Set the Stage for Sleep
Put your pillow to the test: If you're not lying on a pillow that effectively cradles your head and neck, you're creating unnecessary muscle tension, which can leave you feeling drained when you wake up. To tell if your pillow is doing its job, lay it over your extended arm. Does it have a slight fold or does it hang there like a saddlebag? If it collapses, your pillow is past its prime.
Make your bed: A National Sleep Foundation poll in 2011 found that people who made their bed every day were more likely to report sleeping well than those who didn't. It's unclear why pulling up your covers, tucking everything in and fluffing those pillows on rising might bring pleasant dreams, but who's to argue with the facts.
Work in wind-down time: Experts recommend setting an alarm to remind you when to start a realizing activity, such as reading a book, and when to close up shop. Staying on schedule will help you get more reliable sleep. Also consider an electronic curfew. Computers, TVs and smartphones emit brain-stimulating light that can sabotage rest, so shut off gadgets an hour before bed.
Lower the thermostat: rather than spending your night kicking off the covers and then pulling them on again, try to choose a comfortable nighttime temperature and stick with it. To best induce sleep, keep your bedroom between 65 and 70 degrees, experts say.
Work Out and Feel Refreshed
Ride a bike: a study done at the University of Georgia showed that adults suffering from sustained fatigue who biked at a low intensity for 20 minutes, three times a week, felt 65 percent less tired after six weeks than a group that didn't exercise. Those results were even better than ones for a group that did moderate-intensity exercise (the effect of which was similar to using prescription amphetamines).
Go for a walk: An Oregon State University Study of more than 2,600 people ages 18 to 85 found that 2 1/2 hours of moderate to vigorous exercise weekly (the national guideline for good health) can yield a 65 percent improvement in sleep quality. An easy way to meet that 150-minute goal: Walk briskly for 30 minutes five days per week. Some people are sensitive to working out before bedtime and others aren't. Avoid strenuous exercise two hours before you turn in.
Change it up: Making a simple switch to your daily routine can give you a jolt of energy, because it can prompt your brain to release dopamine. Try taking a different route to the office, or walk the opposite way around the block.
Get a Rush By Eating Right
Eat smaller meals: Avoid chowing down on large, heavy meals, which causes an increase in blood glucose levels, making you tired and foggy-headed—not unlike the way you feel after stuffing yourself with food on Thanksgiving. Try limiting your portions at mealtime, and if you get hungry between meals, add in a healthy snack.
Pile your plate with protein and helpful carbohydrates: There nutrients help stabilize blood sugar, so your energy levels won't dip throughout the day. The lean protein, fiber and healthful carbohydrates keep hunger at bay between regular meals, so you're less tempted to reach for fattening fare that causes energy-draining spikes and drops in blood sugar. Try smearing some peanut-butter on a whole-grain waffle at breakfast, or dine on tuna or salmon for dinner.
Snack smart: Feeling sluggish in the midafternoon? Spoon up a bowl of whole-grain cereal with nonfat milk and a few banana slices. All three foods are high in B vitamins, which your body uses to make energy.
Opt for a fruit drink at night: Tart cherry juice is a natural source of melatonin, which helps us nod off. Bananas are high in magnesium, known for its calming affect. Blended together, they make a delicious nighttime smoothie. Simply combine 1 cup tart cherry juice, 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup soy milk or nonfat milk, 5 ice cubes and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Sip at least an hour and a half before bed.