Must. Stay. Awake. Yes, it’s the 3 o’clock mantra. And who hasn’t mumbled it while fighting off midday yawns and drooping eyes?
Fatigue and flagging energy seem to be epidemic, especially among women who burn the candle at both ends (and who doesn’t?). Instead of moping, pump up your mojo with these 10 strategies from experts in sleep, fitness, nutrition, psychology, and alternative medicine.
1. See the light
Get the right light, and you’ll have lots more energy. But that can be a challenge, given the poorly lit offices we sit in and the scant doses of daily sunlight (which contains brain-activating short-wavelength blue light) we get. “Our circadian rhythms are more sensitive to blue light than any other kind,” says Mariana Figueiro, assistant professor at the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.
To take advantage of that energizing blue boost, lift your shades the minute you get up or take a 30-minute walk first thing in the morning. And go outside as often as you can during the day (especially right before you need to be extra-alert), says Scott Campbell, PhD, director of the Human Chronobiology Laboratory at New York–Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in Westchester, N.Y. To up your blue light at work, use lamps with “natural” lightbulbstry Sylvania’s Daylight Extra bulbs (at retailers nationwide), an Ott-Lite, or a light box that uses blue-light technology (our pick: the Sun-a-Lux light-therapy box; $429).