Feeling drowsy at work? Are you always in need of a nap? Sleep is a crucial part of the human life cycle, and studies show if you are always tired it is due to a combination of factors, not just lack of sleep. What you eat and drink impacts your sleep cycle just like sleep deprivation does, but there are a few measures you can take to ensure you get quality sleep every night.
1. Consuming Excess Refined Carbs
Problem: One of the main reasons you might be feeling tired is because you could be consuming too many refined carbs. When you eat processed foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, your body’s blood sugar levels rise quickly causing the pancreas to secrete insulin. This hormone helps get sugar from the blood to your cells, causing a rapid rise and fall in energy and can make you feel sleepy throughout the day.
Solution: Choose “Whole Foods” like Vegetables and Fruits. Replace refined sugar and carbs with vegetables and fruits that contain all natural sugars and proteins. Legumes such as pinto beans and leafy vegetables such as cabbage contain fiber that keep your body’s energy levels more stable rather than the highs and lows refined products create. Fruits are strong sources of natural sugars that are easily processed by the body and can satisfy your sweet tooth. Replace a slice of cake for dessert with an apple with almond butter after a hearty meal to make digestion smoother, minimizing any disruption to your sleep cycle.
2. Inadequate Hydration
Problem: Throughout the day we lose water from our systems. Our body is engaging in a multitude of biochemical processes that release water through stool, urine, and even breath. If you are not compensating for this loss of water by drinking liquids throughout the day, even mild dehydration creates a lack of focus and tiredness.
Solution: It is recommended that you should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day, but this depends on your weight, sex, age, and gender. More importantly, make a priority of drinking water throughout the day even at small increments to keep your body’s water level stable and keep you alert throughout the day. Also try and minimize the amount of energizing drinks you consume during the day. While it is true that these give you an energy boost, it is temporary and your body rebounds to it with fatigue from overuse.
3. Lack of Sleep at Night
Problem: Though obvious, not getting enough sleep at night is serious and can negatively impact not just your sleep schedule but your overall health. Either you are not sleeping at the right time, or just are not getting quality sleep every night.
Solution: One way to combat this is to have a daily night routine right before you go to bed. Your body will naturally recognize that it is time for bed if you give it cues. Whether it is brushing your teeth then listening to a podcast or brushing your hair and moisturizing, keep it consistent for two weeks and your body will follow. Also remember to stay active throughout the day, because then your body will be tired at night so you sleep well and are refreshed and awake for the whole next day. It also helps to go to bed at roughly the same time every night because again the consistency really does wonders. These tactics will help you train your body to only get tired at night and be awake throughout the day.
4. High Stress Levels
Problem: We all know that when we are stressed, it is hard to fall asleep and stay asleep for long periods of time. Chronic stress can also lead to your body constantly running overdrive, making you fatigued and tired for longer periods of time and even more frequently.
Solution: Though there is no way to avoid stressful situations, whether at work or school, managing stress can help your body stay awake and healthy at the same time. Yoga and meditation are ways in which your mind can calm down and therefore your body can also manage stress better. Practicing mindfulness keeps your energy balanced throughout the day so not only do you stay awake during the day, but sleeping at night is more fulfilling.
5. Living A Sedentary Lifestyle
Problem: If your work involves staying in one place for prolonged periods of time, your body does not have outlets to let out physical energy, making you feel sleepier during the day. Inactivity can make you tired and fatigued because you don’t allow your body to move and stretch.
Solution: Take time for physical activity. Whether it’s a walk a day, a thorough gym routine, or even using a standing desk at work, include ways to stay active throughout the day to recharge your body and keep yourself alert. Exercising also helps you get tired by the end of the day so you get a good night’s rest and feel refreshed for the next!