by Nick Marshall
Living in the moment is a great way to stay focused and energized — but not necessarily when the bedside clock shows 3 a.m. and a full day at the office is only hours away. It’s one thing to seize the day; it’s another to let it go when your body is crying out for sleep. If you’re among the 25% of Americans who sleep poorly each year, it can be tempting to reach for strong coffee or sugary energy drinks the next day to stay awake. These can leave you jittery and irritable, however, and they will only delay the inevitable crash. Follow these natural methods instead to enjoy a good night’s sleep and feel bright and perky during the day.
Put a Good Night’s Sleep First
If you’re tossing and turning all night, or getting your head down late after a night out, it’s going to be an uphill struggle to stay awake all day. Get yourself in the mood for sleep with a nighttime routine that involves cutting out caffeine and electronics in the hours before bed. Wind down instead with a warm bath and some relaxation exercises focused on breathing. Working in a supplement with natural sleep-inducing extracts, such as Valerian Root, can also ease tension and prime your body for a satisfying slumber.
Swap Coffee for Juice
A cup or shot of coffee first thing in the morning is the conventional way to get the day going around the world. Caffeine certainly stimulates the central nervous system, but it also restricts blood flow, leaving the brain underpowered. After a brief boost, the drowsiness will return. Set yourself up for the day ahead with a glass of natural apple juice, packed with polyphenols, antioxidants and fruit sugars, or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. An added bonus? Studies have shown that the bright colors in OJ also stimulate focus and energy.
Get Some Exercise
A quick run or gym session might be the last thing on your menu when you wake with tired muscles and a groggy head. Nevertheless, if you can coax your body into action, not only will you quickly feel your energy levels return but you’ll also be hitting the best exercise window. Research shows that working out before breakfast is great for oxidizing fat and gets the circulatory and respiratory systems pumping. If you can round all that off with a brief blast of cold water in the shower afterward, there’s no way you’re going to feel drowsy during the day ahead.
Stay Awake With a Power Nap
However sophisticated we might be, we’re still mammals at heart, and 85% of mammals in the natural world sleep during the day. Unfortunately, we’ve learned to configure our world into one period of sleep and one of wakefulness. As any elementary schooler can confirm, however, an afternoon nap works wonders. If you keep finding that your eyelids are heavy, your concentration poor and your mind cloudy, don’t fight it. Take yourself off to a quiet area, set a timer for 20 minutes and treat yourself to a nap. You’ll bounce back feeling transformed.
Avoid the Lunchtime Slump
Making it to lunchtime after a sleepless night is an achievement in itself. Your next step defines your afternoon. If you go for a substantial, carb-heavy lunch — however much you might be craving it — your body will respond in midafternoon with an overwhelming feeling of tiredness. It simply wants you to relax and stay in the same place (ideally sleep) to facilitate digestion. To stay sharp, snack on a light lunch with plenty of protein and fresh vegetables, and avoid caffeine after 3 p.m.
Take a Botanical Supplement
You can sharpen your focus by taking a supplement like FOCL Day with natural botanical ingredients such as Lion’s Mane, Rhodiola Rosea and Green Tea. These help cognitive performance and support brain health — helping to keep brain fog at bay even if you’ve gotten less than your 8 hours — with none of the slump or jitters associated with caffeine. (If you can’t avoid caffeine, there is some evidence that CBD can also help mellow out it’s negative side effects, leaving you only with a needed energy boost). You’ll feel the grogginess slip away, replaced by a spike in concentration, better mental alertness, and a reduction in the anxiety that often follows a sleepless night. Once you’ve made it through the day, keep the goodness rolling by taking FOCL Night. The supplement stack contains CBD and melatonin-alternatives like Ashwagandha and Valerian Root to help you fall asleep faster, and optimize your sleep quality to be deeper and more restful so you can recover as quickly as possible.
The first thing to address if you’re feeling tired is sleep quality itself. Once you’ve nailed your nighttime routine, you can significantly ramp up your performance and alertness during the day with these natural remedies and techniques.