DOES SLEEP BOOST ENERGY LEVELS?
Time to read 6 min
Time to read 6 min
Like a phone plugged into a frayed and taped-up phone cable, we need sleep to help us recharge. When our phones hit 19% battery, we panic, yet we often force ourselves to endure work, training, social events and more while our brain is flashing with that ‘low battery warning’.
Before we get started, it’s important to know what sleep is. Just kidding, you surely know that already. It might even be your favourite part of the day.
Did you know that one in three people across the USA are reportedly not getting enough rest or sleep every day? We know we’re in Australia, so you may find this stat irrelevant. Still, America has over 10x the population that we have here in Australia, so one in three is pretty significant. More so when you consider that 40% of the adult population have reported falling asleep during the day without meaning to (National Institute of Health. 2022).
If you think your sleep doesn’t affect your energy levels, you’re mistaken.
While sleep is often ignored in favour of studying, gaming, binge-watching Netflix, catching up with friends and enjoying a night at the pub, it is just as critical to your daily function as eating, drinking and breathing. So, how does sleep affect your energy levels? Let’s jump right in.
If you’re trying to improve your energy throughout the day, you’ll need a good night’s sleep. It is during sleep that your body restores itself, with the non-REM sleep cycle considered responsible for you feeling refreshed and alert (Pacheco, D. 2022).
Research has explored the roles of glycogen and adenosine in sleep and energy levels. But wait, what are they? Glycogen is a chemical responsible for storing energy in the brain and can decrease throughout your day. It is also restored during sleep. In contrast, adenosine builds up during the day and can help you fall asleep (Pacheco, D. 2022).
Let’s step away from the chemical talk and jump into raw reason. Sleep improves your mood.
You know how it is. When you’re well-rested, you’re happier. You breeze through your day with positive energy and radiant balance. When you’re tired, everything sucks. That drive to the office suddenly feels like a burden, your coffee tastes bitter, and your emotions are more difficult to manage. Sleep can improve your mood and, by extension, increase energy levels.
When you don’t get enough sleep, your body increases its levels of stress hormones because the brain chemicals connected with deep sleep are the same ones that control your body’s production of stress hormones. Basically, more sleep = less stress, which in turn means a better mood, improved energy and enhanced cognitive function (A.H. Beard. 2023).
If you’re a regular gym-goer or enjoy frequent exercise, you’ve probably struggled through sessions where you’ve felt flat, deflated and unmotivated, and that’s probably because you’re tired. Sleep is integral in how you recover after training, but growing evidence has also pointed to links between sleep quality and length and the impact this has on athletic performance and results. While the length of sleep is paramount, the actual quality of that sleep has been recognised as a vital element in your overall health and performance. If you work out regularly, you may find that you actually need more sleep than a non-active person to increase your energy levels on a day-to-day basis (Watson, A. 2017).
If you can’t get enough sleep in before your alarms start blaring, there is a short-term option that may help you improve your energy. You might already be a big fan of this, but napping can improve your energy levels during the day. Even a brief nap can improve neurobehavioural performance, but just as every positive yields a negative, this option may make it difficult to fall asleep the following night (Pacheco, D. 2022).
Be careful not to oversleep, though. While both short and long naps can be effective in increasing alertness and energy, it is important not to nap for more than an hour. You will generally reach a period of deep sleep when you nap for an hour or more, which can actually worsen your functionality after waking up due to sleep inertia.
Keeping your naps short (between 15-30) minutes will allow you to awaken from the lighter stages of sleep, which can reduce grogginess and improve energy and alertness (NIOSH. 2020).
We recommend setting an alarm so your light nap doesn’t turn into a deep sleep.
While the amount of sleep you need per night will vary depending on several factors, a healthy adult will generally require at least seven hours of sleep to function with energy. Younger teens, children and babies will need more than that to support their growth and development (Suni, E. 2023).
