Individual and Family
It’s 2 pm, and you’re reaching for another cup of coffee when you think to yourself, “why am I so tired again?”
Feeling tired and fatigued throughout the day is more common than you might think. One survey reported that 76% of people feel tired throughout the day, with 44% of people saying that severe tiredness impacted their work and daily lifestyle.
Tiredness comes from many different causes. Some people deal with issues like sleep apnea, while others simply don’t have time to get enough sleep because of work or having young children.
For most of us, it’s difficult to change the causes behind why we might not be getting enough sleep. However, there are a handful of ways to maintain energy throughout your day and decrease your tiredness to help you make the most of the time you have awake.
According to Food & Wine, more than 60% of Americans enjoy a cup of coffee every day and most doctors agree that it’s fairly harmless to do so. The issue comes when that harmless cup of coffee turns into 3-4 cups or sugary energy drinks.
Caffeine helps to increase alertness, but it can turn into something that causes your body to crash by the afternoon. Some experts recommend that you stop drinking caffeine past 2 pm, as having caffeine in your system late in the day may cause insomnia and fatigue after you consume large amounts of caffeine in one day.
With all this in mind, it’s important to drink coffee in moderation and to limit extended use of energy drinks or other sugar-heavy substitutes.
Sometimes the only thing that can get us out of bed in the morning is promising yourself a nice nap later in the day. However, by disallowing yourself to indulge that nap, you might be giving yourself an energy gift for days to come.
Napping makes it more difficult to fall asleep at night and can prevent restful sleep by interrupting your body’s natural circadian rhythm. By not napping, you may give yourself a better chance to have a more restful sleep which could lead to increased energy throughout the following day.
Alcohol and smoking may help you relax, but they both have similar results to your energy to caffeine.
A sedative effect is created with alcohol, which can help you fall asleep if you have a drink or two in the evening after a long day. If you suffer from fatigue and tiredness and plan to drink, it’s best to do so when you have the energy to wind down and get it out of your system since alcohol has been shown to reduce REM sleep.
On the other hand, smoking acts as a stimulant which can effect how much rest you get in the evening which can lead to fatigue in the following day. Smoking increases your blood pressure and can make it hard to fall asleep later in the evening, causing insomnia or less restful sleep.
A common cause of fatigue is mental exhaustion. We tend to squeeze in as many tasks and chores as we can in one day for the sake of efficiency, however overworking yourself isn’t sustainable in the long run.
The problem with focusing on too many tasks at once is that we lose the ability to focus. That makes it harder to complete work and extends the amount of time it takes to get things done. All of this can also lead to an increase in anxiety and may prevent restful sleep or keep us up at night thinking of everything that has to get done tomorrow.
For many, this is the hardest lifestyle change to make when it comes to trying to improve sleep. However, by setting priority tasks, and giving yourself more flexibility with those that are less important, it can increase your energy and peace of mind.
If you feel you have too much to do, writing your tasks out for the next day will help calm your mind. Additionally, you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment as you check things off you’ve accomplished.
You don’t have to add more gym hours to your life to get more energy during the day. By setting reminders on your phone to get up, stretch, or go on a short walk, you can increase the flow of oxygen periodically throughout your daily routine.
Exercise in the morning is shown to help increase energy-inducing hormones, and a nighttime routine can help reduce stress to enable a more sound sleep.
By giving your brain a steady amount of energy-heavy nutrients, you can decrease fatigue throughout the day. Snacks like nuts, fruits, and vegetables help to keep you moving and your brain active, while foods that are processed or high in sugar content can cause you to feel sluggish.
Whole grains and high-fiber items are processed slowly by your body, allowing energy to release continuously instead of in one quick spike.
Water is truly magical when it comes to what it can do for our bodies and our energy. It can help keep our skin bright, help reduce headaches, and even help give us more energy throughout the day. Lack of fluids is actually one of main things that can cause tiredness and fatigue. So when in doubt – reach for the water!
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While all of these tips may help increase your energy during the day, there are many possible causes for feeling excessive tiredness. It’s important to talk to your doctor and rule out any medical reasons why you might be feeling tired or fatigued. This article is not to be treated as medical advice.