5 Ways You’re Making Yourself Tired (and How to Stop it!)

Tired all the time?

5 Ways You're Making Yourself Tired (And How to Stop It)Can’t remember the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and ready for a new day?

You’re not alone.

I’ve been there and I’m surprised at the number of people I talk to who feel the same. While there are genuine medical reasons and causes of tiredness, in most cases, lifestyle choices play a major role in the quest to conquer exhaustion.

Here are 5 common causes of tiredness and how to manage them.

Take heart! It’s easier than you think.

1. Dehydration

Your body needs water.

One of the main components of blood – and your body, for that matter – is water. According to the experts, when you don’t drink enough water, your blood thickens, forcing your heart to work harder as it pumps your blood.

Yawn.

You also need sufficient fluids to help transport essential nutrients throughout your body, nutrients that support the production of energy (yes!).

Here’s How to Make a Change

  • Drink 6 – 8 glasses of water throughout the day (keep a bottle on your desk at work).
  • Monitor your urine (yup, look in the toilet bowl); it should be pale and clear.
  • Don’t wait until you’re thirsty before you drink – that means you’re already dehydrated.
  • Cut back on coffee – it is a diuretic which means it uses more water being digested than it adds to your body. If you simply can’t cut back (dramatic sigh), then at least drink a little more water after your caffeine “fix,” okay? Good.
  • Don’t overdo it! Too much water can dilute the salt and mineral content in your blood, which is dangerous. Be nice to your kidneys, find a balance.

2. Sleep Deprivation

Your body needs sleep.

If you don’t sleep enough, you will be tired – no brainer, right? Right. But sometimes, getting more sleep means breaking years of bad habits and that can be hard. I can see you nodding. I’m nodding too. Maybe you’re getting by on 5-6 hours of sleep at night; but you actually NEED 7-9 hours of life-restoring rest.

Here’s How to Make a Change

  • At the risk of sounding like your mom; make a bed-time for yourself and stick to it. 10PM sound good? Done.
  • Avoid caffeine, sugar and screens (gasp!) in the hour before bed.
  • Don’t go to bed hungry – you won’t sleep well and the chances are your body will wake you up in the middle of the night begging for calories. Eat a high protein snack before bed. Cheese anyone? Yum.
  • Empty your bladder before bed – just another way you have a greater chance at a blissful night’s rest.

3. Poor Nutrition

Your body needs fuel.

And by fuel – I mean the good stuff! You’ve heard it all before but it’s worth mentioning again because food matters, and so do you. At the risk of sounding clichéd and irritating, you really are what you eat. Want to feel good? Eat good well.

Here’s How to Make a Change

  • Eat for sustained energy – avoid high sugar foods that cause a rapid increase in blood sugar. Rather go for complex carbs, high fibre-content, protein-rich and nutritious meals (say that 5 times fast).
  • Don’t skip meals. Eat a healthy breakfast, lunch and supper.
  • Eat snacks between meals, but choose them wisely – fruit, nuts and energy bars (the right ones) are some ideas.

4. Exercise

Your body needs to move.

Pretty much the last thing a tired person wants to hear, right? I know. But, according to the experts, exercising increases energy, it forces your body to produce energy and get stronger. Sounds good, right? It is.

Here’s How to Make a Change

  • Start. Do something, no matter how small. Walk around the mall (ooh, that sounds nice!), do some housework (ugh, never mind, scratch that one!) but find a way to get your body moving.
  • Stick with moderate work-outs or exercise, you want to get your blood pumping but you don’t want to drain your body by pushing it too hard. Three 20min workouts during the week would be more beneficial than one 60min workout – makes sense, doesn’t it?
  • Cardio rocks! Opt for exercise that increases your heartrate and gets you moving. Walking, jogging, swimming are obvious options but don’t discount dancing or karate – it’s always fun to try something new and by the way, you’re NEVER too old to learn to dance.

5. Stress

Your body needs “calm.”

This is probably the toughest point to address. You know stress is bad for you, but you can’t exactly escape it, there are some stressors that you simply can’t get rid of, right? That’s life. The good news is that there are ways to support your body and find some relief amidst all the crazy.

Here’s How to Make a Change

  • Exercise helps you get rid of tension and makes you feel good (helloooo endorphins, you awesome things, you!)
  • Deep breathing – force those shoulders down, fill your body with oxygen and visualise breathing out your stress. Slowly. Did you know this actually forces your body and brain to calm down – brilliant eh? Highly recommended for traffic jams.
  • A vitamin B complex supplement can be incredibly helpful in supporting your nervous system as your body battles the effects of stress (and sometimes anxiety) on a daily basis.

So, the next time you find yourself feeling washed out, drained, exhausted, weary, fatigued – you get the idea! – consider these 5 causes of tiredness and make some changes. You owe it to yourself.
Now go live a full life!

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