We lead a fast-paced life today, which is both demanding and challenging. We need to constantly step up and give our best shot every time. But to do that, your batteries need to be recharged. Here are a couple of useful hacks on improving your energy and stamina and getting the most out of your life.

Tip #1: Always sleep well
It’s been drilled into our heads that to be active and fit, we need at least eight hours of sleep. But what we haven’t been told is that the time that you fall asleep is equally important. If you sleep from 1 am to 9 am, it won’t restore your body as much as if you slept from 10 pm to 6 am. This is because body temperature, hormone secretion, digestion and other vital restorative functions follow a 24-hour cycle which is linked to natural light exposure. Our cycles become more out-of-sync the later we go to bed and the later we wake up.

Think about it, you may have had a really late night and have gotten the ‘mandatory’ eight hours of sleep, but have woken up feeling groggy. One such restorative hormone is the growth hormone which is required for optimum immune function, development of lean muscle, and healthy skin. About 80% of this growth hormone is secreted while you sleep between 11 pm and 1 am. That is why it is important to go to bed before 10 pm to feel energetic the next morning.

Tip #2: Try deep breathing techniques
Energy is called ‘q’ (pronounced ‘chi’) in Chinese medicine. One of the most important ways to make ‘qi’ is to perform deep breathing techniques. Our breathing may not make it right to the bottom of our lungs due to several reasons like poor posture, stress and bad habits. Deep breathing, also known as diaphragmatic breathing or belly breathing, is a simple way to improve our stamina and our ‘qi’ energy.

Tip #3: Bust the energy-sappers from your diet
There are some foods that zap the energy right out of your system. These are:

· Excess sugar – Too much sugar can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which in turn, can result in crashing energy levels. Reduce your refined sugar intake. Be wary of low-fat foods, many of which actually have high fructose corn syrup to make the food more palatable.

· Insufficient protein – Insufficient protein is a common cause for feeling drained and worn out. Snack on some nuts and almonds to compensate for the lack of protein.

· Excessive coffee – Coffee might initially give you more energy and raise stress hormones, but if you drink too much coffee, it could burn you out. One cup a day is all you should indulge in.

· Not enough water – Water is an energy-boosting drink. Not drinking enough water is one of the most common reasons for low energy.

Tip #4: Take some time off for yourself
Everyone needs to include some ‘me-time’ into their day so that they feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Your ‘me-time’ routine should be about half an hour and could be anything that makes you feel happy. You could watch your favorite show on television, listen to some music, read a book, surf the Internet or play with your pet.

Tip #5: Take multi-vitamins
If you are suffering from chronic stress, you probably need more vitamin B in your system. You can also take B-50 B supplements which are available as a supplement to a standard multivitamin.

Tip #6: Try an energy-boosting morning drink
Coffee is a great pick-me-up, but it can also sap your energy levels. Instead, there are many other energy-boosting drinks that you can choose to start to your day. A delicious beverage to try is turmeric tea. Turmeric has many health benefits. Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are famous the world over. Add some honey, black pepper and turmeric, and your tea is all done!

Tip #6: Eat all the right things
There are many types of foods that sap your energy and leave you feeling drained and worn out. Instead, you need to make sure that the following foods are included in your diet so that you get your daily dose of energy