NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Finding the Energy

Finding the Energy

            If you are feeling tired and seem to drag through the day, you are not alone.  Many people have trouble getting in gear in the morning, experience the afternoon slump, or just want to crash on the couch in the evening.

            Exhaustion can be a constant problem for some folks. Fatigue is a common complaint associated with many factors. It is found in all populations and generally reported by more women than men.  Where to find the energy for a typical fast-paced American life?  In place of an energy drink, try

            Getting up at the same time and enjoying the light  To keep your wake and sleep rhythms in time with a 24-hour day (when they get out of whack, you feel like you're jet-lagged), aim for 30 minutes of light first thing’.  An easy way to get it is to go for a half-hour stroll outdoors or have your breakfast by a sunny window. If it is still dark outside when you awake (most of winter in ND!) turn up the lights indoors — every little bit may help.

Time your meals Instead of: Grazing all day long  Try: Eating your meals at the same time every day  Your body's caloric needs are closely tied to its other daily rhythms, including when you get up and go to bed and when you expend the most energy . "If your body expects a 7 a.m. breakfast and a 12 p.m. lunch and you skip one of those,, you will feel tired even if you try to fill up by eating more later"


            Wind-down in place of winding up.  Remember those bright lights in the morning which helped you wake up? The reverse is true also.  Lots of bright lights from the computer screen and multi-tasking while catching up on Facebook, playing online games, watching fast action movies, etc stimulate your brain and tell it  “no sleep needed now”.  Try reading or listening to mellow music.  

            Lose the sweetness  A diet that is very heavy in sugars -- too many sweets, junk food, cookies -- is going to initially give you a surge  in energy.  But following that surge you are also going to have a sudden drop in energy.  For energy, you need a diet that is better balanced -- higher in protein, higher in complex carbohydrates, but low in sugars and, of course, fats


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