Uppers and Downers

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Wake up, y'all!
Wake up, y’all!

Life was simpler before jobs. We have to wake up every morning to a loud, abusive noise that refuses to stop no matter how many times we tell it to snooze. Every dream ends in a panic followed by the groggy wrath of a body whose energizing slumber was disturbed before it was ready. So to combat our body’s stubborn behavior we guzzle down caffeine spiked drinks, coffee, and artificial energy sludge. While a five hour heart attack right at the beginning of your day can make you very productive, too much caffeine can make it tough to sleep when you want to. Whether you toss and turn until exhaustion takes over or you imbibe in a coma inducing sleep aid, either way you’re waking up groggy again the next morning, smack in the middle of your very own personal ‘snake eating it’s own tail’ nightmare. But fret not! While we can’t stop your job from demanding you wake up before you’re ready, we can point you in the direction of some helpful foods that provide you with energy naturally without damaging your sleep cycles. Here are some excellent foods for adding daytime pep to your step and solid rest to your night.

Wake up with water!
Unless you’re lost in a desert or stuck on a roof, there is no reason for you to go 8 hours without water. However, your body has to do this every night when you go to sleep. Imagine how frustrating that must be! All your body wants is water, and you provide it with a dry bagel and a coffee. It might not be exotic, but reaching for a glass of water in the morning might be just what you need to kick start your day.

Lay down with tea.
Sure black and green teas contain caffeine, but not all teas were meant to keep you up. Chamomile tea in particular is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical in the body that relaxes nerves and can act as a mild sedative. Furthermore, a study in Australia revealed that drinking a cup of passionfruit tea an hour before bed can help you sleep more soundly. And when you get a sleep remedy from a country filled with crocodiles, giant spiders, and poisonous snakes, it’s probably safe to believe it.

Get up with dark chocolate!
You were just waiting for a reason to eat chocolate in the morning and now you have it. Dark chocolate that is at least 70% cacao is an excellent source of iron and magnesium, both of which provide you with sustainable energy throughout the day. But who cares! It’s chocolate in the morning!

Lay down with honey.
When you’re busy as a bee during the day it can keep your mind buzzing well into the night. So do as the bees do! A spoonful of honey before bed can slightly raise insulin levels and allow tryptophan to enter the brain more easily. You know tryptophan right? That thing in turkey that makes grandpa fall asleep at the table on Thanksgiving. While tryptophan normally has to take the back roads to your hypothalamus, honey provides it with a direct highway to Sleeptown.

Get up with bananas!
A banana a day keeps the daydreams away. Rich in potassium and energy packed B vitamins, bananas are a great morning pick me up and just darn fun to eat. Pair with an apple for a slow burn of sustained energy throughout the morning.

Lay down with cherry juice.
Cherries are not just for slot machines and Ms. Pac Man anymore. A glass of tart cherry juice naturally boosts levels of melatonin in the body, making you naturally drowsy.

Get up with salmon!
Who would have thought a fish that swims upstream, against currents, and up waterfalls for a living might be a great source of energy? Salmon is packed with omega-3 fatty acids that are needed for energy production, brain activity, and blood circulation. Start your day with a salmon and at the very least you might find a new way to work.

Lay down with elk.
There is a reason elk is not as popular as it could be. This game meat has twice the tryptophan as turkey, meaning you’re twice as likely to fall asleep in the middle of eating it. That’s bad news if you’re trying to get stuff done, but great news if you’re trying to catch a few Z’s.

Get up with quinoa!
Quinoa is part of that new generation of hip foods like kale that have existed forever, but for some reason are just gaining popularity now. Rich in complex carbohydrates and protein, mixing quinoa with some almonds and cinnamon can make for a great and energizing cereal substitute.

Lay down with jasmine rice.
Just like teas, not all rice has the same effect on your body. Jasmine rice is high in carbohydrates, which can raise insulin levels and increase the amount of tryptophan in the blood. And as we’ve already covered, tryptophan is great for falling asleep in a bed or just in the middle of dinner. Sweet dreams!