Try these tips to feel energized and awake even when you tossed and turned the night before.
Whether brought on by sick kids or the stress of a looming deadline, restless nights happen. Fortunately, it's possible to eat, drink and rest your way back from a sleepless night. Here's how to feel energetic and rested after a bad night's sleep.
Choose the right foods
Why does that doughnut look so very good when you're so very tired? "Sleep restriction has been clearly shown to increase appetite for calorie-dense foods," says Dr. Charles Samuels, founder and medical director at the Centre for Sleep and Human Performance in Calgary. Tara Maltman-Just, pharmacist and executive clinician at Vitality Integrative Medicine in Winnipeg, agrees. "After a night or two of sleep deprivation, we tend to go for things that will give us that instant energy surge: sugar, energy drinks, coffee, even carbohydrates," she says. "However, we'd be best served over the course of the day by making sure we're balancing each meal or snack with protein and a healthy fat."
If you're struggling to keep your eyes open, enjoy eggs with veggies for breakfast or a salad with nuts and avocado for lunch. That way, says Maltman-Just, "you give your body continuous good-quality energy that will release gradually."
Get to know joe
As caffeine-crazy Canadians, many of us can't get by without our morning (and afternoon) cups of joe. But consuming too much caffeine makes it less effective—even when we need it most, like after a long night spent tossing and turning.
To keep your brew working for you, reduce your daily caffeine consumption to one or two cups of coffee in the morning, says Dr. Samuels. "Then, interject caffeine where required," he says. "For instance, if you're sleep-deprived and need to be awake for a meeting that afternoon, that's the time you would use caffeine."
Nab a nap
Add some force to that caffeine kick by adding a 15- to 20-minute nap after you've downed a cup. "A nap is far more effective than caffeine, and a nap plus caffeine is most effective," explains Dr. Samuels. Because caffeine's alertness-boosting effect takes 30 to 60 minutes to peak, drinking a cup of coffee before snoozing will provide the benefits of a rejuvenating short stretch of sleep as well as a natural limit to the nap.
Try one of the sleeping methods to help you get a better night's rest.
This story was originally part of "Bouncing Back From A Bad Sleep" in the November 2015 issue. Subscribe to Canadian Living today and never miss an issue!
This stylish notebook might just be hottest organizing accessory of the year.
Everyone is supposed to have 24 hours in a day but for some us, it feels like there must be a rip in the space-time continuum. How else can you explain being constantly busy but having nothing to show for it? If this sounds familiar, learn how you can make the most of your time with our five fave productivity tips.
1. Write it down
Billed as "the analog solution for a digital age," the Bullet Journal is a diary, to-do list and catch-all for all your random thoughts. Developed by Brooklyn-based designer Ryder Carroll, this trendy organizing method involves writing down quick, memory jogging statements rather than complex entries. Use it to organize your tasks by day and month pages, keep tabs of books you want to read and things you want to buy or create new lists whenever inspiration strikes. An indexing system allows you to quickly find what you're looking for.
2. Plan your time
Sort of like HIIT for your to-do list, the Pomodoro Technique involves working on your tasks for a short, timed cycle of 25 minutes. With no distractions allowed, it’s great way for those with short attention spans to focus. Take a 5-minute break before starting your next 25 minutes of work and, after four of these cycles, you're rewarded with a longer, half-hour break. Sound a bit too structured? Maybe that's why it works—it was voted the most popular productivity technique by the readers of lifehacker.com.
3. Try a tech-savvy solution
The If This Then That app might be the closest you'll ever come to a personal assistant. Got any apps on your phone? Automate their functions by using If This Then That statements, or as IFTTT calls them, “recipes.” For example: get an early morning text when the forecast calls for rain, use it to get coffee going without getting out of bed (using a programmable outlet) or tell the family you're on your way home (with an email triggered by your location app once you've left work).
4. Go KonMari on your clutter
While organizing trendsetter Marie Kondo’s method of minimal living has been criticized for being a bit too twee, an organized, uncluttered home can be key to increased efficiency. "In most cases, things that function well are inherently neat and clean," says Clare Kumar, a professional organizer based in Toronto. It's not hard to see why. Simply owning less makes it easier for you to find what you need and streamlines your decision making (no need to choose between your 6 pairs of jeans, for example), saving you time that can be better spent elsewhere.
