18/03/247 reliable ways to boost your energy levels

A woman falling asleep at her desk.

When your life is busy, fighting fatigue might seem like a never-ending battle. When common quick fixes – like a cup of coffee or a sugary snack – only make you feel worse when you crash, tiredness can seem like an unbeatable opponent. But they aren’t the only solution.

Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the seven ways to boost your energy levels, so you can reduce exhaustion.

1. Improve your sleep hygiene

The first step to beating tiredness is to examine the source. If you’re regularly getting less than seven hours of deep sleep or if you wake up frequently in the night, then your exhaustion could be stemming from a lack of proper rest.

The NHS recommends that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. If you struggle to achieve this, try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day – including weekends. After a few days of following this schedule, your circadian rhythm will likely adjust and you’ll find yourself falling asleep faster and waking up feeling refreshed.

The quality of your sleep also affects how tired you feel in the morning. If loud noises are a problem, try sleeping with earplugs or white noise playing in the background. Or if light shining through your windows disturbs you, try sleeping with an eye mask on or install black-out blinds.

If you’re struggling to sleep but can’t pinpoint the cause, you might want to speak to your doctor.

2. Cut out caffeine

Although a cup of coffee in the morning might wake you up, consuming too much of the stimulant can drain your energy levels. Drinking too much caffeine can lead to problems sleeping, and therefore tiredness during the day.

Weaning yourself off caffeine can boost your energy levels. If you don’t want to give it up completely, make sure you aren’t consuming caffeine in the afternoon as it can keep you awake for up to seven hours.

3. Drink more water

If you’re looking for a drink to replace your coffee, try to increase your water intake instead. Water is vital for your body but it’s often easy to ignore water in favour of tastier beverages, which can lead to dehydration.

Keep a glass on your desk or a bottle in your bag so you have a physical reminder to drink more. The recommended daily amount of water is eight cups, but even drinking one extra cup a day could increase your energy levels.

4. Get moving

When you’re tired, exercise might be the last thing on your mind. But working out regularly may boost your energy levels in the long run, as it helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which reduces strain on your heart.

Even a simple 15-minute walk every day comes with several benefits. Exposure to sunshine and nature could boost your mood, and the longer you keep the habit up, the better the benefits become.

5. Change your eating habits

Eating regular meals throughout the day ensures you have enough nutrients to fuel your body and keep the tiredness at bay. Slow-release foods that are high in fibre, such as wholewheat pasta or bread, keep your energy up for longer, unlike the high-sugar snack alternatives.

Instead of eating larger meals, you should eat three times a day at regular intervals with three or four healthy snacks sandwiched in between. If you struggle with deciding what to eat or choosing healthy options, then try planning and preparing your meals in advance for a week and see if it makes a difference to your energy levels.

6. Reduce stress

Worrying can be exhausting. Fortunately, there are ways to manage stress during difficult times. These can include:

  • Therapy
  • Working out
  • Yoga or tai chi
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Mindfulness activities, such as meditation and journaling
  • Engaging in hobbies you enjoy, such as reading or listening to music.

Stress can also affect your sleep, leaving you tired and anxious. Although you can’t control all the things that happen to you, learning how to ease your stress and find happiness in the things you enjoy could boost your overall wellbeing.

7. Drink less alcohol

A common misconception is that drinking alcohol before bed will make you sleep better. In reality, drinking can help you fall asleep faster, but it also drastically lowers the quality of your rest. Even if you sleep for the full nine hours, you can still wake up feeling tired.

Avoiding alcohol before bedtime and making sure you’re drinking less than the recommended 14 units a week can improve your quality of sleep and chase away your tiredness.

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