Probably one of the most common questions naturopathic physicians here in their practices is this one: “How can I get more energy?”
Do this in bed to have more energy and lose more weight
People are wired and tired, fatigued, running on empty, and dragging through their days. They constantly ask if there’s something they can take, something they can eat, something they can do that will give them more of what they are clearly, sadly, lacking: energy.
With all the infomercials running non-stop on late night television promising instant energy in a bottle, you could almost believe that the only reason for this widespread fatigue and lack of energy is that people aren’t drinking enough “5 Hour Energy Drink”.
That’s not the reason.
The real reason for the “no energy” epidemic is very simple–It’s a lack of sleep.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. Below, you’ll find a few simple tips you can use, starting today, to improve your sleep.
But first, let’s talk a little bit about why sleep is so important.
Sleep: The Metabolic Repairman
The body goes through five stages of sleep—4 stages plus the all-important stage known as REM, which stands for rapid eye movement. The body cycles through these five stages several times a night, and important metabolic work gets done during this time.
If sleep is too short, or interrupted, or not restful, the cycle gets broken up and your metabolism suffers.
Sleep influences appetite, stress, libido, and mood. There’s almost nothing you could do that’s more important to your overall well-being and to your metabolic health than getting a really good night’s sleep, every single night.
And by the way—lack of sleep also directly affects your waistline, and here’s why. When you don’t sleep soundly, your stress hormones go on overdrive, which drives you to overeat and to crave carbohydrates. Stress hormones also direct the body to deposit fat around the middle, which leads to the dreaded “apple shape”, the pattern of fat distribution that is so dangerous for your heart.
If you want to master your metabolism, you need to master your hormones, and sleep is one of the most important places that hormone balancing occurs. Important biochemicals are manufactured and replaced during sleep including human growth hormone and melatonin, the powerful antioxidant and anti-cancer hormone that most people think of as something you only take for jet lag. But for all this hormone production to happen, you need to sleep better and you need to sleep longer.
So here are three tips for how to do it.
Tip #1: Set the Temperature at 68 Degrees…
Most of us sleep in rooms that are too warm, which is neither healthy nor natural.
The body’s temperature naturally drops during sleep (that’s why in movies you always see people cover up a friend who’s just fallen asleep).
The body prefers this lower temperature during sleep, and if the room is too hot, you have to “work” to keep the equilibrium and that interferes with good sleep. So keep the room comfortably cool—68 degrees is perfect.
Tip #2: No media. None…
Take a complete media break for half an hour before hitting the sack. No kidding. This means no television, no email, no computer for one full half hour before bedtime.
Remember, this is the transition time during which you prepare the body for the relaxation and slumber to come.
You do NOT need the television to fall asleep to. The last thing your subconscious mind needs to hear as it drifts off into sleep is the latest news on the Kardashians.
Tip #3: Keep it Dark...
Studies show that even the slightest light in the room can measurably interfere with metrics used to measure good, restful sleep. So keep the lights off—all of them. Dark, cool, and media-free is the way to go.
Start by doing these three simple steps and watch what happens. Your energy may improve drastically, all without taking a single prescription pill!
Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash
INM's team is made up of naturopathic doctors and health journalists.