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How to Get Instant Energy

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Not Getting Enough Sun

Our bodies require the right amount of light to feel alert. "The pineal gland in our brain monitors how much sunshine comes into the eyes and regulates our internal clock by it, keeping us awake during the day and asleep at night," says Dr. Teitelbaum. In order to function properly and allow us to feel peppy, the pineal needs to absorb the full spectrum of light, which we typically get from sunlight and which is not produced by most lightbulbs. "So getting a little bit of sunlight every day is good for you," says Dr. Teitelbaum. "Sunshine helps the body suppress melatonin, a sleep hormone that can make you yawn and feel groggy."

Fast Fixes

  • Have lunch in a park or on an outdoor bench as often as time and weather permit.
  • "You don't need a vacation at the beach. Just 30 to 60 minutes of sunlight a day can improve energy dramatically," says Dr. Teitelbaum.
  • If you can't get outdoors during the workday, sit by a window whenever possible.
  • Purchase a desk lamp and outfit it with a full-spectrum bulb. To get the most benefit, look for one with a color rendering index (CRI) of 90 to 100 and a color temperature of 5000K or more ($9 to $16, fullspectrumsolutions.com).

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