Do you find yourself yawning excessively throughout the day? Are you groggy when you wake up even though you feel you’ve slept enough? Is it hard to remember the last time you felt truly refreshed from your night of sleep?
If this sounds familiar to you, know that you’re not alone. A National Safety Council survey found that 43 percent of Americans admit they may be too tired to function safely at work. Sometimes, this excessive tiredness can be attributed to medical issues, such as a heart disease, type 2 diabetes, chronic pain, underactive thyroid, sleep apnea, or some other underlying issue. It can also have something to do with an imbalance in your mental well-being, displayed through depression, stress, or high anxiety. These issues can wreak havoc on your nightly rest and leave you feeling drained and foggy the next day.
If you’re not sure why you’re feeling so tired every day, that’s okay too. We’ll map out the 5 biggest reasons you’re just not as energetic as you want to be. Knowing what the underlying factor is is the first step to managing your sleep health.
1. Lack of restorative sleep.
We spend one-third of our lives sleeping. It’s a vital function that our bodies and minds need every night. Unfortunately, many of us don’t take the consequences of sleep deficiency seriously.
Many Americans go to bed late despite having early mornings, allow devices to interrupt their downtime, engage in over-stimulating activities too close to bedtime, and even take their afternoon coffee habits for granted. Turns out, all of these small everyday habits could have to do with why you feel so tired all day.
A quick change you can make starting this week is to keep a consistent sleep/wake cycle. It’s important to go to bed and get up at the same time every day, as it keeps your body on a schedule and allows you to get the full 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis.
You’ll need to give it some time until you can find the right sleeping schedule for you. You can calculate your ideal bedtime by determining what time you need to wake up and counting backward by 8 hours. Once you get back on track, you should start to get tired only in the evening when the day is over, and your body is ready for another night of rest.
2. Too much caffeine.
It often sounds like a good idea to grab yet another cup of coffee to boost our energy if we feel tired before the workday is over. But overdoing it can actually have the opposite effect.
Caffeine stays in the body long after you’ve consumed it. What’s more, too much of it leads to adrenal overload. When that excess dose of adrenalin goes away, you can suddenly feel exhausted.
So, limit your caffeine intake to morning hours only, and remember that there’s even caffeine in drinks like green tea, soda, and other beverages.
Another reason for feeling so tired all day, especially in the afternoon, might be dehydration.
It’s easy to forget to drink enough liquids when we’re busy going about our daily lives. But neglecting your water intake can swiftly lower your mood, increase fatigue, and make you more prone to headaches. All of these, in turn, will affect your performance during the day.
To avoid these effects, remind yourself to drink up throughout the day. You can set reminders on your phone, put sticky notes up, or keep a large glass of water in sight. Whatever works for you, staying well hydrated will allow you to sleep more soundly at night and keep you energized during the day.
4. Poor diet.
What’s on your menu is directly related to how tired you feel during the day. Some foods make you feel drained, such as junk food, foods with high sugar, refined carbs, and more. We all need a cheat day to eat some of our guilty pleasure foods, but any more than once in a while can have negative effects on our energy levels.
Making sure you maintain a balanced diet will help you recover your energy and have enough of it for the whole day. Rely on proteins and good carbs, veggies and fruits for plenty of fibers, nutrients and vitamins, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Another element attributed to feeling tired all day is something we’re all familiar with; stress.
Maybe you’re working too much, are making a big change in your life, dealing with life’s many curve balls, or are preparing for your next big career move. Whatever it is, stress can lead to headaches, a weaker immune system, dampened mood, reduced focus, insomnia, chest pain, and overall burnout, just to name a few of the consequences.
Make sure stress doesn’t get in your way by learning how to clear your mind. Spend time in nature, work out, share your feelings with others, journal your thoughts, or try meditating. There’s a multitude of ways to decompress and let go of your day’s worries. Find what works for you and make a habit of de-stressing as often as necessary.
Now that you’re familiar with some of the main reasons why you might be feeling so tired during the day, you can start to develop your own action plan to make positive changes.