Not getting a good night’s sleep really messes with you. From craving sugar and carbs to not being able to form a sentence, poor sleep habits will make you a bitchier you — something none of us needs.
Short-term fixes like energy drinks (ew) and coffee (yum) may work for awhile, but if you aren’t getting regular, quality sleep, your brain will turn to mush. And speaking from personal experience, not being able to carry on an adult conversation is both frustrating and humiliating.
We all know sleep is important.
According to wellness expert Dr. Amy Shah, adults should be striving to get between 8-9 hours of sleep each night. This primes our minds and bodies for optimal levels of focus and energy for the next day.
Sounds simple enough…so why can’t we do it? And if we are doing it, why do we still slog through the days? If you’re like me, you aren’t getting enough sleep because you’re waking up in the middle of the night to feed your baby — and maayybeee binging an episode or 2 of You because you can’t get back to sleep.
The answer is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but I found Amy’s expert insights on ways to feel more lively to be quite helpful.
The Energy Trifecta
In a recent episode of Off The Gram podcast, she talks about The Energy Trifecta, aka Food + Sleep + Exercise, stating if one is off balance, our whole system is out of whack.
“Your gut needs rest like your brain needs rest. Fasting for 16, 18, 24 hours is like running a marathon and maybe that’s not in your wheelhouse. Aiming for 2-3 nights per week of good quality sleep is a great start.”
So instead of following the latest diet trends, like Intermittent Fasting — which are never sustainable ways of living anyway — we should be listening to our bodies — sleeping when our eyes feel heavy, eating when we feel hungry, and exercising to feel good.
Here is what works for me
Knowing your natural rhythm of energy (when it spikes and dips), plus listening to your body (eating when you’re hungry and sleeping when you’re tired), has been the winning formula for me in my need-more-energy journey.
The mornings are my time of optimal brain power. This is when I get my best writing done, so I take advantage. In terms of productivity, my brain hates the afternoons, say between 12 pm - 3 pm. Instead of staring at a blank page cursing the creative gods, I utilize this time to work out, cook, and clean while listening to fabulous podcasts like Him & Her (highly recommend).
Eating three meals a day (as opposed to five or six smaller meals) has worked in my energy’s favor, also. Again though, what works for me might not work for you.
Get More Energy Takeaway
Sleep when you’re tired.
Eat when you’re hungry.
Exercise to feel good.
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