Do you feel refreshed when you get up in the morning? Have you got enough energy to do everything you’ve planned for the day? If the answer is yes, you’re one of the lucky ones, who don’t know the meaning of tiredness. Good for you!
However, today we’re going to talk about the unfortunate part of the population – those of you who feel tired all day. Let’s face it. A constant feeling of fatigue is not good for your physical and mental health. And your carrier? You can’t give a 100% at work because you don’t have the energy to do all that must be done.
Furthermore, you don’t have the strength to undertake new tasks or finish those projects you’ve left aside. You’ve got this sense of failure and the notion that you can do better and achieve more if you don’t have to battle with tiredness.
You might be asking “How other people do it? Am I the only one?” No, you’re not alone. And, today I’m going to help you and give you some tips how to stop being tired all the time.
Allow me to make a slight digression. I’m not going to talk about Chronic Fatigue syndrome and SEID, which require medical attention. I’m talking about this feeling of fatigue born out of sleepless nights, too much work, or too many worries.
Unlike sleep disorders and illnesses, general tiredness can be avoided as long as you’re ready to make some changes to your habits.
What do you need to stop being tired?
In this article, we’re going to talk about several things that can help you deal with fatigue. To follow my advice, you need to:
# 1 Stop feeling sleepy all the time
Sleepiness is a common complaint, believe it or not. And it happens to everybody. Some days when I wake up in the morning all I can think about is going back to bed when I get back from work. I’m sure that the same had happened to you, especially when you’ve gone to bed 3-4 hours earlier due to an urgent project.
Let’s get it clear. This behavior is not healthy in the long run and shouldn’t turn into a habit. You might feel fine sleeping 4-5 hours a night, but your body is going to say “I’ve got enough,” sooner or later. When you don’t sleep enough, you accumulate a sleep debt, which is not easy to repay when it comes due even if you sleep more during the weekends.
So, skimming on sleep is one of the reasons why you might be feeling sleepy all the time. Other reasons are:
But what’s the harm of skipping a few nights of sleep? Lack of sleep or poor quality of sleep is connected with serious medical problems like hypertension, diabetes, stroke, heart attack. Should I go on? Your body needs rest to regulate your organ’s functions and metabolism.
If you have troubles falling asleep or you often wake through the night, you might have a sleep disorder, which you should check out. Watch out for these symptoms as well:
# 2 Establish a good sleeping habits
How much sleep do you need each night? Some people think that six is just about right, but they are far from the truth. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for teenagers and adults.
However, even if you sleep nine hours a night, you might still wake up and feel awful. “I just need five more minutes.” That’s a familiar thought, right? But why aren’t we refreshed?
Our body sleeps in five stages – 1,2,3,4 and REM. They make up the sleep cycle, which lasts around 90 minutes. You need to complete at least 5-6 cycles to feel well rested in the morning. But there’s one more thing to watch for if you want to feel well in the morning.
Let’s say that you go to bed at 10 p.m. If you wake up often throughout the night, your body won’t be able to complete the sleep cycle. As a result, you feel like the dead in the morning, even if you’ve spent eight hours in bed.
On the other hand, someone who has slept six hours with no interruptions will feel better than you because his body has completed several sleep cycles. That’s exactly what Pierce J. Howard says in his book The Owner’s Manual for the Brain.
What I’m trying to say is that you have to wake up after sleep cycles have been completed, not in the middle of one. It might be hard to do that when you rely on an alarm clock because it usually wakes you up before your body is ready.
But how can you wake in the morning if you don’t use an alarm? Well, there are sleep calculators which can tell you when you should go to bed if you want to wake up at 7 o’clock, for example. You can try sleepyti.me, sleepcalculator.com, sleep-calculator.com, and more.
The problem is that the sleep cycles is around 90 minutes, not 90 minutes exact. For some, it might be longer, while for others shorter. That’s why these calculators might not work for you. In such a case, you have to figure out when you would wake up if there are no distractions and use the alarm clock as a back-up.
Of course, you’ll also have to learn to go to bed on time. If you ask me, this is the hard part because there are always interesting stories to read, pictures to likes, messages to answer. My advice is that you establish a bedtime ritual and stick to it. You can find some useful suggestions here.
Remember that you need between 15-30 minutes to go to sleep, so if you’re using a sleep calculator take this into account.
# 3 Do more exercises
I know that the last thing on your mind when you’re tired is going out for a walk, but it one way to get rid of fatigue. In the past, people have been moving up and about all day, while today we spend much of our time in front of computers and laptops. That leads to some health problems and tiredness.
The University of Georgia researched the matter of tiredness and exercises. The participants were divided into three grounds – moderate-intensity exercises, low-intensity exercises, and no exercises.
The results showed that both exercising groups showed a reduction in their fatigue complaints. The interesting thing is that the group doing low-intensity aerobics felt better than the moderate group.
So, a 20-minute walk outside could be helpful for restoring your energy levels. What’s more, once you get into the habit of exercising, it’ll be beneficial for your whole organism and reduce your risk for certain diseases. It’s a win-win scenario.
# 4 Go out in the sun
Do you spend a lot of time inside sitting in front of your laptop? Then you probably don’t get enough exposure to sunlight, and that might contribute to your fatigue. Wait a minute. What does the sun have to do with fatigue?
For centuries, before the invention of electricity, Internet, and laptops, we’ve relied on the sunlight and darkness to regulate our internal clock. In other words, they keep our body in sync with the day and night cycle, which is important for the proper function of the organism.
What’s more, sunlight has been linked to increased production of serotonin from the brain. Serotonin is a natural anti-depressant. It lifts the mood, reduces anxiety, and promotes better sleep. Now you know which way we feel better on sunny days than on rainy ones.
Furthermore, sunlight stimulates our bodies to produce vitamin D. It’s necessary for our organism, and it’s responsible for:
A Vitamin D deficiency usually leads to depression, bone pain, slow wound healing, getting sick more often. Do you know what else? You get constantly tired. And that’s proved by a study done in 2014, which establish a connection between low levels of Vitamin D and tiredness. Patients who got their levels back to normal saw an improvement in their symptoms.
Now, you might think that if you eat a healthy diet, you are not in danger of getting vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is found naturally in few foods like fatty fish and fortified milk, but we get most of it through sun exposure. As you can imagine, this might turn into a problem during winter months when we don’t see the sun so often.
According to WebMD, the Institute of Medicine's expert committee recommends a daily dose of 600 IU for people age 9-70, with a maximum safe level of 4,000. If you are feeling worse during winter, it’s a good idea to check your vitamin D levels.
I recommend that you talk with your doctor before you started taking any supplements. Vitamin D is dangerous is high doses because it leads to calcium buildup. As a result, you might experience weakness, nausea, vomiting, and frequent urination.
It’s far more easy to go out and get some sunlight, don’t you think? You should also know that darkness is not your enemy. The lack of light is also important for our body. How so, you ask? It triggers our brain to release melatonin. If you don’t know, melatonin is the hormone which regulates sleep and helps you sleep better at night.
Melatonin’s levels start to rise in the mid/late evening and stay high during night hours. Then they drop on sunrise. As you can imagine, electricity changed the rules of the game because we have artificial light at your disposal constantly. It affects the quality of sleep, which can contribute to the feeling of fatigue.
That’s why specialist recommends that you sleep in a room with no light-emitting devices. So, don’t forget to turn off your computer.
# 5 Limit caffeine
How do you deal with tiredness in the morning or evening? By drinking coffee, right? Well, coffee contains caffeine – a stimulant, which gives us a boosts when we need it to stay awake. Let’s see how it works.
When we are tired, our body produces adenosine, a neurotransmitter. When adenosine reaches the adenine receptors in the brain, you start feeling tired. What caffeine does is that it prevents the adenosine from reaching the receptors by taking its place. So, instead of tired and sleepy, you feel full of energy.
The bad thing is that your body doesn’t stop producing adenosine. You just don’t feel its effect, yet. But when the caffeine wears off, here it goes. You suddenly feel more tired than before – the dreaded caffeine crash.
And that’s not all. Your body and brain don’t like you trying to cheat the system. In time, you build up a tolerance to caffeine. That’s why you need larger amounts to achieve the same effect.
So, if you drink caffeine regularly throughout the day, you’ll probably have troubles falling asleep at the right time. In the morning, you’ll have to drink even more coffee to stay alert. Without realizing it, you’re starting a vicious cycle, which might be hard to break.
I’m not suggesting that you give up coffee completely. I recommend that you limit your caffeine intake and that you consume it in moderation. A study concluded that the effects of caffeine might last up to six hours after consumption, so if you want to sleep well, at least avoid caffeine in the evening.
One more thing. You’ve heard a thousand times that you have to drink water instead of coffee, energy drinks, or sodas. Well, it’s true. Water is your best choice for hydration, and if you’re slightly dehydrated, you’re bound to feel tired and fatigued.
Some of you might think that it’s ridiculous to talk about dehydration in the 21st century, but it’s more common than you think. You don’t have to gulp down eight glasses of water a day, but you have to make sure that you’re drinking enough. So, don’t forget to carry a water bottle with you when you go out.
In addition to this, here are a few other tips that will help you deal with fatigue:
I’m certain that some of you might say that it’s impossible for them to change their sleep schedule, exercise more, or give up caffeine. And I’m familiar with your reasons because I also have urgent projects, deadlines to meet, and a carrier to build. It’s not rare that I stay up late finishing last-minute tasks, and I usually regret it the next day when fatigue sets in.
But you should not sacrifice your health for the sake of work. You’ve heard the saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Don’t take it to heart. You’ll accomplish much more if you’re feeling energetic than if you’re tired all the time.
What do you think about these tips how to stop being tired all the time? Have you tried them? Did they work? Share your story in the comments.