Health

How to feel alert if you can't get all the sleep you need

Whether it's a child or work that's preventing you from getting more sleep, be more alert and livelier with these tips.

Avoid dehydration

Even being dehydrated by a little over 1 per cent can adversely affect your mood, energy and concentration, as well as give you headaches. Prevent this combination by getting enough to drink through the day, especially if you're working out.

Do low-intensity exercises

According to a study by the University of Georgia in the US, you can boost energy levels by 20 per cent and chase away up to 65 per cent of drowsiness by just doing 20 minutes of low-intensity workouts three times a week. Try activities like yoga or stretching that feel really good, are low-impact and easy to do any time.

Have a light lunch

Avoid that afternoon slump by eating a lighter lunch. To avoid cravings for large meals and greasy, heavy foods, make sure to have a good breakfast that will give you energy and keep you satisfied till your midday meal.

Cut back on caffeine

Are you over-reliant on coffee to give you a kick in the morning? The blue tones of bright sunlight give you the same stimulating effect as caffeine, so don't moan about waking up early and step out into the sunshine instead. Slowly cut back on caffeinated drinks so you can recalibrate your body's natural energy levels. Doing so will also help you fall asleep more easily at night so you can get as much rest as possible.

Check your medication

If you have been feeling extra drowsy lately, check to see if any new medication you are taking might be the cause. On the other hand, stopping certain medications may cause your energy levels to dip as some pills contain stimulants. Check with your doctor to be sure.

Have a cold shower

Nothing quite wakes you up like a blast of cold water. For best results, take your regular warm shower, but end with a zingy round of cold water so you don't get used to the cool temperature. Beauty buffs also claim that cold water makes your hair shinier and your skin feel more taut.

This article was first published in Shape (www.shape.com.sg)

WELLNESS & BEAUTY