Whether you enjoy espresso, tea or energy drinks, caffeine can serve as an important part of your daily routine. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing—a visit to the coffee shop can be part of your self-care plan or a way to catch up with friends. However, if you’re relying on caffeine to combat fatigue, it may be time to try something new. Here are a few tips to help you stay energized throughout the day while curbing your caffeine intake.
1. Focus on better sleep
Sounds obvious, right? Getting seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night can help you feel more energized and focused throughout the day. Caffeine can impact your sleep by creating a cycle of under- and over-sleeping. Check out these tips to help you improve your sleep habits, even if you can’t quite reach the seven hour minimum.
2. Stay active during the day
Physical activity can give us an adrenaline boost, which can help us stay alert and motivated throughout the day. However, it can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule if you are working out at night. Try to wrap up your workout at least three hours before you go to bed. If you want to squeeze in some late-night movement, consider more relaxing activities like stretching or yoga.
3. Take a power nap
While it may seem counter intuitive, taking a short nap during the day can help improve your mood, focus and alertness. Opt for a quiet place to hit snooze or visit one of the Relaxation Stations on campus to enjoy a state-of-the-art nap pod. Try to keep your nap between 15 to 30 minutes, so it doesn’t interfere with your nightly sleep.
4. Nourish your body
Eating regular meals or snacks can help you maintain your energy during the day. When we allow our bodies to become overly hungry or fatigued, we tend to crave carb-rich foods. While sweets, crackers or pasta may satisfy our cravings and give us a small burst of energy, they can also leave us feeling tired soon after. Try to prepare snacks in advance that include a combination of carbs, protein and fats. Here are some ideas of satisfying snacks to keep you alert throughout the day:
Eating a variety of nutritious foods can help us feel fuller and more energized for longer.
5. Stay hydrated
When you’re dehydrated, you can start to feel fatigued. This is because dehydration can impact how your blood flows through your body. Your heart often needs to work harder to pump oxygen to your organs and brain. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can help you ward off dehydration and the grogginess that accompanies it.
Tips for staying hydrated:
Here are some free resources that can help you feel more energized without the need for caffeine.
If you’re having sleep difficulties, it may be beneficial to try out free apps like CBT-i Coach to track your sleep. These kinds of apps can help you develop better sleep habits, improve your sleep environment and learn techniques to alleviate insomnia.
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