Even if we don't mind it sometimes, feeling tired or sleepy all day long is not a normal situation – but at least it can be solved most of the time by changing habits.
If you've ever found yourself wanting to take a nap in the middle of the office or coming home to just lie on the couch and do nothing because you lack the strength, you've probably asked yourself, "Why do I feel exhausted?”. Most often you think of lack of sleep as the main reason – and it’s one of them–, but if even a good night's rest is unable to alleviate that feeling, there may be other related problems. Here are some possible reasons and what to do to prevent them.
Lack of sleep
The first thing to check when you feel tired is whether you are getting enough sleep. Science determines that a normal adult should get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep a day, a figure that is not so common – in the United States the average is 6 hours, while in Japan it is reduced to 5. Sleeping less than necessary is one of the most common causes of fatigue, so take a minute to think about whether you might need to go to bed earlier. If you need extra help to fall asleep, you can try different techniques such as listening to music or audiobooks while you are in bed or meditating.
With regard to sleep, it is not only the quantity that matters, but also the quality. Spending 8 hours in bed may not be enough if the body does not rest properly. The reasons that lead to poor quality sleep can be varied, such as micro awakenings – of which we have already explained how to avoid them – or the posture in which you sleep. They can also be somewhat more complicated to detect, such as sleep apnea, a condition where the airways become blocked for a short period of time while sleeping, reducing the amount of oxygen and causing the body not to recover properly.
The body needs energy to function. And that energy comes from food. It's true that daily obligations sometimes leave little – or no – time to eat, but skipping a meal should be the exception rather than the rule. Eating a healthy, balanced diet – and eating it at the same time each day – is the best way to get the calories you need to get through the day. If at any time you feel your strength failing you, eat a healthy snack such as granola or fruit.
Sitting around all day shouldn't cause fatigue, should it? Yes, science has shown that people who lead active lives with consistent physical activity tend to have fewer episodes of fatigue. The body gets used to moving regularly and tolerates fatigue better.
Anxiety and stress
When we are worried about something intensely, the body consumes more resources, as it is constantly prepared for any unexpected situation. It's as if your brain is constantly exercising, and since the brain consumes a lot of energy, the rest of the body shuts down.
Fatigue is the side effect of many medications, so it's very important to check the directions to see if that's the problem.
What to do when feeling exhausted
If at any time you notice that your levels of tiredness or sleepiness increase more than you consider normal, the most important thing is to try to find out why and attack that problem directly. But while you're identifying it, there are some solutions you can apply to combat fatigue quickly:
- Sleep: if you don't have a bed nearby, try using a pillow like the OSTRICHPILLOW Mini, which allows you to rest anywhere.
- Drink water: hydration helps keep you awake.
- Eat: give your body fuel to keep it moving.
- Relax: take a break and eliminate stress.
We hope that after these tricks the next time you ask yourself "Why do I feel exhausted?" the answer will be: "Because I've been working out a lot!”.
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Photo taken by Annie Spratt on Unsplash