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Sleepless Nights: How to Bounce Back

We’ve got the secret on how to recover from a night of tossing and turning

Your alarm sounds like it’s coming from under the ocean. As it finally registers, you surface like a heavy anchor in rough seas. You’ve had a shocking night’s sleep! Your eyes are so dark you could be auditioning for a zombie pic. And your hair? Looks like it’s been styled for a punk theme night - courtesy of all the tossing and turning.

Facing the day after a night of interrupted or truncated zzzzzs can feel like you’re about to run a marathon. What you need (apart from a hardy hair comb or brush and a maid to make breakfast) are some quick, effective pick-me-ups. Here’s how to kick-start yourself so you don’t run out of energy before you reach the finish line at the end of the day:

Wake Up with Music

To get yourself revving on all cylinders, enjoy any kind of music – during breakfast, in the shower, on your way to work or while your child is playing with their toys. Research shows that music engages areas of the brain involved with alertness and memory.

Spice Up Your Tea

Herbal stimulants such as ginger and cloves can stimulate your senses via the taste buds and boost your metabolism and circulation, helping you feel more awake. Pop them into a freshly made pot of herbal tea and steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Eat for Energy
Tuck into the following to fuel up before you head out:

  1. Breakfast

Enjoy a bowl of oats to power you up for hours and reduce the hunger triggered by loss of sleep.

  1. Wholegrain's

Go for brown rice or bread/pasta/crispbreads made from wholemeal, rye or wholemeal spelt. These low GI carbs provide a slow release of energy that will fuel you for longer.

  1. Foods high in B6:

Vitamin B6 ensures helps the brain produce Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA), an ‘inhibitory neurotransmitter’ in the brain, which encourages calm when you feel edgy from losing sleep. Good choices include Brazil nuts, avocado, cheese, carrots, oranges, lentils and peas. 

  1. Snacks that Sustain

Wholemeal crackers with cottage cheese, teriyaki chicken or sashimi sushi (preferably with brown rice), banana and yoghurt, hummus or bean dip served with carrot and cucumber sticks, a slice of wholemeal sourdough/rye bread with tuna or egg, etc.

Hit the H20

When you’re not well hydrated an imbalance can occur in your electrolytes, compromising your energy levels. Electrolytes such as sodium and potassium are minerals used for important chemical reactions such as balancing the level of fluid and blood. Without enough fluid, your body can’t utilise glucose and fat for energy and your cells then can’t complete the energy release cycle, leaving you fatigued. The antidote? Make sure you drink one to two litres after a night of shocking sleep. Add a twist of lime or lemon for taste.

Green Your Scene

Walk through the forest or park, sit in your garden or eat lunch by the lake or the ocean. Research conducted at the University of Rochester, shows that being outside in nature for just 20 minutes, makes people feel more alive and energised and improves their sense of wellbeing.

Apply Acupressure

Acupoints are believed to relieve fatigue by unblocking energy pathways in your body. The acupoints to counter fatigue can be found: in the middle area of the little finger, the fold of the wrist and the centre of the palm. Hold the point for 30 seconds, then wait for at least 10 seconds before re-applying pressure. Repeat several times on each hand. Tapping on the area can also intensify the effect. 

Stop Slouching!

When you have good posture your upper body is extended rather than collapsed and your chest cavity opens up, which can improve your intake of oxygen. To breathe all the way down into your lower lungs, use your diaphragm. Check that it is activated by putting your hands on your lower ribs, which should move in and out when you breathe. 

Savour a Peppermint Tea

Inhale the fresh scent while you sip. Tiredness decreases by up to 25% when people smell peppermint, according to research at the Wheeling Jesuit University in Vancouver in the US.

Snatch a Siesta

Curling up for a 20-minute nap at 2pm is just as effective for energy boosting as getting 90 minutes extra sleep in the morning. That’s the finding of research from Loughborough University in the UK. Best of all, the energy boost lasts until around 8pm the same night.

Avoid Unhealthy Pick-Me Ups

Hands off the following – they will only make you feel more exhausted:

  1. Sugar

Reaching for a doughnut or loading your coffee with sugar may give you an instant rush of energy but then causes your blood sugars to crash, leaving you feeling tired and low.

  1. Alcohol

Though a G&T or white wine may reward you for getting through the day, it depletes your body of important minerals and fluid and can cause wakefulness late, interrupting your sleep cycle and causing more sleep deficit.      

  1. Caffeine

Tea, coffee, energy drinks and cola, over-stimulate the nervous system, by raising blood pressure and increasing levels of the stress hormone, adrenalin. Having them when you’re exhausted will only make you feel more drained. 

Move It

Exercise increases blood flow and oxygen to the muscles and organs. This leads to better oxygen supply in the brain, which in turn makes you feel more alert and energetic. If you can’t face the gym, Pilates class or a jog, go for a walk. Research by the University of Georgia has found that exercise is a potent way to boost energy and blitz fatigue. 

Set Realistic Limits

Call on your partner and kids to help out with household chores. Accept all offers of help from family and friends (send out a few hints – “I don’t know how I’m ever gong to cook dinner” or “I’m drowning in a sea of washing”!). Recognise that when you haven’t had enough sleep, that your ‘best’ may need to be readjusted. So leave that pile of washing – you can return to being superman or wonder woman tomorrow!

Take Care of Yourself
Whether it be taking a personal day/mental health day, or just treating yourself after a sleepless night; it is super important to practice self-care on a regular basis. Personal care can be a great way to rest and relax, giving yourself a mental reset, helping to replenish your mind and lowering your stress levels.

At Wellbeing Island, we have a wide range of Personal Care products that can help facilitate your next mental health day. From Soaps, Shampoos, Body Washes, to Hand Balms and even Bubble Baths; we have a range of products that are suitable for all ages and of course are completely natural, eco-friendly and safe on your skin. Great to help you rejuvenate after a long, restless night.

So, next time you’re feeling slammed, sleepy or sluggish from a sleepless night, forget sugar and caffeine and try these natural energy boosters. They will fuel your body and brain so you can get revving on all four cylinders and make it through the day.

 

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