Everybody needs more energy these days. We’re in the middle of an exhaustion epidemic. It’s a problem. Lots of us turn to chemical solutions like caffeine in the morning and sleeping pills in the evening to keep us energised enough to function. But there are healthier, more natural ways to give your energy levels a boost. Here are just a few of them.
Caffeine wakes you up, but it also prevents you from sleeping. The best way to boost your energy on a deep and lasting level is to do things the old-fashioned, boring way. Which includes sorting out your sleep cycle. No chemical short cuts!
‘Sleep better’ is not the same as ‘sleep more’. What good sleep is for you is going to be different from what it is for the next person. Some people can thrive on four hours of good sleep a night, other people need nine or ten hours of good sleep a night. Both are valid. The trick is to ensure that the sleep you’re getting is deep, rejuvenating, high quality sleep. 12 hours of light dozing is worse than three hours of deep and restful slumber. For tips on sleeping better, check out our article on the subject.
Be good to yourself. Don’t take on too much. Lower your stress levels. Respect your own needs. Self-care will improve your wellbeing, which will improve your natural energy. and remember self-care if not selfish!
Get outside more
Spending time outside has numerous benefits for human health, one of which is to provide a natural boost in energy levels. Partly this is because being outside is generally more stimulating and invigorating than being inside, and this helps us to sleep better. But there’s also evidence that being outside increases levels of serotonin, which is a hormone known to contribute to wakefulness, focus, and good moods. Why not take a stroll round the block during your lunch hour to blow away the cobwebs?
Yes, it’s boring, but it works. Exercise, a healthy diet, staying hydrated…it will all boost your energy levels.
Look after your liver
Your liver is the lynchpin of your metabolism. It breaks down fats and sugars and feeds them into your bloodstream. The healthier your liver is, the more efficient your metabolism will be, and the more energy you’ll have. So be nice to it!
One of the first things noticed by people who quit smoking is a sudden and dramatic increase in their energy levels. This is probably due to a combination of getting more oxygen, better blood sugars (nicotine disrupts your body’s sensitivity to its own insulin), and a lack of nicotine crashes. If you’re struggling with the motivation to quit smoking, think of all that energy waiting for you on the other side!
This kind of comes under the ‘live healthy’ and ‘look after your liver’ bullets, but it’s worth digging into a little. Alcohol messes with your circadian rhythms in ways which severely deplete your energy stores. While it may seem to make you sleepy, the ‘sleep’ you get isn’t good quality sleep. When you’re sleeping drunk, it’s more like your body has knocked you out so that it can get down to cleaning the alcohol out of your system in peace. You wake up exhausted from all that hard work your body has put in while you were out for the count. So, for optimum energy, keep your drinking moderate and responsible.