- As soon as you wake up, drink a glass of warm water with fresh lemon squeezed in. “It will provide your body with hydrating electrolytes in the form of potassium, calcium, and magnesium,” Dr. Lipman says. “We get dehydrated overnight as the body takes care of its detoxification processes, so it’s important to hydrate and replenish first thing.” Lemon juice also helps your liver produce more enzymes, which aid digestion and prompt the liver to purge toxins. The vitamin C in lemon juice, a powerful antioxidant, protects against free radicals, strengthening the immune system.
- Twisting yoga poses—think, a Seated Spinal (or Torso) Twist—helps with the detox process by stimulating digestion and elimination. “A lot of digestive discomforts come from stress,” Dr. Lipman says, “so by releasing gripping and holding in the belly and taking deep calming breaths, we can relax the muscles and diaphragm, allowing the GI system to do a better job.”
- Reduce chronic inflammation—which has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, and cancer—by filling your plate with sulfur-rich foods, such as onions, garlic, and cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, kale, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower. “These foods are high in antioxidants, which support the body’s ability to fight off toxins,” Dr. Lipman says. A 2014 study revealed that women who ate the most cruciferous vegetables had substantially less inflammation than those who ate the fewest.
- A few days a week before your bath or shower, dry brush your skin with a soft-bristled brush. Dry brushing has two main benefits: “It helps your skin slough off old cells and debris, unclogging pores and enabling the skin to perspire freely,” Dr. Lipman explains. “It also stimulates the circulation beneath your skin, which helps promotes cellular renewal and vitality.”
- Teas containing dandelion or milk thistle may boost liver function, helping to decrease the build-up of toxins in the tissues. In a study review on milk thistle commissioned by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, researchers found that the herb may help enhance liver function, possibly by protecting against cell damage and stimulating repair of liver tissue. And cancer studies suggest that milk thistle may strengthen cell walls to prevent toxins from getting in, stimulate enzymes that make toxins less harmful, and block free radicals from attacking cells. A word of warning though: Avoid “detoxing” teas that also promise to curb appetite or rev metabalism because they can be laced with herbs delivering unwanted side effects such as agitation and headache.
- And add about two cups of Epsom salts, available at any drug store. Then soak for 20 minutes. “Epsom salts contain magnesium, as well as other minerals and nutrients that are absorbed into your skin during the bath, and can help with detoxification processes,” Dr. Lipman says. The mineral specifically helps kick up action in the colon, prompting the body to eliminate backed up waste (read: poo), which can otherwise get reabsorbed into the bloodstream if it sticks around long enough. If you always feel constipated, Dr. Lipman adds, talk to your doctor about trying a 1,000 mg magnesium citrate supplement at night to keep things moving.
1. YOUR CLUTTER
Sure, you’re resting up by not cleaning, but that might be causing you to feel even more fatigued: A Princeton University Neuroscience Institute study found that a messy, unorganized environment causes you to expend mental energy on stress, which increases your exhaustion.
2. YOUR BLUE WALLS
A study by Travelodge investigated bedroom colors in 2,000 homes and found that blue walls help slow down your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and make you feel sleepy. Good for your bedroom, bad for everywhere else in your home.
3. YOUR TV
And your tablet screen. Both exude blue wavelengths that suppress your brain’s production of melatonin (the chemical that makes you feel tired and helps you fall asleep), meaning you’re more likely to have shorter disrupted sleep, causing you to be tired the next day.
4. YOUR COFFEE MAKER
Even though this gadget is a life-saver in the mornings, come the afternoon or evening it might be the reason you’re dozing off during dinner. While caffeine is a stimulant and it does increase your energy, that effect wears off over time and leaves you feeling worse later. Or, you might have just (not) won the genetic lottery — depending on your metabolism, caffeine might actually just make you sleepy.
5. YOUR BAR CART
That nightcap might help you fall asleep faster, but the quality of sleep you’ll get after a glass of red wine is sub par — expect a restless night and to wake up more often, which you’ll definitely feel the next morning when it’s nearly impossible to crawl out of bed.
6. YOUR LAVENDER CANDLE
Sure, this scent is super relaxing, but for that same reason it might be making you tired. Psychologists at Wesleyan University found that people who sniffed this smell before bed slept more soundly — so you don’t have to ditch it entirely, but maybe stick to mint- or citrus-scented candles during the daytime and lavender as a pre-bedtime ritual.
7. YOUR FAVORITE JUNK FOOD
Put down the potato chips: Foods loaded with simple carbs and sugar result in frequent blood sugar spikes, followed by sharp drops that will make you feel tired over time.
8. YOUR LOW THERMOSTAT SETTING
Studies found that the optimal temperature for sleep is actually pretty cool at 60 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit — so if you keep your home chilly you might find yourself feeling ready for a nap during the day instead of your jam-packed schedule.
9. YOUR CELL PHONE
For the same reason this gadget is super addictive (constant communication!), it’s making you tired during the day: A study by the National Sleep Foundation found that 20 percent of people between ages 19 to 29 were woken up by a call, text, or email at least a few times a night. That interrupted sleep makes for a groggy day after.
10. YOUR DRAWN CURTAINS
One study about workers with offices with windows verses those without found that people who were exposed to natural light all day long on average slept 46 more minutes per night. The same goes for your home: More natural light will help you sleep better at night and feel more rested the next day.