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What could be hurting your sleep?

What Could Be Hurting Your Sleep?

Not getting enough sleep can be a very frustrating experience, but even more frustrating is figuring out why. There is a long list of things that could affect your sleep, from your sleep hygiene and daily habits, to medications, diet, exercise, and medical conditions. Here are some of the most common things that might be hurting your sleep.


Stress

First up is stress. The reason why doctors think stress causes so many of your ailments, is because it can! Stress doesn’t just affect your mental and emotional health, but your physical health as well. It is vital that you get a handle on your stress levels, or just about every area of your life is going to suffer, including your sleep.

Try to find ways to relieve your stress if you have been suffering from sleep deprivation. This might mean cutting hours at work, practicing more self-care, reducing time with toxic people in your life, or just finding simple stress relievers like exercise or taking a day off every week.

Your Sleeping Environment

People are now understanding more about sleep quality and sleep hygiene, which includes where you sleep and your bedroom environment. If your bedroom is not set up to get good sleep, such as being too hot or too cold, extremely bright, or with a lot of distractions, you aren’t going to get good sleep. Take some time to improve your sleeping environment to be calming and peaceful.

Lack of Bedtime Rituals

You might also not have good bedtime rituals and sleep habits. The way you get ready for sleep each night is just as important as the quality of your mattress and having a relaxing sleep environment. If you watch TV on the couch every night and fall asleep there, you are going to wake up with back and neck pain, and have trouble falling back asleep.

Start preparing for bed an hour or so before your actual bedtime by winding down, relaxing with tea or a bath, and doing quiet, relaxing activities like journaling or reading. Make sure you do this consistently every night to get your mind and body ready for bed.

Distractions and Electronics

Do you keep your TV on at night or use your phone until you finally fall asleep? If so, this might be why you are suffering from sleep deprivation. These distractions can seem like they are helping you fall asleep, but they also cause a lot of disturbances every time you wake up.

If you are checking your phone when you wake up to roll over to your other side, your brain is becoming more alert from whatever notifications or emails you have. This is really screwing up your sleep. Keep the phone away from the bed where you can’t reach it, turn the light off, and turn off your television and laptop.

Medical Conditions

Certain medical conditions might also be contributing to your lack of sleep, like Parkinson’s, diabetes, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and heart disease. If you suffer from any medical conditions that cause discomfort or stress at night, talk to your doctor about treating them.

Your Diet

Finally, your diet should also be considered. There are some foods that can actually help to encourage sleep, such as turkey and healthy carbs, while a diet of sugar, caffeine, and alcohol before bed is going to inhibit your sleep. You will have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, which could keep you from ever reaching that deep, REM sleep everyone needs each night.


Try to work on improving your sleep habits, set your room up to be prepared for bed, and stop leaving your phone on your bed or nightstand. These are all severely hurting your quality of sleep.

5 surprising things that zap your energy

5 Surprising Things That Zap Your Energy

In the fast-paced society, you need to be at the top of your energy level to deal with the many challenges that you face during the day. However, many factors can leave you feeling like you're running on empty. The more you push yourself beyond your energy reserves, the more you are putting your health at risk. If you want to be at your highest level of performance, here are five pitfalls to avoid.

Dehydration Drinking Detox Fresh Beverage

Dehydration

Even mild dehydration will slow down circulation in your body, depriving your muscles of much-needed oxygen. This can, in turn, significantly deplete your energy reserves. Severe dehydration can leave you feeling nauseous and entirely out of commission. To keep from becoming too dehydrated, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Sugar

Sugar is an incredibly addictive substance and can be found in just about every processed food. While it can make you feel energetic shortly after consuming it, it also makes your insulin levels rise before quickly dropping off. This sudden dip in your blood sugar will leave you struggling to concentrate and stay on your feet. To avoid a sugar crash, try to stick with eating unprocessed foods and avoid foods with added sugar.

Poor Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, you can’t be at your best. Sleep deprivation can impair your memory, alter your mood, increase your risk of chronic illnesses, like heart disease and diabetes, and cause you to gain weight. Try going to bed an hour earlier at night if you find that you are sleep-deprived.

Stress

One of the leading causes of depleted energy is stress. When your body responds to stress, adrenaline courses through your body, and cortisol levels spike. When you have ongoing stress, all of your body’s systems are affected including your cardiovascular system and immune system, leading to your energy reserves becoming chronically depleted.

Spending Too Much Time Inside

Being cooped up inside all day, without sunlight and fresh air, you will likely find yourself fatigued. Often the air indoor is stuffy and infused with toxins like chemicals from synthetic materials and air fresheners. Artificial lighting can also deplete your energy and may cause you to have trouble falling asleep, and wake up still drained.

Many things in your life could be affecting your energy levels. However, starting with the above five areas is a great way for you to start feeling more alert and refreshed and ready for the day.  

