Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to starting each day off right. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than a third of American adults don’t get enough sleep on a regular basis. If you fall into this category and hope to find new ways to feel more refreshed throughout the day, try these tips and tricks that can improve your sleep and boost your energy levels.
- Develop a Sleep Routine
People who have a consistent and fixed sleeping schedule tend to get higher quality sleep. Having a routine helps maintain the body’s internal clock, whereas interruptions to your circadian rhythm can lead to weight gain and other metabolic disturbances.
To develop a bedtime routine, try unwinding one to two hours before bed and keeping your devices off during this time. However, everyone’s different, and you need to get to know what relaxes your body. Some people may enjoy eating a light snack, reading a book, or meditating before bed.
- Splurge on a New Mattress
The mattress you use plays an integral role in maintaining healthy sleep habits. But mattresses aren’t one-size-fits-all; you have to put time and effort into finding the best mattress according to your weight, usual sleep position, pre-existing conditions, and comfort preferences. Fortunately, you have a wide range of choices, including air foam, memory foam, latex, innerspring, and hybrid models.
Generally speaking, softer mattresses are apt for side sleepers under 130 pounds, while a medium-firm mattress is recommended for sleepers between 130-230 pounds. Extra firm mattresses are suitable for back and stomach sleepers over 230 pounds.
However, if you have chronic back pain, you may need to choose a softer mattress. For lower back pain, look into medium-firm choices. If you have middle and upper back pain, you may need to invest in a pillow with the right amount of lift to reduce strain to the middle and lower back.
- Invest in a Mattress Topper
Many people don’t experience chronic back pain but do endure acute back pain, which is sudden and short-term. For such pain, you will need temporary relief. You can either use extra pillows or invest in a mattress topper to support your back needs.
If you don’t usually experience back pain and have a firm mattress, using a topper can make your mattress softer. Moreover, once your back pain dissipates, especially if the problem is due to an injury or strain, you can remove the topper easily.
- Eat Protein First Thing in the Morning
Breakfast is vital because it keeps you alert and satiated until lunch, and it’s important to include a protein source in this meal. If you don’t start your day with protein or consume adequate protein throughout the day, you’ll likely feel tired and sluggish.
Your body takes longer to absorb protein compared to carbohydrates, which is why it provides a lasting energy source to keep you going throughout the day. Protein-based foods offer the energy your body needs to repair and build new tissues. When it comes to breakfast, you can try various recipes incorporating ingredients such as poultry, milk, Greek yogurt, nuts, cheese, lean red meat, and tofu.
- Drink More Water
You may think that sports drinks are the right choice for an energy boost and optimum workout endurance, but it isn’t the healthiest choice. If you’re dehydrated, one of the first signs that your body will show is fatigue. Dehydration doesn’t just reduce athletic performance; it also makes you sluggish and sleepy.
Water is the only nutrient that can refresh you and improve your energy levels without adding extra calories or artificial preservatives. If you find yourself feeling tired throughout the day or unable to keep your eyes open, you can try increasing your water intake.
- Reduce Stress
Stress is another that affects not just energy levels but also your sleep quality. Figure out what may be causing you stress and find different ways to combat it, such as exploring yoga or meditation. Exercising regularly can also help reduce stress levels and help you feel tired around bedtime.
Rest, Refresh, Repeat
The key to maintaining energy even through the longest days is to get plenty of sleep, refresh your body with protein, water, and exercise during the day, then repeat. If you can keep this cycle going, you’ll find yourself feeling energized, focused, and ready to conquer whatever the day throws at you.