5. Let it go
There'll be days you can't get to everything. Your work presentation sits unfinished, the house is a mess and dinner was takeout (again!). Instead of stressing out, try to cut yourself some slack. "Our bodies burn out when stuck in fast-forward," says Carl Honoré, an expert on the topic of slow living. Sometimes the best way to be productive is to take some time out to recharge. So curl up with a good book, take a long bath, or enjoy a glass of wine...guilt free! After all, there's always tomorrow.
Ann Douglas shares her weight-loss story. Image by: David Wile
Ann Douglas shares how a walking routine and being kinder to herself helped her lose 120 pounds.I had almost given up on ever losing the extra weight I'd been carrying around my entire life. It was January 2013. I was staring down a milestone birthday (50) and the number on my scale (286 pounds). Heading into midlife with more than 100 extra pounds increased my odds of a premature death or disability. I wanted so much more for myself and my family.
|This story was originally titled "Many Steps Forward" in the October 2014 issue.|
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Beauty resolutions Image by: Getty Images
The Canadian Living team shares some resolutions for 2017—all with a focus on beauty.
When it comes to making New Year's resolutions, it can seem like a waste. Either the resolution is too abstract ("be happier"), too daunting ("learn a new language") or too vague ("lose weight"). While putting big things on your bucket list is something we recommend (dream big!), we also know that the more achievable your resolution is, the more likely you are to keep it. Which is why this year, the Canadian Living team is looking to make small changes to our beauty routines that will have a positive (and in some cases immediate) impact on how we look and feel. Read on to find out what our staff is looking to achieve this year.
Alexandra Tanner, Contributing Art Director
“I would really like to remember to take my vitamins—beauty starts from the inside after all.”
Jennifer Danter, Acting Executive Food Editor
“I don’t usually wear makeup, but now that I’m back in an office setting where everyone looks so stylish I want to up my game. My beauty resolution is to learn how to wear makeup that looks natural—so I’m starting by looking into BB Creams and foundation.”
Estee Lauder DayWear Multi-Perfecting Beauty Benefit BB Crème SPF 35, $35, beautyboutique.ca.
Stacy Lee Kong, Senior Editor
“My 2017 beauty resolution is to make this the year I finally learn how to apply eyeliner without looking like a raccoon! (To be fair, this has been my beauty resolution since 2003… So I’ll let you know how it goes.)”
Linda Cotrina, Web Producer
“I’ve heard time and time again how important sunscreen is to one’s overall beauty regimen which is why I’ve made applying sunscreen everyday my ultimate beauty goal for 2017. First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer is my go-to product—it has all the benefits of sunscreen (UVA and UVB protection) while still keeping your skin moisturized. The added bonus? It’s vegan and cruelty-free!”
First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Pure Mineral Sunscreen Moisturizer, $37, sephora.com.
Sandi Pilon, Senior Associate Art Director
“I’m in my 30’s and I often forget to moisturize my face at night, so my resolution is to get serious about a beauty regime. I’m going to be diligent about applying face and eye cream that is suited to my age.”
Julia McEwen, Fashion & Beauty Director
“Now that I’ve started to settle into my 30’s I’m ready to get serious about introducing anti-aging skin care into my daily routine. The hero ingredient of this category is retinol. It’s a vitamin A derivative that fights wrinkles, dullness and dark spots. One side effect it’s also known for is that it can be tricky to introduce and in some cases can cause irritation if you have highly reactive skin (which is what I have). That’s why I’m keen on trying this treatment from skin therapist to the stars, Kate Somerville. It combines oxygen with retinol, which means it’s super hydrating while still fighting off the signs of aging—the perfect retinol gateway product."
Kate Somerville Dermal Quench Liquid Lift Retinol, $130, sephora.com.
Sarah Gunn, Home & Garden Director
“I’m not one to make resolutions, but this year I do want to start taking better care of my skin. I plan on experimenting more with face masks and moisturizers.”
Alexandra Donaldson, Fashion & Beauty Contributor
"The past couple of years I've really upped my beauty game by settling into a skin-care regime, wearing sunscreen every day and paying attention to what my skin needs (usually moisture). This year, I'm hoping to focus in on products that work for me and to pay more attention to ingredient labels. Hopefully these two resolutions will let me streamline my skin-care products and only apply good-for-me ingredients to my complexion."
Renee Reardin, Interim Digital Direction
"I resolve to eat more superfoods to help me attain that glowing complexion we're all after. Eating a diet that's rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, healthy fats, amino acids and collagen can help skin look its best, so I'll be loading up on foods like avocados, blueberries and turmeric."