You're sitting in the office at your computer, combing through your emails, when you feel your head start to nod off. You can help but feel sleepy after hours of tossing and turning at night. Despite how much you try to shake yourself awake, you just can't seem to focus.
Lack of energy makes it hard to focus. And when you can't pay attention to your work, you are more likely to make mistakes.
But you don't have to try to push through the day, forcing yourself to stay awake. Instead of chugging another cup of coffee, try one of these tips to help you gain more energy and make it through the day.
Change Your Eating Habits
When you feel tired and sleepy, it's easy to reach for quick sources of energy. Pastries, bread, and other carbs provide a quick burn source of fuel, but if you eat too many they can significantly reduce your ability to focus.
Instead of turning to carbs right away, try increasing your protein intake. Protein gives you a long term source of energy, so you won't crash soon after eating it.
If you're feeling tired, the chances are good that you're dehydrated. Even being a little bit dehydrated can impair your ability to think straight, your mood, and your memory.
Water is also a great way to prevent headaches, which are commonplace in an office work environment. Headaches tend to sap your energy and make it difficult to pay attention to work.
Eat More Berries
Research shows eating food that is naturally rich in polyphenols can help you gain energy from inside of your body. Doing this works because polyphenols improve support regular blood sugar levels, improve the function of membranes in your heart, and reduce overall inflammation.
Foods rich in polyphenols include:
- red wine
- green tea
Polyphenols act as antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation in the body that is often behind low levels of energy. They also help regulate your metabolism, which is responsible for converting what you eat into energy. Your metabolism also interacts with your hormones, and plays a huge role in your overall level of energy.
Go Outside More Often
Ever feel like you're falling asleep at 2 pm, but don't know why? That's because your body has a natural energy dip in the afternoon.
Your body runs what's called a circadian rhythm, which regulates when you're feeling alert, and when you feel like drifting off to sleep. Most people who work a 9-5 office job run on the same circadian rhythm. It just so happens that between 1:00-3:00 p.m. coincides with one of the body's strongest urges to sleep.
However, there are ways to work around your circadian rhythm. You can easily beat the afternoon slump by taking a short walk outside. Exposing yourself to light sends a signal to your brain that it's time to be awake and alert.
One study found that going outside can be more energizing than a cup of coffee. Just 20 minutes in nature every day is enough to increase your energy long term significantly.
Start Your Day With an Energizing Yoga Practice
You don't have to go into a yoga studio to benefit from a yoga practice. There are hundreds of videos online that will help you energize your body and mind.
Most energizing yoga practices use poses that lengthen your spine, open up your hips, and stretch your shoulders. Getting these body parts into alignment is a great way to start your day centered and focused.
You don't have to put up with low energy levels during your workday. Try any one of these tips and notice the difference in your ability to focus. You won't be nodding off in front of the computer nearly as much!