Sleep. We all need it but most of us, for one reason or another, aren’t getting enough of it. While more sleep is always best, there are times when a bad night’s sleep is just unavoidable. I’m looking at you, parents of young children. When that’s the case, you’re going to need these sleep hacks to boost energy levels even in the face of exhaustion.
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Sleep is so vitally important. Our brains and bodies need it to rest, heal and recharge. Without it we can’t think clearly, are more prone to emotional outbursts and are much more likely to catch cold or other, more serious illnesses.
Sleep deprivation puts our bodies at risk for mental, physical and emotional harm.
Unfortunately, there are just some days when getting the proper amount of sleep just isn’t possible. Maybe you have a newborn baby, a sick child or a deadline at work that keeps you up late. Whatever the situation, chances are you’re going to feel drained and worn out the next day.
In those circumstances, give these sleep hacks a try to boost energy levels so you can power through your day and hopefully get to bed early the next night.
Please note, sleep deprivation is a serious condition and if it has been going on for too long, can damage your health and emotional well being.
These sleep hacks are by no means a substitute for a good night’s rest. They are merely temporary suggestions for those days when you feel worn out and tired.
If you are suffering from inability to sleep, please consult your doctor for medical advice.
Sleep Hacks to Boost Energy
Take a shower
Warm water running over your body improves circulation and makes you feel more energized and awake. Plus, it gives you the sensation that you’re washing off that sleepy grog.
If you have some, using a body wash with a citrus scent such as lemon, lime, orange or grapefruit helps to slap the sleepy from your body even faster.
A friend of mine, after I had my third child, gifted me grapefruit body wash and lotion. It was the perfect gift. Even if I only had 5 minutes to hop in and wash off with that strong, citrus scent, it helped me to wake up and feel more alert.
Last, try ending your shower with a few seconds of really cold water. Nothing wakes you up faster than frigid water hitting your skin.
Is it pleasant? No. But it’s sure to get your attention.
Wash your face
No time for a shower? Yep. I’ve been there. Those newborn days, man. They’ll get ya.
If that’s the case, just wash your face. Getting rid of that eye crust and scrubbing away that thin film of sleep fog from your face will instantly make you feel energized.
Make healthy eating choices
Ugh, this one is so hard.
When I am tired, it is so tempting to just graze all day on easy-to-grab carbs that carry little to no nutritional value.
But consuming these carbohydrate rich “empty calories” only leaves me feeling more fatigued in the long run.
On days that I am extra tired, I have to remind myself that making poor eating choices will only make me feel more lethargic and crabby. It also leaves me feeling mad at myself and guilty for succumbing to the unhealthy options.
While eating a bowl of Lucky Charms may taste really good in the moment (don’t judge), all that added, unnecessary sugar will quickly lead to an energy crash, leaving me feeling more tired than I was before.
Look, I am all for grace in the face of eating habits and I love me some junk food every now and then. But taking in mostly healthy meals when sleep deprived will give your body the good energy it needs to get through the day and make you proud of the good choices you made.
Take a 10-20 minute power nap
When I say power nap I don’t necessarily mean you need to fall asleep for that amount of time. A power nap is merely being in a room (or car if you’re on your lunch break) with no distractions and closing your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes.
Any shorter and you may not feel refreshed. Any longer and you may feel even more sluggish.
Set a timer on your phone and commit to rest for a short while. Close your eyes and focus on taking nice, slow breaths. Just shut the world off for a brief time and you’ll be amazed at what an energy boost that provides.
Take a walk
Walking or exercising in general will get blood flow going and endorphins flowing. Those two things are guaranteed to improve not only your energy levels but your overall mood, as well.
It doesn’t have to be a long walk, even a 10 to 15 minute one is enough to give you a boost.
Plus, regular exercise has been shown to improve sleep and decrease anxiety, too. It’s a win-win! Taking a walk gives you the energy you need now and the rest and slumber you’ll need later.
Even if you aren’t dressed for a full-blown walk, just getting outside in the sunshine and fresh air for 10 to 20 minutes will do wonders for your energy level and mood.
