Wellness by Luke Coutinho: You don’t snooze? You lose

Published on Nov 19, 2022 02:42 AM IST

Is your morning not a good morning until you have that cup of coffee or tea?  Do you need to chug an extra cup of joe or an energy drink to get over daytime drowsiness?  Are you constantly in search of pick-me-up snacks?  Are you tired of looking for that perfect supplement or superfood that will help boost your energy?  Step back a bit, and assess your sleep quality

Most adults need between 7-9 hours of deep, quality sleep a night to function properly (Hexcode)
Most adults need between 7-9 hours of deep, quality sleep a night to function properly (Hexcode)
ByLuke Coutinho

Is your morning not a good morning until you have that cup of coffee or tea? 

Do you need to chug an extra cup of joe or an energy drink to get over daytime drowsiness? 

Are you constantly in search of pick-me-up snacks? 

Are you tired of looking for that perfect supplement or superfood that will help boost your energy? 

Step back a bit, and assess your sleep quality. For all you know, your body needs nothing but deep sleep. Yes, coffee, tea, and sugar could give a spurt of energy, but it is pseudo. The more you take it, the more your body becomes dependent on fake energy. What matters is cellular energy, and your body needs sleep to generate enough of that. Plus, coffee, tea, and sugar consumption often lead to a spike in energy followed by a sharp crash, leaving you groggy and wanting more and more of that. 

In our nine years of practice, we have worked with several patients with chronic fatigue, lethargy, and low energy levels. During our diagnosis, we ask them one question—do they sleep well enough? Most of them say they do not, and right then, we know that the solution to boosting their energy level isn’t adding multivitamins or supplements, but coaching them into improving their sleep habits. While the reasons for low energy levels and fatigue are plenty, like hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, and mitochondrial dysfunction, being chronically sleep-deprived is quite common among men, women, teens, and nowadays, even children. 

Open your eyes

Sleep is one of the most basic requirements for our body to function properly. Even one night of sleep deprivation can impact energy levels in the human body. After a whole night of rest, we are meant to wake up with a full reserve of energy. Creating that energy to face a new day becomes easier by giving your body that rest. During sleep, our body goes through deep repair, rejuvenation, cleansing, and detoxification. Sleep also enhances the body’s ability to make ATP, the body’s energy molecule.  

You might get through weeks, days, or even months by masking daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and low energy levels through stimulants because the human body is resilient, but only till it reaches a set point. After that, the body will shut down in the form of sickness.

So, if you complain of low energy levels and fatigue, first rectify your sleep habits. No under-sleeping or oversleeping. Just the right amount of rest your body and mind need. In fact, your energy levels are a good indicator of your sleep quality. While there are apps and gadgets to track your sleep, your body gives the best signs and never lies. When you wake up every morning, ask yourself:

• Do I feel rested?

• Do I need coffee to feel alert?

• How are my energy levels this morning?

If you feel unrested, low on energy, and need stimulants to wake up your senses, you know you haven’t slept well enough, even though you might have pulled in 7-8 hours. Because it is not only about quantity but quality, and you need deep quality rest to generate the energy your body requires each day. 

Respect sleep. There is no replacement for it.

Luke Coutinho practices in the space of Holistic Nutrition—Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine and is the founder of You Care-All about You by Luke Coutinho

From HT Brunch, November 19, 2022

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