Boost your energy levels in 10 minutes

When low energy threatens to drag you down, don’t turn to an energy drink, or candy to lift you back up. While the sugar and caffeine might provide you with a quick pick-me-up, it will quickly wear off leaving your feeling even more drained. Here are lasting fatigue fighters that will leave you feeling refreshed and vitalized and ready to tackle your day.

Eat Your Breakfast

People who eat a balanced breakfast every morning report that they experience less fatigue and stress than those who skip it. Eating high-fiber foods, like oatmeal, will stick with you longer than a sweet roll. They will prevent you from getting hungry as the day wears on, keeping your energy levels high.

Strike a Pose

Recent studies have shown that yoga can be an excellent fatigue fighter. It uses various postures and deep breathing to help get your heart pumping and oxygen circulating. Both of which can provide you with an instant energy boost.

Drink Water

Not drinking enough water during the day can lead to dehydration which can leave your feeling fatigued. You want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell when you’re well hydrated because you won’t feel thirsty and your urine will be light in color.

Eat Nuts

Almonds and peanuts are high in magnesium and folate, which are essential nutrients your body needs for energy and cell production. If your body lacks these nutrients, it can leave you feeling weary. When your energy is low, eat a handful of nuts. 

Grab a Cinnamon Stick

Just getting a whiff of this spice has been shown to reduce fatigue and make you feel more alert. If you don’t have any cinnamon handy, you can also grab a mint. The sweet aroma of peppermint has also been shown to have an effect on fatigue for some people.

Get Moving

Exercise is a natural energy booster. This is because when you exercise oxygen-rich blood floods your body, flowing to your heart, muscles, and brain. Even if you are only able to spare 10 minutes at a time, squeezing in regular exercise will help keep your energy levels at their peak.

Get More Sun

Just spending a few minutes outside on a warm, bright day can lead to an enhanced mood, better memory, and an increased ability to absorb new information. Getting out can also help improve your self-esteem.

Incorporating even one of these energy-boosting activities into your day can help you fight fatigue and increase your energy levels throughout the day.

Eat these health foods to boost your energy

When our energy levels become low, too many times, we instinctively reach for a cup of coffee or a handful of chips, hoping to get a quick boost of energy. However, consuming too much caffeine can have the opposite effect, while simple carbohydrates, like sweet beverages and chips, can cause you to see a spike in your blood sugar before quickly crashing, leaving you even more tired than before. Here are six healthy foods that will help you maintain your energy levels so you can power through the afternoon.

Almonds

Almonds contain magnesium and B vitamins that help to convert food into energy. When you have low magnesium levels, you become tired more quickly, while insufficient levels of B vitamins can lead to a decrease in concentration, irritability, and fatigue. To get an instant boost in energy, eat one ounce of almonds.

Popcorn

Whole-grain carbohydrates are snacks with staying power, thanks in part to the fiber that helps to prevent blood-sugar crashes. Popcorn is a better alternative to chips because not only is it a whole-grain snack, but it is low in calories as well.

Peanut Butter

While peanut butter is a calorie dense food, a little goes a long way in providing you energy. It contains healthy fats, fiber, and protein that can help stave off hunger and maintain your blood sugar levels. Be sure to avoid brands that have added sugar and stick to two tablespoons per serving.

Bananas

Bananas are filled with potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6, nutrients that promote muscle function and sustained energy. They are especially significant as a pre- or post-workout snack. Create an even more energizing combo by pairing a banana with a cup of yogurt or a glass of low-fat milk. Consider eating a banana in the morning to fuel your body for the better part of the morning.

Kale

Add an extra energy-boost to your salad by using nutrient-rich kale rather than iceberg lettuce. Kale contains the amino acid L-tyrosine, which can help give you a mental lift, as well as antioxidants and fiber that help fill you up and help keep your blood sugar stable. If you're not big into eating salad, you can also sauté kale for a side dish, chop it into soups, or toss it with whole-wheat pasta.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in fiber, which will provide you with lasting energy. Having oatmeal for breakfast will help power you through the entire morning thanks to taking a long time to digest.

Eating the right foods throughout the day can help you maintain your energy levels and keep you going until it’s time for bed.

Increase your energy levels with these 5 tips

It is becoming more challenging to maintain high levels of energy because of our full lives, high workload, and bad habits. Having enough energy to tackle all your responsibilities is essential for getting things done. If you're struggling with fatigue, and finding it more challenging to keep your energy high, here are a few tips to help you eliminate fatigue and accomplish all your tasks during the day.

Tip #1 – Limit Screen Time

According to a recent study conducted by Dr. Marc Bergman, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan, television isn't as restful as you may think. As you age, smartphones and TVs have fewer and fewer stress-reducing benefits. Rather than turning to a screen to unwind, it is recommended that you read, talk with friends, work out, or go for a walk. Disconnecting from technology can help to clear your mind before bed, resulting in improved quality of sleep and increased energy.

