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In today’s 24/7/365 plugged-in world, sleep for most of us often gets shortchanged.  While people typically need 6-8 hours of sleep nightly for optimal functioning, many don’t get that regularly.

Obviously, lack of sleep leads to chronic fatigue, which has all kinds of negative effects, such as irritability, inattention, poor memory, impaired motor skills and a tendency to rely on caffeine and energy drinks for energy. Plus, when you’re tired, typically the last thing you do is want to exercise.

However, one of the best ways to increase your energy is indeed to workout and stimulate the circulation and muscles. It doesn’t have to be your most intense session, but simply exercising the body often helps temporarily shake off fatigue and clear a foggy brain. Trust me, after having newborn twins, I forced myself to get to the gym regularly, despite their nighttime feedings, and I found that this did indeed pay off with more endurance to survive some long days. Sure, I took some opportunities to nap when the babies did, but overall, my workouts were critical to my stamina.

Plus, recent research has shown that people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to be overweight or obese. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania found in several studies that getting fewer than six hours of sleep a night is linked with increases in the hunger-stimulating hormone ghrelin and decreases in the hormone leptin, which plays a role in energy balance and food intake.

Turn off all the electronics and go to bed!