Updated: Mar 6
Not being able to keep your eyes open at work or in class, yawning all the time, and feeling the need to take a nap at all times. We all have been there. Tiredness and fatigue are common complaints in today's society. Running from work to social life to personal life, can be very tiring. With our busy and fast-paced lifestyle, it's no surprise that we often feel drained of energy. But why do we feel so tired, and what can we do to fix it? We researched for you and found various factors that contribute to tiredness and provide practical solutions to help you feel more energized.
Factors that contribute to tiredness
Lack of sleep
The most obvious reason for feeling tired is a lack of sleep. Adults require an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but many people fall short of this number with their fast-paced lifestyle. A major current issue in society is a certain type of procrastination called revenge bedtime procrastination. With revenge bedtime procrastination, we tend to sacrifice hours of our sleep to finish either task that we have procrastinated or tasks that we did not have time for during the day. Losing sleep is a serious concern; getting inadequate sleep can cause daytime sleepiness, fatigue, and even depression. Getting at least 7 hours of sleep every day is important for a healthy life.
Establish a consistent sleep routine.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends.
Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or listening to calming music.
Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
Black-out curtains are a must.
You can invest in a sunrise lamp for a more serene morning.
What you eat can affect how you feel. As they say, you are what you eat. A diet high in processed foods, sugar, and refined carbohydrates can cause blood sugar spikes and crashes, leading to fatigue and irritability. On the other hand, non-processed foods high in fiber and protein give you more energy. The less processed the food better it is for your energy levels. Caffeine can also cause fatigue, which can be confusing as coffee is known to give you energy. However, after the caffeine wears off in your nerves, it causes a rush in the neurotransmitters, making you more tired and sleepy. Thus, after a certain time of drinking coffee, you might feel even more tired than how tired you were before. It is also dangerous to depend on caffeine for energy levels and feel like you can’t be energized without caffeine.
Try a more balanced diet rich in whole foods.
Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Avoid sugary drinks and snacks.
Limit your caffeine intake, especially in the afternoon and evening.
Lack of exercise
Exercise has been shown to boost energy levels and reduce fatigue. During and after exercising your body releases dopamine and endorphins. Both of these neurotransmitters can give you more motivation and energy so it’s important to exercise. Conversely, inactivity can lead to muscle weakness and decreased endurance, contributing to feelings of tiredness. With the pandemic and remote working, our normal physical activity has decreased during the day. It's important to engage in physical activity. Even walking to class or work can be a great way to exercise.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week. This can include activities such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming.
Incorporate strength training exercises at least twice a week to build muscle and improve overall fitness.
If you don't have time to incorporate exercises and workouts, try being more physically active during work or your leisure time. This can include walking to places.
The current society and our lifestyles can cause a lot of stress, leading to many health problems, and fatigue is one of them. Chronic stress can take a toll on the body, leading to fatigue, anxiety, and depression. The constant release of stress hormones, such as cortisol, can disrupt sleep, digestion, and immune function. These disruptions in sleep can lead to not having a full night of sleep and, thus, leading to fatigue. Stress can also cause insomnia which can be difficult to navigate.
Identify sources of stress in your life and develop coping strategies.
This can include relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Consider talking to a therapist or counselor if your stress levels impact your daily life.
You might not be able to remove the factors that cause stress in your life, but you can find ways to destress.
Check out our blog post about breaking the stress cycle.
Certain medical conditions can cause fatigue, including anemia, thyroid disorders, and sleep apnea. Chronic pain and inflammation can also contribute to feelings of tiredness. If your fatigue is chronic and impacts your daily life, you should definitely see a doctor to find out possible underlying conditions you might have.
If you suspect a medical condition is causing your fatigue, consult with your healthcare provider.
They may recommend tests or refer you to a specialist for further evaluation.
Your healthcare provider can also recommend daily supplements that might be helpful with energy levels.
Some medications, such as antidepressants and antihistamines, can cause drowsiness and fatigue as a side effect. Ibuprofen and painkillers are also known to cause fatigue. You can ask your health care provider and try to take your medications before bedtime, if you can, to decrease the effects of drowsiness and sleep.
Talk to your healthcare provider about medication side effects
They may be able to adjust your dose or recommend an alternative medication
Do not stop taking medications or adjust the dose without talking to your healthcare provider.
Water is the most important element of life, and our cells depend on it. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue and decrease cognitive function. With the hectic schedules we sometimes tend to forget to drink water.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during and after exercise.
