Are your nightly Z’s eluding you again? Do you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep – or maybe both? Well the old saying, “fake it ‘til you make it” may just be your ticket to feeling rested and rejuvenated in the morning even if you didn’t get the shut-eye you wanted. Try these tips to trick your body into feeling restored:
- Open Your Shades: Let a little sunshine in first thing in the morning. Joyce Walsleben, PhD, coauthor of A Woman’s Guide to Sleep says, “Natural light resets your body clock, helping you function better all day.”
- Eat a Good Breakfast: Even though sleepiness may lead us to want sugary foods for breakfast, those foods will just start a mean cycle of tiredness and irritability for the rest of the day. Do what you can to fight those cravings and choose a healthy breakfast full of healthy protein and whole grain carbs to stick with you and give you more energy. Throw in a piece of fruit for the sweet factor.
- The Next Best Thing to a Nap: While it seems the best way to combat a poor night’s sleep would be a quick afternoon snooze, that doesn’t work for most of our busy schedules. Matthew Edlund, MD, author of The Power of Rest suggests a trick called “paradoxical relaxation.” Focus on one muscle group at a time, concentrating only on how it feels and nothing else, for 15 seconds. Continue until you have completed every muscle group in your body. Believe it or not, you will feel much more rested.
- Drink Your Coffee Slowly: No matter how groggy you feel, the average person only needs about 2oz of coffee an hour to feel an energy boost. If you space out your sips, your morning brew will last the better part of the day and give you a more even and lasting lift without interfering with your ability to fall asleep that night. Just be sure to cut off caffeine by 3pm.
- Take a Walk: Some studies suggest that a quick workout, even a brisk walk, does even more wonders in waking you up than a nap would. If you’re having a hard time keeping your eyelids up, step outside for a quick 10-minute walk. Getting moving will increase your circulation which will give you more energy. Michael Breus, PhD, author of The Sleep Doctor’s Diet Plan says, “Movement boosts core temperature and stimulates the heart, brain and muscles, preventing a slump.”
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image Credit: Granola by Lori Ann. Used under a creative commons license.
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