It’s natural to feel exhausted or tired now and again. We’re all familiar with the drowsy feeling we might get after a late-night flight, an exceptionally long day of work, or an overstimulating visit with family and friends.
However, if you find yourself feeling drained of energy during a typical day, or worse, you find yourself waking up tired, your fatigue could be more all-encompassing and chronic. Eventually, this type of fatigue can take its toll on the mind and body, leaving you empty of all energy, passion, and vitality.
Fortunately, there are several ways you can increase your energy levels naturally—and no, we’re not talking about the drinks and supplements claiming to be energy boosters. HarborChase Senior Living is committed to celebrating healthy aging. We’re sharing some natural ways you can combat fatigue and boost your energy levels!
1. Eat For Energy
Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet is good for just about everything, including energy levels. While some foods are proven to increase energy—like bananas, nuts, and yogurt—simply eating an overall nutritious diet full of whole foods can boost energy levels and promote healthy aging. Some other tips to keep in mind while following an “energy-boosting” diet include:
- Eat consistent, portioned meals and snacks throughout the day
- Never skip breakfast—it provides so much vital energy for the day!
- Balance carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
- Avoid highly processed, high in sugar foods
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day (and avoid sugary energy drinks)
What About Caffeine?
Yes, caffeine boosts energy levels and helps you feel more alert. As with most things, there’s nothing wrong with coffee and other caffeinated drinks in moderation. Typically, there’s no problem with having one cup of coffee in the morning. However, when you continuously drink it throughout the day and into the afternoon, it becomes a hindrance to restful sleeping.
2. Sleep On It
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that getting quality, restful sleep at night can help with energy levels during the day. What may surprise you, though, is that your sleep may not be as quality as you think. Even if you’re in bed for the recommended six to eight hours each night, you may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sleeping soundly. This low quality sleep can result in you waking up tired and feeling groggy the following day. Here are some tips to help you sleep better:
- Don’t look at screens for at least an hour before bed - instead of watching TV, read a book, listen to music, or write in a journal
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime
- Try going to sleep around the same time each night
- Ensure your bedroom is dark and at the right temperature
The Truth Behind Naps
While napping can be a good way to make up for lost sleep during the night, they can also make it harder to fall asleep the next night. If you find that you do feel more energized after taking a nap, be careful that they don’t exceed 15-20 minutes, or else you run the risk of feeling groggy for the rest of the day and feeling awake when it’s time to go to bed.
3. Get Moving
It may seem counterintuitive that using energy to exercise can give you more energy, but, like eating well, exercising is good for just about anything and everything. In addition to countless other benefits, regularly exercising has been shown to fight fatigue, increase energy, promote healthy aging, and improve sleep.
Even though exercising is probably the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling groggy and exhausted, even a quick 15-minute walk can energize you!
4. Check Your Medications
Some common medications can cause drowsiness and lack of energy, including antihistamines, antidepressants, and certain blood pressure medications. If you’ve been prescribed a medication that makes you extremely sleepy, talk with your doctor about possible alternatives.
5. Manage Stress
Excessive stress (and not dealing with it properly) can result in insomnia and low energy, causing you to feel drained physically and emotionally. Properly managing feelings of stress and anxiety can prevent these feelings of exhaustion. Some popular ways to manage stress include meditation, yoga or tai chi, or joining a support group.
Give Yourself a Boost
Feeling drowsy and having low energy can not only leave you feeling drained, but it can also affect your productivity, relationships, and health. By making a few simple lifestyle changes, you can give yourself a much-needed (and natural!) boost of energy so you can focus on the things that matter most.
HarborChase Senior Living offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, and respite care throughout the United States. For more information on healthy aging, senior living, and HarborChase communities, visit our blog!