Many of us are non-stop busy during the day --so shouldn't that mean we would be more ready to sleep when it’s time for bed?
Although we work as hard as we do in the daytime, studies show that many people are still unable to fall asleep when it’s time to hit-the-hay at the end of the day.
The biggest culprit in this inability to fall asleep? It's not that we should be more busy --but that we need to be more energized.
We Are Hopped Up On Fake Energy
A recent study published in the journal of Mental Health and Physical Activity points to the connection between energy being burned in the day and how it can bring about a more efficient sleep at night.
“This study used a national sample and an objective measure of physical activity” says Dr. Paul Loprinzi and Dr. Bradley Cardinal. “Those who were more active fell asleep quicker.”
Those patients that were unnaturally energized --through energy drinks and excessive coffee drinking-- had much more trouble finding sleep at the end of the day. For the participants who were able to feel more natural energy throughout the day, they were able to have a deeper sleep at night than those unnaturally energized and could start the next day feeling even more energized than the day before.
“After controlling for age, BMI, health status, smoking status, and depression, the relative risk of often feeling overly sleepy during the day compared to never feeling overly sleepy during the day decreased […] for participants meeting physical activity guidelines compared to those not meeting guidelines.”
So the question is --how does one get a hold of more natural energy?
No --coffee, teas and energy drinks are not the solution to more natural energy. Instead, natural energy producing chemicals found in specific foods are recommended, as those are unnatural sources of energy.
Another Example of Fake Energy
In a 2004 study conducted on Peruvian college students’ sleep patterns, 2,458 participants were followed and observed. Over the course of the study, it was found that the students who regularly consumed coffee, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages throughout the study, not necessarily even at night, reported the most difficulty obtaining sleep, even though they felt tired when it was time to rest.
The students who abstained from mental-state altering beverages and substances reported the highest amounts of sleep, and were able to obtain it much easier come time for bed.
“Consumption of energy drinks, other caffeinated beverages and alcoholic beverages are risk factors of poor sleep quality” “Increased awareness of these associations should promote interventions to improve students’ lifestyle habits, including consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, and overall health.”
So Where Do We Find REAL Energy?
The most efficient and natural way to get energy back into your body so that you can get a deeper sleep every night: polyphenols.
Polyphenols are found in darker skinned fruits and select vegetables, like berries, plums and broccoli, but each one of these polyphenol loaded foods are not enough to produce the right amount of energy inside of each person.
The best way to discover what the right balance for you and your body is to ease into a polyphenol-rich diet and examine how your body reacts to specific doses of polyphenol-rich foods.
How Can Polyphenols Correct My Sleep Habits?
Our bodies run on fuel, and that fuel enters our body in the form of food. Eating the proper foods results in more efficient fuel, which leads to natural energy.
Regaining natural energy is a result of correcting how our digestive systems break down foods. If we can get our bodies to break down better foods more efficiently, that is how we can get natural energy that lasts and earns us a restful sleep at night.
Loprinzi P., Cardinal B.. “Association between objectively-measured physical activity and sleep”. Mental Health and Physical Activity. 2011.
Sanchez, Sixto E. et al. “Sleep Quality, Sleep Patterns and Consumption of Energy Drinks and Other Caffeinated Beverages among Peruvian College Students.” Health. 2014.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here. This article is for general information only.