Probably one of the most common questions I get at seminars, workshops, and on my website, is this:
Dr. Jonny, how can I get more energy?
People are wired and tired, fatigued, running on empty, and dragging through their days. They constantly ask me if there’s something they can take, something they can eat, something they can do that will give them more of what they are clearly, sadly, lacking: energy.
With all the crappy, stupid infomercials running non-stop on late night television promising instant energy in a bottle, you might be surprised to learn the real reason for this widespread fatigue and lack of energy isn’t a deficiency of “5-Hour Energy” drinks.
The real reason for the “no energy” epidemic is much simpler…
It’s a lack of sleep.
Now listen. This is no small point. If you want to master your metabolism, you need to master your hormones, and sleep is one of the most important places that hormone balancing occurs. Human growth hormone is released during deep sleep. Important biochemicals are manufactured and replaced during sleep. The powerful antioxidant, anti-cancer compound melatonin is produced during sleep.
But for all this to happen, you need to sleep better, and you need to sleep longer.
The body goes through five stages of sleep—one of which is the all-important stage known as REM, which stands for rapid eye movement. (It’s during REM sleep that all the toy soldiers come out to play, and the real, reparative work of sleep gets done.)
The body cycles through these five stages several times a night, and important metabolic work happens during this time. If sleep is too short, interrupted, or not restful, the cycle gets broken up and your metabolism suffers. Sleep influences weight, appetite, stress, libido, and mood. There’s almost nothing you could do that’s more important to your overall well-being and metabolic health than getting a really good night’s sleep, every single night.
SO HERE ARE THREE TIPS FOR HOW TO DO IT.
1. Set the temperature at 68 degrees.
Most of us sleep in rooms that are too warm, which is neither healthy nor natural. The body’s temperature naturally drops during sleep. (That’s why in movies and television you always see people cover up a friend who’s just fallen asleep.) The body prefers this lower temperature during sleep, and if the room is too hot, you have to “work”to keep the equilibrium, and that interferes with good sleep. So keep the room comfortably cool—68 is perfect.
2. No media. None.
Take a complete media break for ½hour before hitting the sack. No kidding. This means no television, no email, and no computer for a full half-hour before bedtime. Remember, this is the transition time during which you prepare the body for the relaxation and slumber to come. You do NOT need the television to fall asleep. The last thing your subconscious mind needs to hear as it drifts off into sleep is the latest news on the Kardashians.
3. Keep it dark.
Studies show that even the slightest light in the room can measurably interfere with good, restful sleep. So keep the lights off—all of them. Dark, cool, and media-free is the way to go.
Are you getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night? If not, go to bed half an hour early every night for one week, and then add an additional half hour the following week till you’ve hit the sweet spot of about 7 hours. And if you think this isn’t important consider this: A study of young, healthy men found that reducing sleep to just 5 hours a night for a week or so resulted in a 15% drop in testosterone.
Sleep on that one!