Do you often feel exhausted? It's not uncommon in today's busy world. Here are some tips to keep you sleeping soundly at night and feeling refreshed throughout the day.
Rule Out a Deeper Concern
Fatigue can be symptom of many illnesses, including heart disease, anemia, diabetes, thyroid disease, arthritis, sleep apnea — even a disease of the nervous system called POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome). Feeling exhausted may also be the side effect of some medications. Talk to a doctor if you feel as though you can't climb out of that tired feeling.
Feeling tired probably means the last thing you want to do is exercise. But many studies show that activity boosts energy levels. Exercise improves the efficiency of your cardiovascular system (heart and lungs) and your muscles. It doesn't have to be high-impact, either. Gentle exercise like yoga has been shown to boost energy. Exercise is as important as healthy food to give you fuel for your body.
Drink plenty of water to improve energy levels and physical performance. Being dehydrated has also been shown to decrease concentration. If your urine is darker than a pale yellow or straw color, drink more H2O!
Get Plenty of Sleep
A lack of sleep is one of the main causes of daytime fatigue and can lead to accidents. The solution is simple: Get to bed early enough for a full night’s sleep. This amount varies but experts agree that seven hours per night is a good rule of thumb, although some people may need more or less. If you do fall short, try to take a brief afternoon nap to restore wakefulness and promote learning. As little as 10 minutes will boost energy, and no longer than 30 minutes, or you may feel sluggish or have trouble falling asleep at night. Some sleep experts encourage following Albert Einstein's method: drink a cup of coffee and then nap so you wake up in 10-20 minutes, just when the caffeine begins to kick in for an extra boost!
Follow Your Body
Some people are night owls and others embrace the morning. Everyone has differences in daily energy patterns which are determined by brain structure and genetics. Become aware of when you have your own bursts of energy and schedule mentally or physically demanding activities when you're feeling at your peak.
Omega-3 oils from fish are known to be good for your heart and may also boost alertness. Recent studies have shown people who have taken supplements report more mental energy and feeling more vigorous. Be sure to look for the burpless type. The B vitamins are necessary for energy production and they are found in whole grains, eggs, fish, and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin B12 is especially important and is found in meat, oily fish, cheese, and eggs so vegans are at a higher risk of deficiency. If your diet isn't high in good quality proteins, consider talking to your doctor about how to add B vitamins.
Shed Extra Weight
Losing even a few pounds can be a powerful boost to your energy and mood. Cut back on portion sizes, eat smaller balanced meals more regularly (five smaller meals a day instead of three larger ones) and increase physical activity to lead to a higher quality of life.