Short on Sleep? Try This to Make It Through the Day

Monday, 14 Oct 2013 07:49 AM

By Lynn Allison

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We all know that it’s best for our health and work performance to get a good night’s sleep. But, of course, sometimes life gets in the way. And some of us suffer from insomnia that makes it difficult to get the shut-eye we need.

Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., bestselling author of From Fatigued to Fantastic!, tells Newsmax Health that the late-night use of electronics is causing greater sleep deficits among Americans. The blue light given off by computer, cellphone, and TV screens can suppress production of melatonin, a hormone that makes us drowsy at night.

Turning off all screens an hour before bedtime may help you get more rest.

However, after those nights when you get little sleep, there are ways to stay energized throughout the day and be more productive, says Dr. Teitelbaum.

FLIP THE SWITCH: Turn on lights as soon as you wake up. This will cue your brain that it’s day time. Better yet, open curtains or shades to let in natural light. “Natural light is best,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. “But any light will provide the cue your body needs to start the day.”

WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE: Or the tea. Just the smell of coffee is a powerful cue for our minds that it’s time to wake up. Then drink a cup…or two.  
 
CHOCOLATE: Don’t like tea or coffee? Have a small amount of chocolate with your breakfast. This may sound decadent, but chocolate contains theobromine, a natural stimulant. Have a small piece of chocolate whenever you feel yourself lagging throughout the day. “Chocolate is not only yummy, it has a stimulant action that doesn’t make you jittery like caffeine can,” says Dr. Teitelbaum.

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GET THE RIGHT FUEL: Have a breakfast high in complex carbohydrates, such as a whole-grain cereal. The complex carbs will give you sustained energy throughout the morning. Skip fruit juices. Orange juice and other fruit juices are high in sugar, which will lead to an energy nosedive about an hour later. Instead, eat berries or other fresh fruit.

TAKE A VITAMIN: B vitamins, magnesium, and other nutrients are critical for making energy. Take a good multivitamin pill or powder mix in the morning after breakfast. Dr. Teitelbaum also recommends taking a ribose supplement. Ribose is a naturally occurring sugar that has been shown in studies to boost energy. It is sold in pill and powder form.   
 
SKIP THE 3 P.M. FADE: Feel an energy slump as the day goes on? Get up and stretch. Drink a glass of water. You’ll be surprised at how this simple trick revitalizes you. Stuck at your desk? Rub your ears. Acupuncturists know that stimulating the ears gives a quick energy burst.
 
Another strategy: “Eating a few raisins with nuts can get you through the afternoon slump,” says Dr. Teitelbaum.
 
 
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