I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired: Change your life in 30 minutes a day (Proceedings)


I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired: Change your life in 30 minutes a day (Proceedings)

Aug 01, 2010

Have you ever had one of "those" days? You know, the kind where things started of slow, your energy seemed low and your enthusiasm even lower. You snapped at your co-workers and when you returned home you just wanted to be left alone? Are you sick and tired of feeling sick and tired all the time? If you've ever had one of "those" days, try these simple strategies to make even your dullest days brighter. You can beat the workplace blahs!

1 – Your Night Makes Your Day

The key to starting your day off well begins with a good night's sleep. "Good" is the operative word when it comes to sleep. Most of us need eight to nine hours of uninterrupted sleep – not more – to obtain the restorative power of sleep. Our bodies need to go into REM (rapid eye movement) sleep for about 90 to 120 minutes each night for proper memory, creativity and behavior, immune function and overall health. Most adults will experience about four to five periods of REM sleep during a normal night. If your REM sleep is interrupted, you may feel depressed due to the lack of resetting of the important neurotransmitter, monoamine.

There are several steps you can take to ensure a good night's sleep. First, avoid eating and drinking in your bed. Avoid prolonged television watching. Crawling into your bed should signal your body – and mind – that it's time to sleep. If you develop the habit of using your bed for sleep, you'll find you fall asleep faster. Second, try to go to bed at a consistent time. For most busy veterinarians, going to bed between 10 and 11 pm will allow you to rise between 6 and 7 am. If you need to get up earlier, you'll need to go to bed earlier. Third, try not to eat dinner less than three hours before bedtime, two at the minimum. Also, avoid high-carbohydrates at nighttime. The resulting glucose spike will inhibit sleep. Finally, if you need something to help you sleep, try a natural alternative. Melatonin is one of our body's "darkness neurotransmitter," reaching its highest levels during night. Most people begin secreting melatonin a few hours before their normal bedtime. Try supplementing between 0.3 and 0.5-mg of melatonin a couple of hours before going to sleep. Everyone responds differently to melatonin so experiment with it to achieve best results.

2 – Sunshine makes you Happy

Light affects our mood. For busy veterinarians who rarely "see the light of day," this can be a problem. Our physiology was based on waking with the dawn, living outside in the sunlight and retiring at sunset. This is why we often feel so refreshed on vacation when we go to bed early and rise with the sun. Sunlight also helps our bodies make Vitamin D3, a vitamin now linked with the prevention of several forms of cancer. Most people should strive to get out in the sun for 10 to 30 minutes per day. If you're only able to go outside for a short amount of time, try to make it between 10 am and 2 pm for maximum ultraviolet exposure.