These are truly demanding times. A very difficult economy has made it necessary for most people to work harder and longer hours. Many people find themselves working two jobs… and juggling all of their normal responsibilities. If you frequently find yourself burning the candle at both ends, chances are, you have discovered all kinds of tricks to keep your body and brain running.
The demand for more powerful energy drinks and stimulants to keep you function during overtime ours continues to surge. Likewise, tried and true energy boosters like caffeine and sugar have become more of a crutch than ever for those needing a temporary “fix” to get through the day. But the cold, hard reality is this; When your body needs sleep, it needs sleep and nothing else will do. Plus, relying on stimulants can serve to make you even more tired in the long run.
When you’re having an overloaded day, there’s probably little harm indulging in something sweet to give you a temporary boost. However, that sugar rush is usually followed by a sugar crash. So, it’s not a good practice if you need long-term energy. The higher you boost, the farther you’ll crash until it’s impossible to keep your eyes open.
Of course, many of us depend on caffeine to get our brains up to speed first thing in the morning, but if you’re using caffeine as a substitute for regular rest, you’re starting a vicious cycle. Too much caffeine late in the day could be robbing you of some of the hours you do have to sleep, meaning you’re even more tired the next day, meaning you’re likely to crave even more caffeine, resulting in even less sleep, and so on.
If you know that a particularly busy or stressful time is looming, like an intense project at work or moving your home, prepare for it ahead of time so that you’ll make it through without crashing. Here are some positive things that will really help:
- Work out. Get some exercise now before you can’t schedule it in. Getting your heart rate up on a daily basis not only builds up your stores of energy, but makes your sleep more restful, too.
- Fuel up. Skip the “empty” calories found in sugary snacks and pastries and try to get lots of lean proteins and whole grains. These foods provide real energy, not the substitute variety found in sugar and caffeine. You’ll feel less fatigued if you keep up this diet when you get busy, too. While vending machine snacks might be easier when you’re on the go, try to avoid fatty, sugary foods that will just let you down later.
- Take your vitamins. B vitamins are some of the best energy enhancers you can get. If you know that your schedule is going to push you to the limit, start eating salmon, avocado and nuts, as well as soy products and lentils. After you get busy, be sure to at least take a B Complex vitamin each day.
- Sleep. There is no substitute for sleep. When you know you’ll have to do without your eight hours for a while, it’s a good idea to be as rested as possible going in. And when it’s all over, make sure to schedule time to catch up on your missing Zs.
While one of the basic laws of physics is, “A body in motion stays in motion,” it simply does’t apply to the “human body.” It is surely more accurate to conclude, “A body in motion for too long will eventually come to a screeching halt.” Accordingly, don’t allow yourself to fall victim to that age old axiom, “There’s no rest for the weary.”
We absolutely will not be offended if this article puts you to sleep!