16 Oct Tired of Being Tired? (Tips to Put Some Pep Back Into Your Step!)
Let’s face it. Being tired when you don’t want to be really sucks. When you’re tired, instead of experiencing the world in color, it kind of goes grey and everything feels harder than it should. Your mind feels like sludge, your body like mush and you wind up dragging yourself through the day.
And you are far from alone! More than 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders! And as if that weren’t bad enough, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), 60 percent of adults report having sleep problems a few nights a week or more, while 40 percent of adults experience daytime sleepiness severe enough to interfere with their daily activities at least a few days each month. That’s exhausting just to think about it.
But why are you so tired?
Let’s start with sleep. The amount of sleep that you get as well as the quality of your sleep directly affects the quality of your waking life, including your mental sharpness, productivity, emotional balance, creativity, physical vitality, and even your weight. No other activity delivers so many benefits with so little effort!
If you knew how important sleep is for your immune system, stress management, reducing inflammation (which is related to all sorts of health issues including cancer, heart disease and diabetes), weight control, safety (since you are more alert when resteed), improved memory, mental health, healthier skin and of course, beauty, maybe you’d make it more of a priority!
What about exercise?
Are you doing enough? If so, great! If not, find your inspiration and, like Nike says: “Just do it!” Exercise not only makes you feel and look great but it is an instant energy booster! The next time you start to feel that afternoon slump, instead reaching for that cup of coffee or can of soda, take a short walk, drink some water and do a few stretches. It will rev you up better and faster than any caffeinated or sugary drink can and you will avoid the post sugar high crash!
Could your food choices be zapping your energy?
Last but not least, both what and when you eat has a direct impact on your energy meter. In general, eating whole, unprocessed and natural food, fuels your body and helps to smooth out your energy levels throughout the day. That means more veggies and fruits, lean proteins, going light on the sugar, sticking with complex carbs and drinking lots of water! Eating on the regular helps too. Skipping meals or waiting too long in between meals can make you tired and cranky.
So, if sleep is so delicious along with nutrition and exercise, then why do we seem so willing to sacrifice these cornerstones of our well being? Is it possible that we are stuck in an exhausting self imposed viscous cycle in our all-too-busy-go-go-go lives? This means working late, waking up early, eating on the run and skipping the gym?
Well, if so, here are some easy-to-do suggestions which will help you take charge of your health and have you bounding out of bed in the morning taking on your day with tons of energy!
- Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Blocking off enough time for sleep each night. Consistency is the key. Set a regular bedtime as well as a regular time to wake up.
- Make sleep a priority. Just as you schedule time for work and other commitments, you should schedule enough time for sleep. Instead of cutting back on sleep in order to tackle the rest of your daily tasks, put sleep at the top of your to-do list and re-order how you spend your waking hours.
- Turn Off Your TV and Computer Devices. Things like watching TV, gaming, Facebook chatting and reading on our backlit devices can actually stimulate the mind, rather than relaxing it. Try listening to music or audio books instead, or practicing relaxation exercises.
- Find something you like to do and work it into your schedule and daily to-do list. It is too easy for the demands of our busy lives to crowd out exercise. Even if it’s 20 – 30 minutes a day, make the room for it in your life!
- Ride a Bike or Walk to and From Work. Not only it this good for your body, it’s also good for the planet!
- Sneak in Bouts of Exercise During the Day. When you can, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Or park a bit further from your office than usual. Stand up and stretch while you read your e-mails.
- Exercise With Others. Walk, run, bike, hike or take yoga with a friend or two. Maybe even start a group of your own and help motivate others!
You Are What You Eat!
- Eat Your Veggies (and Fruits). Instead of that burger or hot dog at lunch, try going for a big colorful salad. It’s good for your body, waistline and sustaining energy levels.
- Drink Up! Try to get at least 6 – 8 cups of water each day. Water helps you to maintain and even lose weight, cleanse your system and gives your more energy!
- Cut Back on Your Sugar Intake: Sugar is one of the biggest energy zappers out there. If you are really craving something sweet, go for a handful of raisins or an apple and some almond butter. Limit your sugar intake and try using natural substitutes like honey, agave or maple syrup.
- Plan Healthy Meals: Junk foods and fast foods tend to be the default when you are hungry and want to eat something NOW! Bringing a healthy lunch and snacks to work and planning out your dinner ahead of time is not only empowering, but you will probably find it helps your wallet as well!
If you have any tips and tricks that work for your routine, by all means, we want to hear from you!
Vivienne & Andrew,