Energy is what fuels our day, but what if you don’t have any? Do you wake up feeling tired? So many women today are struggling to do what they want to achieve due to lack of energy, not motivation.
We often use stimulants to gain energy and other things to relax at the end of the day. It is manufacturing a feeling by putting something in the body that it really doesn’t need or want. These things are not nourishing the body to gain real energy or relaxation.
So why are we so tired all the time? In the current state of our world, we have so much that zaps our energy. We are over stimulated by technology during work and our personal time. Because of the overstimulation, our mind and body never get time to rest. We were not designed to be active 24×7. The body and mind need time for rest and rejuvenation.
I know many people who upon waking drink coffee to wake up. They swear that if they don’t get their morning java, they don’t have the energy to meet the day. I used to drink double espressos in the morning to get my boost for the day. Then as the day progresses, they are going for their 3rd or 4th cup of joe to stay fueled. Caffeine has a direct link to disrupted sleep by making it hard to fall asleep.
Later in the evening we use other substances to relax and unwind from the day. Alcohol has become the normal go to for relaxation. It is commonplace for late afternoon and evening cocktails, we call it Happy Hour. I even see this mentioned during the weather report when they are describing the late afternoon weather and how to dress. It may seem like it helps you relax or fall asleep faster however it is not lasting. Have you noticed you wake up after an hour or two? Alcohol can rob us of the sleep we need because it effects REM sleep. The REM cycle happens later in the evening and is considered the most important time of sleep. During that phase of sleep is when we are receiving our restorative rest that we need.
If you are someone who is using both caffeine and alcohol in your day, it is double strike against the quality of your sleep. Consider it like taking an upper and a downer every day that can have long term consequences starting with sleep quality, exhaustion, depression, and weight gain.
More Causes for Lack of Energy
Other causes of poor sleep can come from sleep apnea, a partner who snores, a bedroom not designed for rest, or too much stimulation prior to going to sleep. Everyone should be getting 7-9 hours of good sleep a night. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can have a compounding effect on our day.
Another reason for low energy can be low Vitamin D levels. Research has shown that most people are deficient in Vitamin D. The main cause is that we are avoiding the sun. With the education of sun damage and skin cancers many people are not staying in the sun for long. We are not drinking as much milk now a days with more and more people avoiding dairy due to allergies. Other causes can be linked to vegan diets and dark-skinned individuals have a pigment that reduces the skin’s ability to make vitamin D from sunlight.
Some foods that you eat can also zap your energy making you feel tired and sluggish. The foods high in carbohydrates can make you tired after eating them. Processed foods and sugary treats are other culprits of draining your energy tank. The body has to work that much harder to process these and there are usually no nutrients in them that the body needs.
Improve Your Sleep
Now that we know the main causes of being exhausted, what can you do to improve your situation? Take a look at your sleep routine. The following are some good places to start with:
- Remove remnants of work from your bedroom, too much paperwork can cause us to think about work when we ought to be relaxing into slumber.
- Have the temperature at a cooler setting in the evening. Lower temperatures have been proven to produce better sleep results.
- Unplug from technology early, try avoiding any tech for 2 hours prior to bedtime.
- Avoid caffeine after noontime so that it has a lesser chance of interfering with you falling asleep.
- Limit alcohol drinks and do not drink within 3-4 hours of going to sleep.
- Create a bedtime routine to enhance relaxation. The routine can include: Brushing teeth, floss and tongue scrapping. Wash your face and put on a nighttime moisturizer for face and body. Start a gratitude journal to write down daily what you are grateful for the day. Read a good book (non-electronic).
Try reducing stress in your day. We are working longer hours than ever with little time dedicated to rest. The body needs rest to handle normal daily stressors. Try incorporating some of these tips in your daily life:
- Get up from your work chair every hour and walk or stretch a little.
- Try meditating for 5-10 minutes each day. This gives your mind a rest from all the thinking and processing.
- Take a walk out in nature every day. Nature has a beautiful way of changing our perspective on things.
- Movement can help release stress we hold in our bodies. If you are new to exercise start slow with walking or gentle yoga. Tai chi is another great form of relaxed movement.
Sometimes we need extra help with supplementation. Before adding any new supplements check with your doctor. Have your doctor test your Vitamin D levels. When we are low it can cause us to feel depleted all the time. Another good one to add at night is Magnesium Glycinate. It is easily absorbed and helps with calming. It is often used to treat anxiety, depression and insomnia.
Energy Boosting Foods
Take a look at your diet. There are many foods that can help with boosting energy. Stick with whole foods or foods that have limited ingredients. Reducing the amount of carbohydrates in every meal can also help. Look for foods with a low glycemic index (GI), these are foods that have their sugars absorbed more slowly than foods with a higher GI number thus reducing spikes and crashes in energy.
Here are some great foods to add to your diet:
- Healthy fats in the form of olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds.
- More whole grains, they are slow to digest and stay with you longer.
- High fiber low GI vegetables like carrots, chickpeas, lentils, celery, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, greens, and cucumbers.
- Replace coffee, alcohol, and sugary drinks with water. The body needs more water than you think.
- Add protein rich snacks that are balanced like yogurt with nuts or apple slices with peanut butter.
- Apples, Oranges, and Strawberries are loaded with nutrients and fiber the body needs for energy.
When we have more energy, we seem to feel better overall. We can improve our situation from feeling sluggish to a life with more vitality naturally. Start with small adjustments to your life daily and you too can improve your stamina.