Tip #2 – Exercise

Even though you may feel like skipping the workout at the end of an especially exhausting day, you shouldn’t because it has been proven that exercise gives you energy. It also helps you sleep more soundly, gives your cells more energy to burn, and increases the circulation of oxygen throughout your body, as well as relieving stress.

Tip #3 -  Maintain a Balanced Diet

Get more energy by consuming vegetables and lean proteins throughout the day. When you are stressed and suffering from fatigue, you may be tempted to reach for an unhealthy snack like chips and cookies. However, if you want to maintain a high level of energy throughout the day, you need to consume healthy snacks and meals. Reach for vegetables, nuts, and whole grains to help you replenish your energy.

Meal Onion Food Cooking Diet Healthy Vegetable

Tip #4 – Stay Hydrated

One of the first symptoms you’ll experience when you become dehydrated is fatigue. Help manage your energy levels and your metabolism by making sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Nutritionists and doctors say that we should be getting eight, eight-ounce glasses of water every day.

Tip #5 – Limit Caffeine

While studies show a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and one in the afternoon, before 2 p.m. can be useful for you, it is essential that you don't overdo it. Too much caffeine can lead to feelings of anxiety, insomnia, rapid heart rate, and fatigue.

You don’t have to continue to suffer from fatigue. Follow these simple tips to eliminate exhaustion and increase your energy levels.

Simple stretches to boost your energy at work

Sitting for long periods of time has been proven to be bad not only for your body but your mind as well. Unfortunately for most of us, our jobs require us to sit for the majority of the day. When you can get your blood flowing, it can help you to stay fresh, boosts energy, and even helps your body work more efficiently. While you may not have the time during your work to get up and move around as often as you should, you can do the following simple stretches at your desk to improve both your body and mind.

Seated Twist

While sitting in your chair, keep a long, tall spine. Place your right hand along the outside of your left knee. Using your right hand as leverage, twist your upper body to the left. Place your left hand as far right as you can to have something to hang onto while you are turning. As you twist, exhale as you move deeper into the twist and inhale as you ease out of it. Repeat the process on the other side. Repeat two to three times.

Shoulder/Chest Opener

Sit on the edge of your chair. Reach behind your back and grasp your hands together to open your chest and shoulders. Inhale, noticing how it increases the stretch through your chest, and exhale. Release your hands and repeat two to three times.

Seated Pigeon

Sitting on the edge of your chair, place your right ankle over your left knee. Make sure that you keep your left foot directly under your left knee. Sit nice and tall. Imagine that a string is pulling the top of your head up towards the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds, then release. Repeat the stretch two to three times on each side.

Hip Flexor Stretch

Sitting tends to shorten and tighten your hip flexors, which when tight, often presents with an achy back. Move to the edge of your chair and shift your body to face to the left. Extend your right leg behind you with a straight knee. Lift your sternum while trying to tuck your tailbone under. Repeat on both sides two to three times.

You don’t have to do all of the stretches at once. Every 45 minutes choose a few different stretches to complete. Taking a few minutes throughout the day will boost your energy and your brain and body will thank you.

Top ways to boost your energy

Everyone has experienced a complete energy drain, which leaves you unable or unwilling to get yourself up and go. You may end up finding it more difficult to concentrate on tasks and begin to find your frustration levels rising and your patience declining. There are energy zappers all around us. Fortunately, there is a way around almost all of them. Here are the top ways you can beat fatigue and boost your energy.

Increase your Magnesium

Help ensure that your vitamin and mineral needs are met by eating a balanced diet. However, if you still feel exhausted, you may have a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium, along with being needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, is also the primary mineral that breaks down glucose into energy. If you want to keep your energy levels high, you need to be sure to take in 300 milligrams of magnesium if you are a woman, and 350 milligrams if you are a man.

Take a Walk

Increasing your physical activity, particularly walking, has shown to be effective in improving energy levels. Walking is by far the simplest way to increase your physical activity because it can be done anywhere and doesn't require specific training or specialized equipment. Studies have shown that taking a quick 10-minute walk not only increases your energy, but the effects last up to two hours.

Take a Power Nap

Pushing your brain too hard and information overload can quickly zap energy, according to research. However, taking a 60-minute power nap can reverse the mind-numbing effects from information overload, as well as helping us better retain what we've learned.

Drink More Water and Less Alcohol

Even the smallest amount of dehydration can make you feel tired and lethargic. Drinking enough water throughout the day is an essential and easy way to boost your energy, especially after exercising. If you find that you are still feeling exhausted, even after getting a good night's sleep, you can try cutting out the amount of alcohol you drink during the evening hours. While alcohol may help you fall asleep, it can interfere with your deep sleep, resulting in you not getting the rest you think you are. By cutting down on the alcohol you consume before bedtime, you’ll get more sleep, which will help to increase your energy levels the next day.

As you may know, it can be challenging to make it through your day when you are feeling fatigued. Follow these simple tips, and you can begin to see a boost in your energy to help you get through your day.

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