Head. Desk. Reasons why you’re always tired

Why it often feels like 'one of those days'
July 22, 2016

Do you constantly feel like the “exhausted” emoji represents your day-to-day? We’ve all been there before, and this feeling can drag us down for weeks on end. If you feel like you often struggle to make it past the afternoon, we have some guidance and tips on how to keep your energy up all day.

You can't sleep

You’re having trouble catching Z’s

Most adults need between seven to nine hours of sleep every night to feel their best, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Too little (or too much) sleep may leave you feeling groggy and reaching for a caffeine pick-me-up during the day. If possible, make sure your nightly rest is in a cool dark room with no lighting from cell phones, alarm clocks or the television.

Trying to catch up on sleep during the day isn’t always a good idea, either. A long afternoon nap can cause your body’s internal clock to tick out of sync—leading to several other health issues. If you need to get some quick shuteye, keep it 30 minutes or less to ensure you wake up feeling refreshed.

Unhealthy foods can get you tired

Your eating habits are out of whack

Caffeine is everywhere; it’s in your morning coffee, midday snack, afternoon tea and beyond. While caffeine is okay in moderation, too much can cause some highs and lows in your ‘fuel tank.’ Excess sugar can also spike your blood sugar which is quickly followed by a crash in energy. To combat this, swap sugary foods for snacks high in fiber, complex carbohydrates and B vitamins to assist with sustaining energy.

Eating a good breakfast, reaching for a healthy snack—such as fruits, vegetables or nuts—and not skipping meals can also help keep your energy up throughout the day.

Drink water to get your energy up

You’re dehydrated

It’s easy to become dehydrated, and it can lead you to struggle to make it the end of the day. Important to know: If you find yourself thirsty, you’re already mildly dehydrated.

Next time you find yourself fighting to keep your eyes open, try drinking a glass of water. A general guideline for water consumption is eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day, but the specific amount varies for each person and their lifestyle.

Relax a bit

Stress is besting you

Constant stress has lasting effects. Stress at home or work can not only interrupt your sleep schedule, causing exhaustion during the day, but also results in physical and mental exhaustion.

Try using stress-relieving techniques like deep breathing, meditation or relaxing hobbies. Drinking tea during the day can also be beneficial; one study found that black tea can lower post-stress cortisol levels and increase relaxation.

Get a little exercise going

Step up your exercise routine

It’s hard to hit the gym after a long day of work or school, but the benefits of physical activity cannot be overstated. A healthy exercise regimen can help fight stress, improve sleep, increase energy levels and lower blood pressure.

Most experts recommend moving your body for at least 30 minutes a day. Exercise routines like walking or yoga have reportedly led to a clear mind and energy boost.

You may have an underlying condition

You may have a health condition

If you’ve tried everything and can’t shake your exhaustion, it’s probably time to sit down with your health care provider. Medical condition like anemia, thyroid imbalances, anxiety and depression can all cause increased exhaustion.

Always contact your health care provider if your exhaustion persists despite making an effort to reduce stress, eat better and drink plenty of fluids.

— Dominic Hernandez

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