If your a parent at home with your children, those walls can start to feel awful close after a while. If your at work all day indoors, those computer screens and artificial lights can start to drain you as the hours tick by.
Get up, go outside and take a quick break. Eat lunch outside, take a walk around the block or building, sit on a bench and take some deep breaths. Just get out and soak up nature for a bit. It will recharge you so you can get through the rest of the day.
Eat an apple
I heard once that an apple has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee. Turns out that that is a myth. However, eating an apple does have the same effect as drinking a cup of coffee.
Is it the refreshing crispy crunch of eating an apple that pulls people out of a slump?
That may have something to do with it.
But the more likely answer probably rests in the natural sugar, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber that an apple contains. Apples have around 19 grams of natural sugar. That’s more than a banana which has around 14 grams!
The influx of glucose, vitamins and fiber that an apple provides boosts energy quickly and leaves you feeling fuller longer.
Because they are the good, slow release sugars, it also sustains that energy boost for a longer period of time without the jitters of a cup of coffee.
Smell coffee grounds
I love coffee. It is the first thing I go for in the morning after getting out of bed. There are many days when I am gently pushing children and pets aside to get to the coffee maker.
However, I find that drinking more than one or two cups leaves me feeling jittery and nauseous. Also, drinking it anytime after noon keeps me up at night and contributes to a restless night’s sleep.
Thus, on days when I’m really dragging but don’t want the side effects of more caffeine, I find that just opening the coffee container and taking in deep breaths of the coffee grounds stirs my brain and wakes me up.
Use artificial tears
When I am tired I always feel it in my eyes. They feel dry, scratchy and heavy. They usually look red and irritated, too.
Artificial tears are a great way to freshen up your face and flush away some of that morning (or afternoon) grime. Dropping a little moister into my sockets always perks me up and helps me to feel more alert.
Put the phone down
I have a love hate relationship with my phone. I’m sure we all do. It seems as if we can live without them and, at the same time, they’re ruining our lives and stealing away our time, energy, relationships and ability to think on our own.
We live in an over-stimulated and technology addicted world. Because of this, our minds are constantly being bombarded with images, conversations and subliminal messages that we feel compelled to respond and react to.
Thanks to social media, we have our noses in everyone else’s business all of the time. And worse, we have the ability to compare ourselves to everyone else 24/7.
This does nothing but wear out our minds and leave us feeling completely drained.
While you may think 30 minutes of mindless scrolling on your phone will give you the rest you need, it actually does the complete opposite. The light from the screen makes it harder for you to sleep at night and the influx of unnecessary information leaves your brain spinning.
All this extra stimulation can leave you tossing and turning at night as well as mentally and emotionally drained throughout the day.
So… put down those phones. Of all the sleep hacks to boost energy, this may be the most important and effective one.
Take a walk or a power nap instead. Use those extra 20 minutes to make a healthy lunch or write a list of the things your grateful for.
These activities are sure to fill up your energy tank faster and more successfully than staring at a screen.
Feeling exhausted often goes hand in hand with feeling down in the dumps.
But before you throw yourself that pity party, take some time to make a mental or physical list of things, circumstances and people you are grateful for.
Try stopping those negative and bitter thoughts in their tracks and meditate on the good things in your life. It’s not easy to do, but concentrating on our blessings can take the focus off of ourselves and fill us with positive energy.
Turn on some upbeat music
Whether you’re out for a walk, folding laundry, sitting at your work desk or scrubbing a toilet, popping in some ear buds and turning on some upbeat music makes even the most mundane tasks more enjoyable.
Personally, I have a hard time not singing, dancing or tapping along to the beat of a good song that I know the words to and that makes me smile.
What music is best? Whatever you like! Just crank up the tunes and get moving.
Thank you for visiting The Flower Donkey Diaries today and taking the time to read through this post. I hope these sleep hacks to boost energy levels give you the jolt you need to power through to bedtime. And I pray you get the sleep and proper rest you need from here on out.