Tired? We thought so...
Let’s clear one thing up - it’s okay to feel tired. In fact, the demands of our 21st century lifestyles are such that it’s pretty much ingrained in us to feel tired. Whilst you can be forgiven for working a stressful and demanding job, having disrupted sleep because you live in London (it’s either someone riding their scooter along your road at 2am or the sound of the tube that’s disrupting your sleep), or lying awake worrying about your kids at Glastonbury festival...you can’t be forgiven (sorry), for callously neglecting your health during the day time when you really can make an impact.
Here are three easy ways to make a difference to your energy levels that really do work:
Sort your blood sugar levels out
One of the single most impactful ways to level out your energy is to maintain a balanced blood sugar. The trouble with feeling tired is that our brains are very clever in that they’ll recognise our lack of energy and then make us crave those quick releasing energy-dense foods which tend to be high sugar, high carb foods - the almond croissant with your coffee, for example. Once we’ve mega dosed ourselves with some sugar first thing in the morning, and likely some caffeine too, we feel great!...until we don’t. What happens when we eat quick releasing carbohydrates, or simple sugars, is that our blood sugar levels spike very high, very quickly, which prompts them to come crashing down again soon after. When they come crashing down like this they dip to below what’s called the ‘resting level’, i.e. a steady and balanced level. Our brains, then picking up on this, make us reach for that mid morning snack and the whole thing starts off again. Riding this wave of blood sugar peaks and troughs can leave us feeling overly tired and strung out and it’s a never ending cycle for some people which can be incredibly hard to break.
So how do you combat it? Well, ideally you need to ditch the sugar. Proteins and fats both slow the release of sugar into our bloodstream so a clever life hack is to always consume sugary foods with either one of these two. For example, that bowl of porridge with banana and berries and maybe a drizzle of maple syrup that you so love for breakfast? Put some nut butter on it or have a boiled egg as well and you’ll notice a huge difference. Or even better, change your breakfast from a carb heavy meal to a protein and fat heavy meal. Eggs, avocado and vegetables, for example, is a perfect set up for an energetic day, or if you’re plant based legumes and veggies or some tempeh or tofu scramble are all great options.
One further option is to go for a full day’s reset with the Prescription Sugar Detox Cleanse which contains specific functional ingredients like cherry extract which help to regulate your blood sugar level.
The Presscription Sugar Detox Cleanse (as seen above) is suitable for those who are struggling to cope with sugar and carbohydrate cravings as well as those who are coming off a high sugar diet. Designed to help reset the body’s natural hunger and satiety hormones while keeping blood sugar and energy levels balanced throughout the day.
Whilst you might not be able to do much about the noise and light pollution, if you live in London that is (if you’re lucky enough to live down some peaceful country lane somewhere then we’re jealous), you certainly can optimise your sleep by following a few simple rules.
- Invest in black-out blinds or a good quality eye mask; darkness is essential for sleep. The onset of darkness each evening initiates the secretion of melatonin, the hormone in our bodies that makes us feel sleepy and ready for bed. Without this, we’re likely to go to bed later than we should and disrupt our circadian rhythm. The threat of blue light is all too real - so switch off your phone at least an hour before bed (no tech in the bedroom is a great goal to set), and get yourself some blue blocking glasses for when you have to turn bright lights on in order to brush your teeth and get ready for bed.
- Alcohol is a sedative but not a sleep aid. Those glasses of red with dinner might help you fall asleep initially but studies have shown that the sleep you then have will be broken, less deep and ultimately less refreshing.
- Something Matthew Walker said recently really stuck with us: That if sleep wasn’t absolutely fundamental to life then it would have been bred out by evolution already. The fact that is hasn’t, and the fact that we essentially go into a deep state of unconsciousness for 8 hours a night, vulnerable to attack from predators, means that it is absolutely crucial for health. It’s actually only less that 1% of the population that need 6 hours sleep - so give yourself a non-negotiable 8 hours sleep window each night, and if that means missing your 7am work out then so be it.
We’re giving caffeine it’s own section here because it’s such an important point and something that is neglected by so many of us, either because we feel we need it to get through the day or because we’re the type of person that can drink an espresso after dinner and get to bed fine. Unfortunately, if you’re in this latter category you might fall asleep fine but the quality of that sleep has been shown to be very poor, leaving you in need, most likely, of another coffee upon waking.
As a general rule try and stick to “no caffeine after 11am” (if you want to fall asleep at 11pm). Caffeine has a quarter life of 12 hours, meaning that if you drink a cup of coffee at midday there will still be a quarter of that caffeine rushing around your system at midnight. Essentially, it’s like having a big sip of coffee right before switching off your light - which is not something many of us would voluntarily choose to do! So if you want to give yourself the best opportunity to feel refreshed come morning, then make sure you’ve given yourself a good 12 hours caffeine free in order to aid restful sleep.
Feeling tired all day every day can be debilitating, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you take the necessary steps to give yourself the opportunity for a better night’s sleep and focus on keeping your blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day you’ll feel energetic and steady all day long!
I loved this cleanse!! It was my first time doing a cleanse and I was expecting to be irritable and low on energy. Completely the opposite!! Although I struggled a bit in the afternoon of day 1 and had a bit of a headache, by the morning of day 2 I was feeling amazing! I wasn’t hungry and found myself feeling more focused at work and in a very good mood. I completed for 3 days but I think I could’ve actually done longer!! - Elizabeth