- Eat a good breakfast even if you don’t feel hungry. Skipping breakfast will give you a mid-morning crash and make you eat more at lunch; gorging at lunch can make you sleepy. You’ll feel a lot more alert if you eat breakfast and feel better physically and mentally. A good breakfast doesn’t mean sugary cereal or a croissant. Eat good food like oats, bran, eggs, whole-wheat toast, granola, yoghurt and fruit. Having breakfast every morning can lower the stress hormone cortisol.
- A nutritious diet can help keep you energised all day long. A diet high in fruit, vegetables, complex carbohydrates, fibre, healthy fats from nuts, seeds, fish and lean meats for protein. Eat small meals every 2-4 hours; 5-6 nutritious meals throughout the day (or 3 meals and 2-3 snacks) helps to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable all day. Larger meals demand more energy to digest and can leave you feeling lethargic.
- Avoid sugar, eating sweets and high sugar treats like cakes and doughnuts, will contribute to a short-lived sugar high and subsequent crash. Avoid putting sugar in your morning coffee or tea and try using natural sweeteners like honey, xylitol or stevia.
- Watch your caffeine intake. Depending on caffeine, can cause you to feel fatigued when you don’t use it. Consuming a moderate amount of caffeine around 300mg or roughly 2-3 cups of coffee can help make you feel more alert and energetic for a couple of hours, but can make you crash later. Consuming large amounts of caffeine, or consuming coffee after midday can affect your quality of sleep, making you tired and lethargic the next day; try switching to decaf in the afternoon and evening.
- Drink plenty of fluids especially water. Water makes up the majority of our bodies; about 83% of our blood is water. Even mild dehydration can cause our blood to thicken, forcing the heart to pump harder to carry blood around your body, resulting in fatigue. Water helps digest food, transport waste and control body temperature. Each day humans must replace 2.4 litres of water, some through drinking and the rest from the foods eaten. You should be urinating around every two to four hours, and your urine should be clear or pale yellow in colour, this is a good way to monitor how hydrated you are.
- Avoid nightcaps, or just try to avoid alcohol two-three hours before bedtime. Having your favourite nightcap before bed may help you to nod off, but the sedative effect wears off as your body metabolises the alcohol, this could cause you to wake up during the night and have trouble falling back to sleep.
- Exercise regularly, not only does it boost your energy; it also helps you sleep at night, it helps you fall asleep faster and spend more hours in a deeper sleep. No matter how much you hate exercise, it’s a necessity. Exercise acts as a stimulant and increases blood flow, which is a fantastic daytime energizer; try to fit in some vigorous exercise in the morning or afternoon when you need that boost. Regular exercise releases those feel-good endorphins, combats stress and fights fatigue. Even low-level exercise such as walks and stretching can help strengthen our stamina, flexibility, helps improve sleep and after a brisk walk you’ll feel more energised. Stay active to get fitter and avoid lethargy.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra fat uses extra energy each day, not only is it bad for your body, health, joints and self-esteem, it’s also bad for your sleeping patterns. Carrying too much fat can contribute to sleep disorders and low energy levels. Lighten up your body weight and you’ll be lighter on your feet too.
- Get seven to eight hours of sleep per night, and keep your schedule as regular as possible. Not having an adequate sleeping pattern can make you feel sluggish and sleepy. Sleep helps to recharge your batteries, muscles and joints heal and rest and helps replenish serotonin and endorphins,
Other Tips to fight tiredness and get your motivation back
- Cut back on TV and other screens a couple of hours before bed.
- Write down your worries and things you need to do, before you go to bed.
- Splash some water on your face or take a shower to re-energize,
- De-stress and relax.
- Get regular fresh air and 30mins of sunlight a day.
- If you’re not asleep in 15mins, get up do something relaxing until you’re sleepy again.
- Talk to your doctor if you still suffer from fatigue more than two weeks after making lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and getting more sleep. Your doctor can rule out anaemia, (iron deficiency) others include sleep apnea, thyroid problems, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, diabetes, and more.
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