Today I want to start addressing something that I’m asked ALL the time. How can I improve my energy? Let’s discuss what impacts your energy and what are causes for FATIGUE?
This will be Part 1 of a 3 Part series on ideas to help you feel more vibrant with the energy to do what you enjoy most in life!
I’m going to start by discussing the importance of sleep and nutrition. It is possible you could be tired due to a lack of sleep! Most healthy adults really need 7-9 hours of sleep to be at their best.
Previously, I shared a blog on sleep where I discuss the six lifestyle changes you can make to improve your sleep including the following:
- Limit caffeine and sugar are important especially towards the evening hours. This also includes chocolate. I’m one of those people who doesn’t do well with caffeine, period, and I also need to be careful to not have too much sugar late in the day or early evening as it can keep me awake at night taking away time from my important sleep.
- Don’t exercise at night. Exercise in the daytime can actually help promote better sleep at night, but exercise at night raises cortisol and adrenaline which can interfere with sleep, so don’t exercise too late in the evening.
- Try calming exercises like yoga poses instead! Many individuals can’t sleep because they are stressed. Try these exercises to calm your mind at night to lower that cortisol so you can sleep. Even Deep breathing during the day and night can help to calm our nervous systems so we can sleep better.
- Avoid blue light at night. Did you know that computer screens are designed to look like the sun? Computers and electronic devices like our cell phones emit blue light which keeps us awake. However, this blue light blocks melatonin production which can make it difficult to sleep at night.
- Avoid night time EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies). Don’t charge your cell phone by your head! Turn the WiFi off on your phone and charge your phone in another room. Electromagnetic fields emitted from these type of technologies also block melatonin production. Naturally, I wonder if the very devices designed to track sleep are part of what is interfering with our sleep?!
- Keep your bedroom cool. The optimal temperature is less than 68 degrees for sleep.
What supplements can be taken to improve your sleep?
- Magnesium is a calming mineral great for sleep and relaxation!
- L-theanine is a calming amino acid which helps to increase alpha waves in the brain. It’s great for anxiety and sleep. It works to boost GABA.
- GABA is another calming amino acid great for mood, anxiety, and sleep.
- 5-HTP is another calming amino acid that helps to boost serotonin which converts to melatonin.
- Melatonin is a hormone and antioxidant. Its levels are highest at night to help facilitate sleep. In low doses of 1-3 mg, supplementation can also help to promote sleep.
- Calming essential oils like Lavender, Chamomile, Cedar Wood, Lime, and Lemon can be diffused or applied to the skin for fast-acting calming support as well.
If you snore consider being tested for sleep apnea. Talk to your provider about getting a sleep study ordered.
Now let’s discuss nutrition.
Have you been tested for food sensitivities?
Did you ever think the foods you eat could be causing fatigue? I know personally if I have gluten or dairy I get very tired. Don’t underestimate the importance of learning what foods are or are not right for you to be consuming. A functional medicine provider like myself can help you to identify what they are for you.
This could be gluten, dairy, soy, corn, yeast, nuts, eggs, even some fruits, and vegetables.
Why else could you be tired?
Low blood glucose.
Eat to nurture and fuel your body. Start your day with a wholesome breakfast loaded with healthy fats and protein. It’s ok to have some carbs here like avocado toast with eggs or a protein shake with fruit.
I typically avoid carbs at lunch because I don’t want my blood sugar to crash in the afternoon.
If you snack on Halloween candy or treats at your office in the afternoon the energy it gives you is really only helping short term, as then you will crash. This crash can be low blood glucose or sugar after which you often will feel like you need more sugar or caffeine as a pick me u to. You get on a vicious cycle that we ultimately want to avoid.
So nutritionally eat meat, vegetables, and fats with minimal carbs avoiding your food sensitivities!
Learn more about nutrient and supplements in Chapter 4 of my book Your Longevity Blueprint.
Join me for part 2 of this blog where I discuss how hormone deficiencies can also lead to fatigue.
Always consult with your health care provider and share any supplements you are taking.
Thank you for tuning in. Please share this knowledge with a friend.
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