For many of us, from the moment we wake up, until the second we go to bed, our schedules are full. Meal-prep, conference calls, paperwork, emails, play dates, and bedtime routines –for starters – can be all-consuming and draining. When our normal routine depletes our energy levels, it can leave us feeling moody, unmotivated, and fatigued .
Giving the tasks and people in our lives less than our best is rarely an option. The solution is hardly ever as simple as drinking more coffee or getting more sleep. Nootropic supplements are in high demand across the globe. Revered for their ability to help increase our energy levels and improve our cognitive performance, nootropics could be the boost we need to recharge and face the day.
Burnout in a busy world
What is stress?
Sometimes it seems no matter where we go, stress will follow. Whether we’re in bumper-to-bumper traffic in our morning commute, preparing for a job interview, or trying to plan a family holiday that’ll suit everyone, we may end up frazzled and on our last nerve.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reports that stress is actually a normal response to our everyday pressures. In fact, we need it for survival. Stress is our body’s reaction to a real or perceived threat. When our cortisol levels rise, our heart rate may increase, our breathing may become faster, our pupils dilate, and we may experience short spurts of intense focus. Depending on the circumstances, it can be a positive, motivating force to accomplishing our goals.
The problem comes in when we experience stress over long periods of time. Sustained levels of the cortisol hormone over time can disrupt our sleep, deplete our energy levels, and impact our mood and overall mental health.
Burnout and sleep hygiene
According to modern research, insufficient sleep may lead to many negative health and social outcomes, including “adverse performance at school and in the labor market.” Getting enough quality sleep is essential for our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. One way to do this (besides improving our diets and exercising regularly) is by prioritizing our sleep hygiene.
Creating and sticking to a regular sleep routine is essential. For example, if you find yourself going to bed at 11:00pm one night and 2:00 am another, you could be disrupting your body’s natural sleep rhythm. Consistency is key, so try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
Sleep hygiene means more than just what time we go to bed or wake up. It also addresses the quality of our sleep environment. Leaving on the TV whilst you’re falling asleep or scrolling through your Instagram feed can keep you from falling asleep peacefully. To improve your sleep hygiene, assess your sleep environment and note ways you could make it more comfortable and conducive to quality sleep.
What are nootropics?
Even if you haven’t heard of these “smart pills” or “cognitive enhancers,” most of us take one or more nootropics daily. For instance, your morning cup of coffee or four o’ clock tea are both nootropics, since they can help you feel more energized and mentally alert.
There are three main categories of nootropics: natural, synthetic, and those available by prescription (e.g., stimulants, etc.). Some of nootropics' most prevalent, evidence-backed benefits include: improved focus and concentration, enhanced mood, elevated energy levels, and improved creativity.
How can nootropics boost my energy?
What can I do daily to raise my energy levels?
In addition to incorporating a nootropic into your daily routine, there are numerous ways to recharge your personal battery:
- Take a 30-minute walk at midday to break up your work routine.
- A power nap (15-30 minutes long) could give you the jolt you need.
- Change up your diet with these fuel enhancers: bananas, brown rice, eggs, apples, or chocolate.
- Up your water intake and aim for at least two litres daily.
- Practice good sleep hygiene by going to bed at the same time every night and waking at the same time every morning.
- Limit screen time as much as possible.
- Enjoy a cup of green tea (or two) instead of one of those sugary coffee drinks.
- Limit your alcohol intake or even try an alcohol-free challenge like Sober October or Dry January, although any month will do.
- Avoid stressful situations as much as possible by setting personal and professional boundaries.
Top 3 nootropics for energyL-Theanine
If you’ve ever enjoyed a cup of black tea or green tea, then you’re already familiar with L-Theanine. This non-protein amino acid can influence our dopamine and serotonin levels —two neurotransmitters that play a vital role in our sleep quality, motivation level, and mood balance.
Can it top-up my energy?
L-Theanine can help us sleep longer and deeper. When our bodies feel rested, we are less likely to feel run down or burnout. Some research indicates L-Theanine may have a significant impact on mental alertness as well. This is especially the case if you take L-Theanine along with caffeine. This combination could stimulate your mind, allowing you to focus for longer periods.
Recommended daily intake: L-Theanine does not occur naturally in the body, and there is no official recommended dosage. On average, 200mg to 400mg daily is standard.
It is important to note that if you take this supplement as a tea, or as a dietary supplement with caffeine, be aware of your caffeine consumption. Too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, increased heart rate, and feelings of anxiety.
Coffee, tea, soda, energy drinks, chocolate, some pain relievers, and weight-loss supplements contain caffeine—a stimulant that jolts our central nervous system and helps us feel more alert, focused, and motivated.
It’s found naturally in over 60 species of plants, including cacao seeds, cocoa beans, and tea leaves.
Can it top-up my energy? As a mild stimulant, caffeine can give us energy by blocking adenosine, a chemical in our brain that can make us feel sleepy. At the same time, caffeine can aid in releasing adrenaline, and ultimately “speeds up the messages between our brain and body.”
Not only can we feel energized and motivated to tackle the day, but we may also be more focused, alert, and maybe even productive.
Recommended daily intake: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration claims that 400mg of caffeine (or 4 cups of coffee) is safe for daily consumption. Also, keep in mind caffeine tolerance may occur. This means when your body is used to consuming caffeine daily, you may become used to a set amount, which could lead to not feeling as alert as normal, so you may naturally want more caffeine to feel energized.
Also, too much caffeine – anything over 400mg – can disrupt your sleep, lead to dehydration, heartburn, or high blood pressure. So, be sure to keep tabs on your daily intake.
An adaptogenic herb that comes from the leaves and/or roots of the plant, Withania somnifera, Ashwagandha boasts stress-relieving abilities.
Can it top-up my energy? Because of its ability to lower our cortisol levels and strengthen our stress-fighting response, Ashwagandha can help us fight low energy and fatigue. When sourced from the roots only, it’s “purer” as in the KSM-66 variety, it can contain higher levels of its active ingredient, withanolides.
Since chronic stress can deplete our energy levels and cause symptoms of anxiety and depression, Ashwagandha can help with issues like insomnia and other sleep disorders by taking the edge off, relaxing us, and helping us get better sleep, so that we feel more energized the next day.
Recommended daily intake: You can take it as a capsule, pill, powder, or liquid extract. There is no official recommended dosage for this nootropic, however, a typical daily dose is 250mg to 5g daily.
Ready to top-up your energy levels?
Low energy or fatigue can zap our joy and sometimes change our quality of life.
When we’re dragging about, oftentimes, another coffee or tea just won’t cut it.
Earths Secret’s Sleep Complex is preservative-free, non-GMO, and vegan friendly. It contains five all-natural ingredients – Affron Saffron, Passionflower, Tart cherry, Lavender, and Chamomile – that can help you fall asleep, stay asleep, and improve the quality of sleep you’re getting.
Feeling energized starts with quality sleep. When you feel rested and topped up, you’ll be better equipped to face most of life’s daily challenges.