[color=#333333]…so i have been struggling with my own sleep and energy lately. i am not sure of the cause for my disrupted sleep as i have not changed much in my life. i also am not saying my sleep is terrible; i just am aware it can be better. so since about my birthday,i have noticed that i am sort of awake at night. and what i mean by that is, even though i am asleep and sleep well for the most part, when i turn from one side to the other shifting positions i am conscious of it. i can literally feel myself move, feel i am awake, feel myself adjusting my covers or pillows, and know that i am doing the movement. so it is not done unconsciously while in a sleep state. does that make sense?…
[color=#333333]…so another reason i know my sleep has been disrupted is that i have been feeling more drained and less energetic during the day. i, of course, think that it can also be due to the seasons changing, the early time of darkness, and the lack of sunshine, but i believe that my decreased energy levels must also be due to the fact that i am not fully sleeping soundly through the night. i do fall back asleep with no problem and i don’t have any trouble at the start of the night getting to sleep. it is just this odd thing happening that when i shift positions, i am aware of it and i am awake for those moments…
[color=#333333]…so this leads me to what i wanted to write about; energy levels. we have more control over our energy than we are led to believe. i think that people, in general, feel that they are powerless over their energy increases and decreases throughout their day. however, we do have some control over our energy levels. here are some ways to impact on keeping energy levels high throughout your day and where you would like them to be:
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]get more rest. instead of going to bed at 11 pm because you had to stay up late surfing the web or on your facebook page; turn off the technology and settle in earlier. create a set bed time and a schedule, as much as you are able to, and keep it. get 6-8 (i tend to live on the 8-9) hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. make a space that is conducive to sleep as well. this means turning off distractions, keeping the room dark, cooling the temperature, and unwinding beforehand.
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]exercise. a surefire way to increase your energy levels is to actually do things that spend your energy. i know this sounds backwards and odd. and most times people say, “i have no energy to work out; i just want to go home to veg out.” but i promise you, once you get into a workout routine you will have more energy. as your heartbeat increases with exercise, more blood surges through the brain, more oxygen is absorbed by your brain cells, and you feel more mentally alert and energetic. better-conditioned muscles also make daily tasks much easier. as you become stronger through exercise; so does your immune system.
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]drink more water. i know, i know, my answer for everything. but by staying hydrated you will avoid feeling sluggish, tired, and irritable. water accounts for approximately 60% of your body weight. your organs and all vital systems require water in order to function properly.
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]stay away from “energy boosters.” things such as coffee, caffeine, sugar, “energy” drinks, etc are all ways to send your energy levels crashing. why? you take them in for a quick burst of energy, but then since they are not natural your body “crashes” down off them causing you to need more to sustain those energy levels you enjoyed. avoid things that are unnatural ways to boost your energy. excess sugar causes fluctuations in blood sugar, which can result in plummeting energy levels. although coffee initially raises stress hormones and gives a rush of energy, consuming several cups or more of coffee per day can promote burnout.
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]take some time each day just for you. create a daily ritual where you take 20 to 30 minutes for yourself just relaxing and doing nothing (no watching tv or surfing the net). read a book, listen to music, meditate, have a cup of tea, or try a new yoga pose. do something just for you. schedule it in as you do anything else. make your “me” time a priority.
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]go outside. nature is a great energizer. breathe in the fresh air. get your dose of natural vitamin d from the sun. tire yourself out with nature. the more you are outdoors experiencing the elements, the better rest you will get and ultimately the better energy you will have.
[color=#333333]§ [color=#333333]breathe. energy, in chinese medicine, is called qi (pronounced chi). one of the most important ways we make qi is by breathing deeply. stress, poor posture, a snug waistline, and habit are some of the reasons why our breath doesn’t make it down to the bottom of our lungs. deep, diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, is a simple way we can improve energy levels.