Whether you’re a busy parent, a stressed-out student or a high-flying executive, you’ll have experienced that overwhelming urge to curl up and doze off midway through the day at some point. Life is demanding, with so many conflicting priorities and we all have those lethargic days where, despite best efforts, we just can’t seem to get things done.

Fortunately, there are plenty of remedies, even if getting more sleep isn’t an option for you. For days when you need to go from zero to hero, here are the best ways to pick yourself up and find your hidden superhuman strength.

1. Do a mini workout – starting in bed

The alarm clock is buzzing and you’re not even sure if you have the energy to open your eyes. The last thing you want to think about right now is exercise. Ironically, forcing yourself to do a few quick, simple exercises will get your blood flowing and give you a huge energy boost – even though it might be hard to believe at the time. The good news is, you can start these before you even leave your bed, giving your brain a little extra time to come around.

Physiotherapist Nick Sinfield has designed a five- minute routine that anyone can follow, starting with some simple stretches and knee rolls. You’ll progress to the edge of the bed for a few additional stretches before standing up to perform a quick burst of power walking, a few squats and some final stretch movements. Completing the whole routine takes five minutes or less and will help you wake up, recalibrate your muscles and benefit from a boost of endorphins at the same time.

bed exercises

2. Stay hydrated

Most of us know that we need to drink plenty of water and that dehydration can leave us feeling tired. However, fewer people know that you only have to be slightly dehydrated – as little as 2% of your body weight - to start experiencing the negative effects. Perhaps more surprisingly, at just 5% dehydration, your capacity to perform is reduced by a staggering 30%.

The European Food Safety Authority suggests women should drink 1.6 litres a day, while men should consume around 2 litres. In simple terms, that’s about six to eight cups – although the exact amount varies from one individual to the next with factors such as size and weight playing a part. The best way to keep yourself hydrated is to drink little and often throughout the day.

3. Eat right

Our food choices make a huge difference to our energy levels throughout the day. If we eat refined carbohydrates and processed foods (such as white bread or white pasta), our blood sugar levels will rise quickly. Initially, this feels great – rather like when your espresso kicks in first thing – but what goes up must come down, and later we experience an energy crash. This is because our body releases insulin which tells our cells to take in sugar as quickly as possible in order to bring our blood glucose down to a safe level. As our blood sugar level plummets, we feel more tired than ever before.

The solution is to choose foods that are high in energy but won’t give you a sugar spike. Stay away from sweet breakfasts – simply an energy disaster – and instead opt for wholegrain bread or wholegrain high-fibre cereal. Wholegrain French toast or pancakes made using wholegrain flour are a good choice – top with fruit rather than syrup, or sweeten with agave which has a low glycemic index. Try to include some protein with your breakfast such as natural unsweetened yoghurt or fat-free milk - or opt for eggs or egg substitute paired with a slice of wholegrain toast. For long-lasting energy, experts recommend oatmeal - its soluble fibre content boosts energy while slowing down carb absorption, keeping your blood sugar levels constant.

energy sugar free breakfast

Snack on a handful of nuts during the day when you need an energy boost – walnuts, almonds and pistachios all contain healthy fats which also slow your body's absorption of sugar.

4. Discover scents

We all know certain scents can help us relax and drift off into a peaceful sleep – but did you know some scents can help you feel more awake and alert?

Citrus scents – such as lemon, orange or grapefruit – are particularly good at stimulating your brain. These fruity smells can also boost your production of serotonin – the hormone that makes you feel happy - while lowering stress hormone levels, leaving you feeling calm and positive.

Try lighting a zesty scented candle such as grapefruit, tangerine and vetiver as soon as you wake up in the morning to help drag your brain out of that groggy sleep inertia stage and get it functioning at its best.

Take the zesty theme to the breakfast table with a healthy grapefruit for breakfast – this vitamin-packed wonder fruit is not only low in calories but it also has a glycemic index of 25, so will not significantly affect your blood sugar and insulin levels.

For a full selection of our all-natural, all-organic candles, featuring responsibly-sourced ingredients and boasting a wonderful array of fragrances which will energise you every day, please visit our homepage or call us today on 0208 830 6300.