Aim for at least 8 cups of water daily, or more if you are active or live in a hot climate.
A great way to do this is to invest in a reusable water bottle and carry it around with you.
Lack of sunlight
Sunlight is essential for regulating our sleep-wake cycle and maintaining our mood. It also is important in manufacturing vitamin D. Inadequate sleep routine and working from home might cause some not to see sunlight and this can mess up your energy levels.
Try to spend some time outside each day, even if it's just for a few minutes.
Consider taking a vitamin D supplement if you live in a northern climate or have limited sun exposure.
By going on a short walk during the day, you can kill one bird with the stones.
You'll get your exercise in and also get sunlight in your system.
Feeling tired is a common experience for many people, especially in today's fast-paced world. However, it doesn't have to be a constant part of your life. By making some changes to your daily routine, you can reduce fatigue and feel more energized throughout the day. Now let’s explore some habits that can help you to not feel tired.
Habits to implement in your life for more energy
Consistent sleep schedule
Getting enough sleep is crucial for your physical and mental health. Most adults need between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Make sure you establish a consistent sleep schedule and stick to it. Try to avoid stimulating activities before bed, such as watching TV or using your phone. Screens transmit a lot of blue light, disrupting melatonin levels and making it harder to go to sleep. Try to unwind before bed and do activities that might comfort you, like reading a book, journaling, or even knitting. Also, try going to bed at the same time every night and waking up at the same time. This way, you can get the most amount of sleep and it might make it easier to implement a routine.
Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is essential for maintaining your energy levels throughout the day. Ensure you eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Avoid processed foods and sugary snacks, which can cause a spike in energy followed by a crash. Meal prepping can make eating healthy very easy. Pick out a day of the week to go grocery shopping and dedicate an hour to preparing food for the week. Make sure to pick out fresh veggies and fruits in your market run.
Dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue, so make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily. If you find it difficult to drink plain water, try adding some fresh fruit or herbs for flavor. Carrying a reusable water bottle with you can be a great reminder to drink water.
Regular exercise can help to boost your energy levels by improving your cardiovascular health and reducing stress. Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether it's a brisk walk, a yoga class, or a gym workout. Ensure you choose activities you enjoy, so you are more likely to stick with them. Try finding a sports buddy to make exercise more fun and to motivate each other. Check out our podcast with Sporzy app where we talk about friends and sports.
If you find yourself feeling tired during the day, take a break. Get up from your desk and take a short walk, or do some stretches to get your blood flowing. Taking regular breaks can help to reduce stress and prevent burnout. A method that you can try out is the 5-10-15 method, where you increase your break in increments of 5 minutes, leading to more motivation.
Practice stress-reducing techniques
Stress can be a major contributor to feelings of fatigue. Take some time each day to practice stress-reducing techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, or yoga. These techniques can help to calm your mind and reduce stress levels, leaving you feeling more energized. Journaling can also be great way to de-stress as you can write out your emotions.
Avoid alcohol and caffeine
While alcohol and caffeine can provide a temporary boost in energy, they can also disrupt your sleep and leave you feeling tired the next day. Try to limit your consumption of these substances, especially in the evening. You can also try to opt out for drinks with less caffeine like matcha or tea.
An example routine for high energy levels
1. Try to wake up early in the morning, ideally around the same time every day. This can help regulate your body's natural sleep-wake cycle and improve your energy levels throughout the day. 2. Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning to help rehydrate your body and kickstart your metabolism. Continue to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated, which can also help improve your energy levels. 3. Eat a balanced breakfast. A healthy breakfast can give your body the fuel it needs to get through the day. Aim for a balanced meal that includes protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates. This can help stabilize your blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes later in the day. 4. Exercise for 30 minutes. It can be going on a walk or going to the gym. This will improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and boost energy levels. 5. Take breaks a break during the afternoon to have more energy. You can even try taking a power nap for 25 minutes.
In conclusion, fatigue and low energy levels can have a significant impact on our daily lives and overall well-being. It can affect our mood, productivity, and ability to perform daily tasks. However, there are several steps we can take to improve our energy levels, including regular exercise, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks throughout the day. By prioritizing our physical and mental health and making positive lifestyle changes, we can help combat fatigue and improve our energy levels, leading to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling life. Make sure to implement these habits into your daily life by downloading the Insumo app.