We all feel low energy sometimes, but it’s a problem if feeling tired is a daily occurrence. While there are a number of reasons for tiredness and fatigue, some simple changes might help you feel more refreshed and energized once your head leaves the pillow and you start your day!
Get More Sleep
When we have a full life, we can easily get into a pattern of late nights and early mornings. Although getting less sleep is widely accepted in our society, lack of sleep can have a huge negative impact on well-being, mood and energy levels.
What to try: Aim to get at least seven or eight hours of sleep each night. Start small by going to bed a little earlier at first. Try turning off electronics about 30 minutes before bed, keeping your room dimly lit, sleeping on a comfortable mattress, and anything else that will set you up for sleepiness.
Drink More Water
If you’re getting enough sleep yet still feeling unusually low energy, you could be dehydrated. Not drinking enough water can make you tired!
What to try: Get a reusable water bottle to carry around with you and sip from it throughout the day, especially if you go to the gym or work in a place that’s unusually warm. Urine color can help you monitor hydration level: very light pale yellow means you’re hydrated.
Drink Less Caffeine
Do you start your morning with a cup of joe? While caffeine can certainly perk you up in the morning, it can also lead to “crashing” and feeling more tired once it wears off.
What to try: Reduce your intake (little by little at first, as you might have withdrawal symptoms from cutting it out all at once) to see if it makes a difference.
Eat More (Real) Food
Junk foods high in sugars, unhealthy fats and refined ingredients provide our bodies with calories, but that’s about it. Lack of nutrition can lead to fatigue as our bodies can’t do much with these types of foods.
What to try: Increase your intake of whole foods, especially fruits and vegetables. Try making each meal or snack with a balance of a healthy carbohydrate, protein and fat to stabilize blood sugar and prevent any highs or crashes from processed foods.
Eat Iron-Rich Foods
Our bodies need iron to carry oxygen through the body, so a lack of iron can lead to tiredness and fatigue, especially for women who may be low in it. Eating foods rich in iron can help maintain proper iron levels.
What to try: Eat more whole foods containing iron, such as nuts, meats, tofu, beans, brown rice or cereals enriched with iron.
Exercise More Often
Research has shown those who exercise regularly are often less fatigued — and it never hurts to get your blood pumping! Exercising can help you sleep better and have more energy during the day.
What to try: Find some movement you enjoy doing, such as walking, lifting weights or yoga. It doesn’t have to be really strenuous; light to moderate levels of exercise can be great for increasing energy levels!
High levels of stress and worry at work or home can easily lead to problems like tiredness, mental fatigue and difficulty concentrating. Over time, this can lead to more issues, including adrenal concerns that throw off the body’s balance.
What to try: Find ways to reduce stress in your life, such as taking longer lunches, making more time for rest, working less if possible and adding mind-body practices like yoga, meditation or journaling to your routine. For stress that you can’t fully control, try supportive supplements you trust, eat plenty of whole foods and try to get regular exercise.
While many common causes of tiredness have simple solutions, there’s always the chance something more serious could be going on, such as hypothyroidism, depression, iron deficiency or even diabetes. When in doubt, be sure to speak with your doctor.