The alarm goes off and it feels like you were hardly in bed at all, let alone slept well or feel rested.
Dragging yourself out of bed and stumbling to the shower, you can tell it is going to be a long day ahead, and you are already thinking about crawling back into bed tonight.
The next time this happens to you, use these 5 ways to cope and get your day back on track:
- Start with exercise – It may seem like the last thing you want to do when you are tired, but exercise is actually a great way to boost your energy and increase the release of natural feel good, endorphin-boosting hormones within your body. In fact, getting that extra 20-30 minutes of sleep after a rough night may not do you as much good as getting up and getting active. Activity wakes up the brain, as well as the body, and in a tired state, it is often the brain and mental activities like concentration that suffer the most.
- Skip the coffee – It may be the first thing you think of when you wake up and are tired and groggy, but it may be only a short-term fix. Caffeine is a stimulant, which activates the adrenal system in the body, stimulates the quick release of energy and then when it is passed out of the blood stream, causes the well-known crash and jitters. When you are tired, these affects can be felt even more, and your post-caffeine energy slump will leave you worse off than when you started. Instead opt for matcha tea, energy boosting yerba mate tea, or a healthy anti-inflammatory turmeric latte!
- Hydrate – Of all days, the day that you are tired, or had a bad night’s sleep, is not the one to do poorly in drinking adequate water. Water is required for nearly every bodily process, and brain function rates pretty high up there in terms of requiring proper hydration. Inadequate water can further exasperate issues with concentration and decision making skills, perception and coordination. Not to mention, can make you feel weak and lethargic, zapping energy from your already compromised reserves. Keep pumping water all day long and you will feel better for it and be healthier as well!
- Choose a better breakfast – When you are low on sleep, your energy levels will be compromised, making it even more important that you fuel properly to help generate proper energy throughout the day. Avoid starting the day with sugar or a high carbohydrate breakfast, as this activates the sugar cycle, spiking your blood sugar early in the day and then making you crash later, setting you up to repeat this cycle several times over. Instead, choose a breakfast that is high in protein, has a source of healthy fat and has some complex carbohydrate. This will fuel you up to start the day, as well as set you up for better energy all day long.
- Tackle the hardest projects first – When you are tired, it often makes everything feel way harder: harder to walk up the stairs to work, harder to make phone calls and be on conference calls, harder to tackle tasks and problem solve. But don’t make it any harder than necessary. If you are tired and know you have an important project that day or a deadline to meet, tackle that looming project first. Although you may not be as fresh and energetic as if you had adequate sleep, you’ll be the best you can be, and it will be over and done with so you can get on with your day!
By: Laura Peill, RHN, BScH – Viand Nutrition