When it comes to Energy, there is a natural rhythm to our day that, if recognized and followed, helps us create a pattern that can benefit everything from our sleep to our productivity throughout the day.
Think of energy as a two-sided coin:
Sympathetic Side: Our stress response hormone cortisol, which in an optimal scneario rises as the sun comes up and falls as the day is completing
Parasympathetic Side: Melatonin, our sleep regulating hormone, is also an antioxidant. With higher levels of oxidative stress, we could burn through some of that melatonin and fall in to patterns of mis-regulated sleep.
The reality is, you shouldn’t need stimulants for energy (so back off that Red Bull you’re sipping on). As more and more stress is introduced into your system, your body will need to adapt to that stress, which may cause you to start seeing lower energy levels in the morning because you’re not sleeping as well. This can lead toward things like higher carbohydrate intake or energy drinks to increase energy.
The cycle of stimulants and stress, combined with bad sleep will then further the damage to your natural energy cycle.
Getting back to a more natural cycle of energy can optimize your health and fitness by:
Allowing for better recovery from training and/or stress
Improve performance at work and in the gym
Have better blood sugar levels and insulin response
Have better neural drive on weight training
More successful in daily life, including work and your training program
Here are some things that you can implement throughout your day to help with energy levels:
Try to sleep and wake at the same time. If you are able, pass on setting the alarm and allow yourself to wake up naturally. If you need to set an alarm, try one that gradually wakes you instead of jolting you out of deep sleep.
After dinner, stop drinking liquids. This can eliminate the need to get up in the middle of sleep to use the bathroom, thus giving you more deep, uninterrupted sleep.
Sleep in a dark, cool room.
Remove electronics and screens from the bedroom .
Develop a morning and evening routine that helps you feel energized in the morning and restful in the evening.
If you drink caffeine and aren’t giving it up any time soon.. try to reduce that amount that you take in during the day, as well as set a “cut off time” for the afternoon so that the effects have worn off and you are better able to fall asleep and stay asleep.
If you aren’t sure about your energy levels throughout the day, make a quick sheet and track them. Rate your energy level from 0-10 for each hour of the day that you are awake. From this you can chart what your flow of energy looks like in retrospect to what is “optimal” and make adjustments to help you get in to a more “natural” routine.
At OPEX Wenatchee, part of our job is helping you navigate and implement these Basic Lifstyle guidelines in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle. To set up an appointment with one of our Professional Coaches to learn more about OPEX Wenatchee, click HERE.