If you need help on how to get more energized for work, read on.
This is the story of my most embarrassing moment at work.
I’m sitting in a toilet cubical and I can barely keep my eyes open. Before I know it, I have the cleaner knocking on the door, asking me if everything was okay.
I’d been in there for 30 minutes but had no idea because I’d fallen asleep.
I was so ashamed. It was only 10am and I’d been at work for just an hour!
This might sound like an extreme example of tiredness but I’m sure you can relate to it. That feeling of having no energy, always feeling tired and all you want to do is go home to bed. Then, when you get home, you end up staying up late anyway.
I decided I needed to do something about it. I didn’t want to be that guy sleeping in the toilets at work anymore so I started exploring how to boost my energy levels.
That’s when I discovered these tips. If you apply these to your lifestyle, you will be ready to take on whatever work throws at you.
Tips on how to get more energized:
1. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier
It is so easy to watch that extra episode of your favourite box set when you know you should be going to sleep. You know that going to bed early would be the best idea but you just can’t bring yourself to turn it off.
This is because we have entered a gratification cycle. By going on social media sites, we are getting what’s known as dopamine hits. This is from consuming short bursts of content. This makes it harder for us to put down that technology.
The blue light found in these devices also suppresses melatonin, a hormone that helps control our sleep and wake cycles. Our cortisol hormone levels then increase, which make it harder for us to get to sleep.
As a result, in the morning, you find yourself pressing snooze because you’ve only had 6 hours sleep or less. Well, don’t give in to temptation.
By going to sleep and getting up at the same time each day, you are setting your body’s internal clock. This can increase your sleep quality and therefore make you feel less tired the next day.
It is important to stick to this routine on the weekend too if you can. Otherwise, you get that dreaded Monday morning feeling when your alarm goes off.
If you want a little more help getting up at the right time each day, download a free sleep cycle alarm clock on your mobile phone via iTunes or Google Play. These apps track your sleep patterns and wake you up during your lightest sleep. This is a natural way of waking up and feeling rested without the use of an alarm clock.
The best way to find out how much sleep you need each night is by experimenting. Try going to bed a little earlier each night until you feel well rested. If you happen to wake up early with less than an hour and a half before you need to get up, make sure you get up. This is so that you’re not entering a new sleep cycle. If yo don’t do this, the sleep cycle will only be half completed, causing you to feel more tired when your alarm goes off.
2. Eat breakfast
Out of all our meals, breakfast is the most important. We can’t count the number of times we’ve heard this or been told this. But it’s true. Breakfast increases your energy levels. For example, oats are great for slow release energy. They will stop you getting hungry sooner as hunger can cause us to feel tired.
Slow release energy is important because if we opt for food that are high in sugar, such as cakes or pastries, we will release sugar quickly into our bloodstream. This can cause insulin spikes that can create energy highs but also energy crashes.
By having breakfast, you are breaking the fast. So if you choose to skip this meal, you are running on empty.
Breakfast also provides us with a lot of nutrients like calcium, iron, protein and fibre. These are nutrients we might not get in other meals during the day.
Breakfast also restores our blood glucose level back to normal after our overnight fast. We usually skip breakfast because we don’t have time in the morning. But if you follow tip 1 then you should have plenty of time in the morning to sit down with a bowl of porridge. (I like mine with honey).
According to Mayo Clinic, when we eat a good and hearty breakfast, it refuels the body and restocks it with glycogen stores that supply us with immediate energy. When we skip breakfast, it results in decreased physical activity and performance.
3. Drink more water and drink less caffeine
Now this is a difficult one if you are surrounded by coffee at work and absolutely love it.
It might seem like coffee is keeping your energy levels up in the day but when it comes to going to sleep at night, you may find your mind is still buzzing.
This will result in another late night causing you to wake up feeling so tired you have to drink two more cups of coffee before 10am. And then the cycle repeats itself… Don’t let this be you.
Caffeine can stay in our system for up to 6 hours. To make sure this doesn’t affect your sleep, make sure you don’t have any after 2pm.
It might make us feel like we have energy, but once the adrenaline of drinking the coffee wears off, you can end up feeling tired and irritable. Sometimes it can result in a headache due to dehydration.
The best way to get rid of relying on it is to not have it. If this is just unavoidable try a decaf option instead.
By drinking more water, we are keeping our body hydrated which will also give us more energy. Dehydration can affect your attention span. If we are dehydrated our brain has to work extra hard.
It can also increase tiredness so it is important to drink about 8 glasses of water a day.
4. Start your day outside
It can be hard to get any natural sunlight when you are stuck at a desk all day. But the lack of sun exposure can make us feel tired and lethargic. That’s why it is important to try and start your day with some sun exposure.
Try going for a quick walk or even walk to work if it is possible. Sun exposure reminds our brain that it is daytime and encourages the release of cortisol. This hormone is controlled by our internal clock called the circadian rhythm.
Shawn Stevenson (creator of the Shawn Stevenson Model blog ‘) says “sunlight in the morning can lower cortisol levels in the evening, which will help us have a better night’s sleep.”
If you can start your day with a walk instead of a cup of coffee, you will soon be flying.
5. Add exercise into your routine
Now if you are able to run or walk to work, then you are already on a great path to increasing your energy levels.
Exercise is not only brilliant in helping you sleep better at night but it is also great at calming the mind and making you feel motivated and focused. These are two key tools for a productive day at work.
In the online magazine, Psychology Today, Michael J. Breus, Ph.D. writes how exercise has multiple benefits for the body including lifting mood, reducing stress and anxiety, improving circadian rhythms, promoting alertness during the day and improving sleep at night.
If you can try and schedule just 30 minutes of exercise a day then that is a good amount. This could be a mixture of walking, running or taking the stairs instead of the lifts at work.
And there it is. Five easy tips to get you more energized and ready for whatever your day has in store for you.
And what is better is they won’t cost you a penny. You can start implementing them right away.
I have so much more energy now that I am far more productive at work and as a result rarely get stressed. Sleeping in work toilets is absolutely a thing of the past.
I’d love to hear from you if you have any secrets or tips for getting more energy. Thanks for reading!