It is perfectly normal for us to have days where we are tired or sluggish. Perhaps we had a late night the night before or we didn’t sleep well. But if you are finding that you are struggling every day without an endless amount of caffeine or sugar to keep you going, and longing to crawl into bed from lunchtime, you might need to reevaluate your habits and routines. Here are our 8 top tips to help you feel less tired during the day:
#1 Drink More Water
So many of us do not drink enough water during the day. The recommended intake for an adult is 6-8 glasses (or 1.2L – 1.5L). Dehydration leads very quickly to fatigue so this is an easy and quick way to make a change in your habits. Keeping a bottle of water handy during the day will help up your intake and you can even buy bottles with times marked on the side, to help you track how much you have drank in the day.
#2 Watch Your Sleep
It is quite obvious that lack of sleep will make you feel tired. Most adults need between 6 and 9 hours of sleep a night. If you are consistently getting less than 7 you could be at risk from exhaustion and other health issues such as:
– Weight gain
– Increase risk of accidents
– Lowered immunity
– Impaired thinking and mood
Interestingly, the snooze button can become your worst enemy. It is so tempting to grab that extra 10 minutes of sleep, but due to a phenomena called circadian rhythms, it is actually better for you to get up as soon as your alarm has gone off.
#3 Get Exercising
It sounds strange to say that to combat fatigue you should exercise, but actually feeling tired daily can be your body’s way of calling out to you to be more active! Exercise raises your metabolism, stimulates your mood and helps you sleep better at night. This exercise doesn’t need to be hours spent at the gym – a short 20 minute walk on your lunch break (or after dinner now it is lighter) can do the trick.
#4 Protein Intake
Think about what you eat for breakfast. Do you reach for toast, bowl of cereal, or worse, nothing at all? Your food choices will have a big effect on your energy levels a few hours into the day. Loading up on carbohydrate heavy foods causes a spike in your blood sugar levels which is then likely followed by a crash, which is what can make you feel like you need a nap!
Try to work protein into every meal of the day. If you have time, try scrambled eggs for breakfast, or good quality peanut butter on wholemeal toast. Instead of having a chocolate bar as an afternoon snack, try a smoothie or a protein bar. Having enough protein in your diet is vital to help stop severe changes in your blood sugar levels, which in turn will help you feel more alert.
Check out our article Importance of Diet for Mental Health for more information.
#5 Mood Boosters
Negativity, stress and depressions are huge suckers of energy and in turn can make you feel tired. If you are feeling overwhelmed with feelings like this then it is important to speak to a doctor, but everyday general blues could be beaten by some of these mood boosters:
– Helping others with something is one of the best ways to increase your mood
– Forgive and let go of anger or other negative thoughts that you are dwelling on
– Meditate or practice mindfulness for a couple of minutes each day
– Be grateful for what you have and reflect on what is positive in your life.
#6 Do Something You Enjoy
Laughing is one of the best ways to increase your energy and feel less tired – plus it costs nothing. Think about something you enjoy that makes you happy and laugh. Watch a funny film or TV programme, call or see a friend who you know can make you giggle. Allow yourself to indulge in a favourite activity every day, and it only has to be for a short time. Read a book, spend time in the garden or listen to music, whatever makes you feel good. Follow our three principles of positivity.
#7 Drink Less Alcohol
Quite often you might feel that a couple of glasses of wine in the evening can help you fall asleep, and although this might be true, you sleep less deeply after drinking alcohol. The next day you’ll feel tired, even if you have slept for a full 8 hours. Try to cut down on alcohol before bedtime as you’ll get a better night’s rest and have more energy the following day. Try to have several alcohol-free days each week.The NHS recommendations are that men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week, which is equivalent to 6 pints of average strength beer or 10 small glasses of low strength wine.
#8 Caffeine Intake
The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends that anyone feeling tired should cut out caffeine gradually and to stop having all caffeine drinks after a 3-week period. Caffeine is found in: coffee, tea, cola and energy drinks.
Try to remove caffeine completely from your lifestyle for a month to see if you feel less tired without it. You may find that not consuming as much caffeine as before gives you headaches and if this happens, cut down more slowly on the amount of caffeine that you drink.
All clinicians at Oxford CBT are Cognitive Behavioural Therapists or Psychologists. All offer evidence-based interventions and support for a range of issues for both young people and adults. You can book an appointment using our online booking system or for more information please call us on 01865 920077.