At one point or another, people are going to run out of energy. Maybe they’ve been putting in long hours at work, been going through some extra stress, or been burning the candle at both ends for a little too long.
But sometimes, you might feel tired and have no idea why. You’re in your normal routine, things aren’t too demanding, but for some reason, you’re just stuck in a rut. You wake up tired, drift through the day, and come home again, with no energy to pull yourself up off the sofa before heading to bed. What gives?
Sometimes the answers for your tiredness are easier than you might think, and they may be quite surprising. The truth is that you could be sabotaging your ability to rejuvenate by doing the things that come naturally, like resting, reaching for a coffee, or eating a calorie-dense snack for a pick-me-up. Here are some easy fixes to help you kick day-to-day fatigue and bring some energy back to your days.
Remember, though, that if you find yourself suffering from tiredness day-in and day-out, then it’s likely time to consult your doctor; there may be underlying health conditions causing your chronic fatigue.
1. Get More Sleep
Yes, it sounds obvious, but do you know why? Getting a good night’s sleep is not just about getting rest. When you have a full night of quality sleep, say six to eight hours, your body performs some physiological tasks that aren’t possible during your waking hours; and if you want to be energized and on point during the day, you absolutely need to complete these processes.
When you sleep, your body releases a growth hormone that keeps your muscles healthy and bones strong, so you don’t feel fatigue during the day. It also impacts how your body stores and processes fat, which also affects energy.
Finally, sleep allows your brain to file away everything from the day, so it’s de-cluttered. This can help relieve stress, improve performance, and as a result, boost energy.
2. Drink More Water
It’s easy to reach for an energy drink, soda, or coffee when you’re feeling tired, but it’s likely that a glass of H2O is all you need. Dehydration is a common form of fatigue, so make sure you’re taking in enough water during the day. Drink enough so that your mouth is always feeling moist and your urine is very light yellow, or even clear. Try keeping a water bottle close by and sipping it throughout the day.
3. Include Some Activity in Your Day
When you’re feeling tired, it’s easy to think you need rest, but the opposite may be true. Even a light walk around the block can get your blood flowing and increase your energy drastically. If you think you’re tired for no reason, go against your instincts and get some exercise; it can work wonders.
4. Eat for Energy Sustainability
It’s easy to reach for a calorically dense snack, like a candy bar, when you need a little boost. But in most cases, you get a quick boost, then crash hard shortly after and are more tired than before. The sugar spikes and then goes down into a deep pit. Instead, opt for healthier snacks that provide a sustained energy release. Items like whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats help with this. Next time you hit a lull, try eating some plain Greek yogurt with some granola, fruit, and nuts.
You’re more in control of your energy levels than you might think. Give these things a try, and you’ll likely notice a difference in how you feel.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
Van Cauter, E. and Plat, L., “Physiology of Growth Hormone Secretion During Sleep,” Journal of Pediatrics May 1996; 128(5 Pt 2): S32–7.
Armstrong, L. et al., “Mild Dehydration Affects Mood in Healthy Young Women,” The Journal of Nutrition December 21, 2011; http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2011/12/20/jn.111.142000.abstract, last accessed October 24, 2014.
Ganio, M.S., et al., “Mild dehydration impairs cognitive performance and mood in men,” British Journal of Nutrition November 2011; 106(10): 1535–1543.