While seven to nine hours is generally recommended, research has suggested that a frequently active person may require more sleep to optimise their recovery and improve their energy and may require up to nine or ten hours of sleep to optimise their performance and health (Watson, A. 2017).
It is essential to pay attention to how you function during the day. You will know you’re getting enough sleep if you’re waking up refreshed and energetic. If you feel tired and sluggish, you may want to prioritise getting a longer night’s sleep. Some ways you can improve your sleep include setting a sleep schedule and sticking to it, avoiding screens right before bed, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol late in the evening.
Not sure if you’re getting enough sleep. Calculate how much sleep you need to perform at your best here.
Think you could benefit from an improved night’s sleep? We can help you out with our range of sleep supplements that can help you wake up more refreshed and energetic. From Musclewerks Sleep Agent to Core Nutritionals ZZZ, we have the supplements to help you improve the quality of your sleep and wake up with more energy.
Here are the best sleep supplements on the market:
What says comfort like a warm mug of hot chocolate before bed? Well, with Evolve Beauty Sleep, you can enjoy that comfort with a cozy formula designed to improve your sleep and boost your collagen intake.
With type I & III bovine collagen to support your hair, skin, joint and tendon health, Beauty Sleep harnesses magnesium aspartate to support muscle relaxation and nerve function, and ZylariaTM, which is a game-changing ingredient that supports sleep. If you want to get the full download on what this incredible sleep-supporting ingredient is, check out our blog ZylariaTM: The Solution to a Good Night’s Sleep.
If you’re familiar with EHP Labs, then you know they mean business. EHP Labs OxySleep is a nighttime formula that can support a restful night’s sleep while promoting recovery and weight management.
This formula includes ingredients like ZMA 5-HTP, passionflower, lemon balm and valerian root to support relaxation, stress relief and sleep, as well as green tea extract, CLA, raspberry ketones and more to support metabolism and weight management.
For a convenient capsule formula that can calm the mind and balance the spirit (while helping you sleep, of course), Faction Labs Downers uses a blueprint of ashwagandha, ziziphys jujuba, passionflower and elemental magnesium to support relaxation, sleep and calmness.
This formula can help you reduce nervous tension, promoting restful sleep and a balanced spirit while supporting the health of your nervous and cardiovascular systems.
At the end of the day, if you’re lacking energy, get more sleep. Sure, those coffees and energy drinks may give you a boost to push you through your day on auto-pilot, but waking up refreshed and radiant after a proper night of restful sleep will serve you far better than the first option.
If you want to learn more about the importance of sleep beyond improving your energy levels, check out our blog on The Relationship Between Sleep and Muscle Growth.
National Institute of Health. 2022, ‘What Are Sleep Deprivation and Deficiency?’ NIH, accessed 11 April 2023, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/sleep-deprivation#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Centers%20for,at%20least%20once%20a%20month.
Pacheco, D. 2022, ‘Sleep Satisfaction and Energy Levels’, Sleep Foundation, accessed 11 April 2023, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/sleep-hygiene/sleep-satisfaction-and-energy-levels
NIOSH. 2020, ‘Nap Duration’, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, accessed 11 April 2023, https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/work-hour-training-for-nurses/longhours/mod7/05.html#:~:text=What%20is%20the%20optimal%20length,sleep)%20in%20about%201%20hour.
A.H. Beard. 2023, ‘5 ways better sleep can increase your energy’, A.H. Beard, accessed 11 April 2023, https://ahbeard.com/sleep-advice/5-ways-better-sleep-can-increase-your-energy/
Suni, E. 2023, ‘How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?’ Sleep Foundation, accessed 11 April 2023, https://www.sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/how-much-sleep-do-we-really-need
Watson, A. 2017, ‘Sleep and Athletic Performance’, Current Sports Medicine Reports, accessed 11 April 2023, https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/Fulltext/2017/11000/Sleep_and_Athletic_Performance.11.aspx