15 Jun The HealthStyle File: I Need A Nap!
What: It happened again. Another night of tossing and turning; then you’re up at 5:30 for an early morning meeting. As you look at your schedule for the day, you also realize that both of your kids have baseball games that evening. It’s beginning to look like a very long day.
Why: A lack of sleep can leave you exhausted (yes, I figured you already knew that one!) but it can also make it more difficult for you to make good, accurate decisions. A lack of sleep can make it very difficult for your body to recover from any type of illness or hormone imbalance. A lack of sleep can also expand your waistline.
Did you know that you can “fake” eight hours of sleep if you eat certain foods during your day? By eating these foods you can increase your energy, alertness and even manage your mood, which isn’t easy during a long day. The following ideas can make you feel more energetic and alert, but your body can only handle a lack of sleep for few days. A lack of sleep, which can lead to health problems, is sleeping less than 6.5 hours a night.
How: Here are five tips that can help you “fake” eight hours of sleep:
- Drink a glass of water when you get up and continue drinking throughout the day. Once you get dehydrated, any energy you did have will fly out the window. Staying hydrated will make the most of what energy you do have.
- Walk a bit during your day. When you don’t sleep well your body will produce more stress hormones. One of the best ways to knock out these stress hormones is to exercise. Take the stairs or park a little farther away from work than you normally would. Every extra step can help.
- Eat an apple! Studies show that an apple can create more alertness in your mind/body than drinking a cup of coffee, with no shaky side-effects.
- Start your day with protein. Eat an egg or another protein in the morning. Avoid eating carbohydrates (cereal, toast, bagels); these foods create serotonin, a chemical in your body that helps you relax. Eating protein helps stimulate your brain, making you feel more alert and energized.
- Don’t skip any meals or snacks. When tired, your body will need a steady stream of high quality protein based snacks. Make sure you snack on nuts, hardboiled eggs or sliced turkey during your day.