs. The answer to this question lies in a lot of factors. Here’s the thing: there is no black and white approach when it comes to taking supplements, but if you’ve been wondering whether you need supplements or not, I will help clarify some of your concerns.

    Sometimes, having too many options of supplements on the market can be overwhelming. If you’re still asking yourself what supplements to take, then keep reading.

    What Supplements Should I Take?

    When you reach for that bottle of vitamins or fish oil, for example, you wonder if any of these will work and if they are safe. Well, the main thing you should be asking yourself is if you need them in the first place. And the truth is, there are tons of supplements for different needs.

    Our body requires all the necessary nutrients, like vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fat, and fiber every day. The best source for these nutrients is real food. Nothing beats having a balanced lifestyle that includes quality whole foods. But the reality is that most people are not meeting the minimum requirements of certain nutrients, especially vitamins and minerals.

    Even with fiber, people struggle to eat enough fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, for instance. That’s why you can see many symptoms like digestive issues and lack of energy.

    Supplements come into the picture to help your body meet all the necessary nutrients. They also help avoid any deficiency. Supplements can even strengthen your body and enhance your metabolism. There are many benefits of taking supplements. The answer to whether you’ll need to take them depends on many other things.

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    Should I Invest in Supplements?

    Before I suggest a list of the types of supplements you should take, this is what you should bear in mind. Supplements are just an aid to a healthy eating lifestyle. In other words, you should always aim to eat healthier, vary your plate, and have enough whole foods in your diet. That is crucial to ensure that you are meeting at least the minimum nutrient requirements.

    You shouldn’t invest in supplements to get your main nutrition. Always focus on quality foods before you supplement your diet. Now, supplements can reinforce what you’re lacking in your eating lifestyle. Because of that, I love to always have some sort of multivitamin complex.

    In general, if you have a proper eating lifestyle, it’s not mandatory to invest in supplements. However, there are specific cases, for example, pregnant women, in which we recommend taking supplements. Always make sure that you check with your doctor or nutritionist before taking any form of supplement.

    Why Do I Need Supplements? Which Ones Are Important?

    Below are the most common reasons why you may need to take supplements and which ones you should try.

    1. Restricting Eating Lifestyles

    As a nutritionist, I rarely recommend anyone going through a restrictive diet. In fact, I discourage it altogether. The best thing is that you embrace a balanced eating lifestyle since this is the way to ensure you stay at a healthy weight and have a good metabolism. That’s the reason why I don’t like removing entire food groups from people’s diets.

    However, I also understand diverse eating lifestyles. For example, there is a vast majority of people that are actively changing to a vegan lifestyle. If you’re a raw vegan or strictly plant-based, you may need to supplement certain vitamins. Because animal foods like dairy, certain meats, and poultry have essential vitamins and minerals like B12, iron, and folic acid, then you may have less intake of these in plant-based foods. There is much debate in this area related to plant-based diets, but basically, experts recommend taking supplements.

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    As I said about restrictive diets, eliminating entire food groups can cause you to suffer certain problems like lack of energy, constipation, less muscle, and lower brain function.[1] Before you try any type of diet out there, make sure you have a better relationship with food and check with a health professional. Overall, a good multivitamin complex should be good enough to supply all your needs. Go for the ones that provide vitamin B complex and minerals like iron, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, and zinc.

    2. Reinforcing Nutrient Intake

    It’s true that eating the right foods is essential for your body. Apart from that, certain processed foods, like dairy, cereals, and others are fortified with certain vitamins and minerals. Take advantage of these types of healthy foods as well.

    If you feel like you could lack a certain nutrient, then taking multivitamins is a good option. Not only because it will help you meet your goals, but it will also ensure that your body has more energy and better performance. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with taking a supplement to reinforce your healthy eating lifestyle. Apart from multivitamins, you could also take fiber supplements in case you struggle with digestive issues or you feel like you’re not eating enough plant-based foods.

    3. Special Conditions

    There are certain cases or stages in life when you may need to take supplements. For instance, pregnant women require higher amounts of certain vitamins and minerals, like iron and folic acid.[2] Elderly people should also consume some supplements since their body absorbs less nutrients compared to younger people.[3] That’s why certain protein drinks, multivitamins, and omega-3 are prescribed to this age group. Also, people who have certain chronic health problems or underwent surgery may need supplements.

    Women going through menopause are also often required to take supplements.[4] If you belong to this age group, you may need to talk to your doctor about supplements to balance off your hormone levels. Remember that not all supplements are made equally, and some ingredients may have side effects. This is especially true if you’re on prescriptions. Always check first.

    4. Fitness Goals

    Who doesn’t want to boost their fitness results? People that train at the gym often ask if they need to have protein supplements. It all goes down to the basics: eat healthily and put that as a priority. However, you can also take supplements based on your goals.

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    Whether you want to burn some fat, build muscle, or are an athlete, supplements can reinforce and speed up your results. But here’s the thing: you should always do it the right way and not rely only on supplements for fitness results. Everything goes hand in hand, and it’s a matter of balance and moderation.

    Now, here are some supplements you can take to improve your muscle performance, growth, and fat burn:[5]

    • Whey protein
    • L-glutamine
    • Branch chain amino acids
    • Multi-vitamin complex and fish oil
    • MCT oil

    These supplements, coupled with a good diet, help provide steady muscle development, shed fat, and keep a healthy metabolism for better results. You have to be active to see their benefits, though. This will ensure your body is using up the nutrients effectively and not stored as fat.

    There are some other great supplements made to boost energy levels and increase muscle efficiency. Here are some examples:[6]

    • Guaraná
    • Gingko biloba
    • Ginseng
    • Creatine
    • Citrulline

    These are natural energy boosters. Caffeine also does a good job when it comes to improving your energy levels. These supplements should be a compliment to a healthy diet, or if you struggle with low energy performance when working out.

    Speaking of energy, sometimes, simple lifestyle habits like sleeping better can make a huge difference in how you feel. So, make sure you are also working on these other areas of your life and not relying exclusively on supplements.

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    5. Beauty and Self-Care

    You can also find supplements for personal care. Some help to enhance your skin health, others are for hair and nails growth.

    For example, collagen and multivitamins are commonly used for beauty and skincare. Because collagen is our skin’s main protein, we need to ensure our body has enough to stay glowing and healthy. Collagen also has powerful effects on skin beauty and anti-aging. You can easily add this protein to your drinks and foods to enhance your own skin’s collagen.[7]

    If you didn’t know, adding collagen to your regimen after you’re 25 can help slow down the effects of aging. At that age, our skin produces less collagen, and we lose skin elasticity. Therefore, it’s a nice addition to your supplements and skincare routine.

    Final Thoughts

    You should always aim to have a healthy eating regimen before thinking about what supplements you need. Second, assess what are your lifestyle and health goals. Also, determine if your health and/or fitness condition requires you to add supplements.

    Remember that your objective is to get enough protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If your diet lacks any of these, look for an assessment on how to get these nutrients.

    More Tips on Taking Supplements

    Featured photo credit: Mika Baumeister via unsplash.com

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    Reference

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