Combat dwindling energy levels the day after a bad night's sleep with our round-up of the best, energy-boosting techniques
Having trouble sleeping? If you find yourself moaning about how sleep deprived you are everyday, you’re not alone.
Boasting about how little sleep you got last night is what’s known as collective fatigue syndrome and these days it’s the modern woman’s sign of having it all. Although more than a third of women are now the main breadwinners in their families, they still do two thirds of the housework. No wonder we’re so tired!
Not only are women doing more but research shows that because they’re such multi-taskers, women need 20 minutes more sleep than men in order to recover properly.
So instead of bragging about your sleeplessness, combat your tiredness with these top tips to help you get the energy you need to make it through the next day. With our simple solutions, you can make up your sleep debt so nobody notices you’re feeling weary – not even your boss!
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From dosing up on the right kinds of caffeine to the ideal, energy-boosting menu, we’ve got the all-natural tips for tricking your body in to thinking it’s had its full eight hours.
Hydration and alertness are key to keeping the energy levels buzzing, so click through to find out how you can stop yourself from drifting off at your desk…
By Sarah Holmes
It may seem obvious, but caffeine really is your best friend. Two cups of coffee will give you as much alertness as you're going to get. Anymore and you'll get the jitters. But don't make the mistake of grabbing for energy drinks! Caffeine-rich as they may be, they lack the anti-oxidants and other useful chemicals found in tea and coffee. Stick to the coffee beans, or tea bags, and you'll feel re-energised and rejuvenated in no time.
Did you know just one sleepless night could lead to a whole week of bad health? By knocking your body out of its natural sync, it loses its ability to ward off harmful bacteria. So give yourself a helping hand by stocking up on immune-boosting vitamin E and selenium. Supplements will give you a more concentrated hit, but almonds and dried apricots are also a great, natural way to bolster yourself.
That's right, DON'T go to bed early the day after a bad night's sleep. It seems counter-productive, but re-establishing a normal sleeping cycle should be your key priority after a disruptive night. It should only take one good night of sleep to counterbalance a bad one. But if sleeplessness is an ongoing problem, you may need to look for a more targeted solution. From nasal strips to hypnotherapy, there's a range of treatments for a range of troubles. Of course, if you're purposely avoiding sleep to get more done - stop now, it's no good for you at all!
It's probably the very last thing you feel like doing but a short burst of light exercise in the late morning or early afternoon could do wonders for your energy levels. It doesn't have to be a full-on gym class - maybe just take a brisk walk at lunchtime, or run up and down the stairs instead of taking the lift. Just don't overdo it. You should aim for a post-exercise glow, not sweaty brow and smudged eye liner.
Snoozing off at your desk is easy enough on the best of days, let alone after a bad night's sleep. The secret is to keep your mind as alert as possible. Alternate between physical and mental activities at work - answer some emails, then take a parcel down to the mailroom perhaps. It's all about keeping busy, and not letting boredom get the best of you.
Ruthlessly loading up on chocolate and sweets will only have a long-term negative impact, especially when you've had a bad night's sleep. Combating tiredness with energy-boosting sugary foods might make sense in the moment, but hours later you will pay the price when your body comes crashing down with your blood sugar levels. Stick to a balanced, protein-rich diet by snacking on foods like nuts and lean meats.
Let's face it, you're not going to be at your best when you're tired. So don't try and overload your day with important tasks. It will just weigh you down, and you'll probably have to repeat those tasks the next day anyway. Simplify your workload by prioritising exactly what needs doing and focusing on doing those tasks to the best of your ability.
Check out our simple tips for clearing your mind
Catching a few minutes of shuteye could help combat your energy slump. Napping up to 25 minutes can recharge your batteries, but any longer will make you feel drowsy. For a serious energy hit, why not try a nap-a-latte? Drink a cup of iced coffee as quickly as possible then have a 25-minute nap. Then you can reap the benefits when the caffeine starts to kick in.
Create an atmosphere of relaxation before bedtime with the help of some essential oils. Studies suggest that lavender extract has mild sedative qualities which lengthen rest time and encourage a deeper doze. Try the Neom Luxury Organics Tranquillity set with a lovely candle, bath oil and room mist made with English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine.