There is a lot more to feeling rested than, well, rest. Consider these five reasons you might not be feeling 100% throughout the day.
Poor nutrition is a sure fire way to keep you tossing and turning at night and have you feeling sluggish throughout the day. Your body needs proper fuel to be able to perform even the simplest tasks. Having a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables, proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains will allow your body and brain to stay alert and motivated to take on the day.For more tips on how healthy nutrition can positively affect your sleep check out our recent article about how what you eat promotes healthy sleep.
Studies show that people who exercise just 20 minutes a day are less likely to struggle with mid-day exhaustion and have an easier time falling asleep at night. If you’re the type of person who sits in an office all day or has a hard time finding a few spare moments to get out and exercise, then chances are you know what we’re talking about. You come home feeling tired and ready to hit the hay, but as soon as the lights go off you find your brain still turning. Physical exercise is not only beneficial to your health but also to you mind. Hitting the gym after work, or getting in a morning yoga class before taking the kids to school can drastically help you feel more alert throughout the day while allowing you to sleep soundly at night.
Mindfulness can be as simple as spending 5 minutes sitting in a quiet place with your eyes closed. The goal of mindfulness is to pull you into the present and allow your mind to quiet the lengthy ‘to-do lists’, the buzz of a new text message, and the worry of putting together a big presentation. Mindfulness is shown to help calm the mind and allow your body to reach a more peaceful state throughout the day. It encourages focus, and acting with purpose, helping you to fall asleep faster when the day is done. This Meditation for Real Life series is a helpful tool for getting started.
If you’re like many Americans then there’s a chance you enjoy an average of 1-3 caffeinated beverages a day. Drinking caffeine after 3 o’clock in the afternoon can make it more difficult for your body to relax in time for you to fall asleep. Studies show that it can take your body 3-5 hours to rid itself of the effects of coffee. So the next time you’ve hit a mid-day slump try waking up the brain with a dozen or so jumping jacks, or taking in a few minutes of fresh air. Movement can be just as effective in waking us up and helping us power through the rest of the work day.
We all know the feeling of lying awake in bed scrolling through Instagram or Facebook or emails and then suddenly realizing you’ve been at it for 45 minutes. Ah! Not only does this happen with smartphones but also channel surfing and scrolling in search of your newest binge-watch as well. Studies have shown that children who have one or more technological devices in their rooms – TVs, video games, cell phones, etc. – get less sleep on school nights than those who have a tech-free bedroom. This goes for adults as well. That little blue screen we can’t seem to look away from is actually making it harder for you to sleep because it reduces the production of melatonin. So the next time you reach for your phone before bed, remember that giving yourself at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before bed will help you to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Sleep well!
Photo by BRUNO CERVERA