Are You ALWAYS Tired? 5 Things That May Be Draining Your Energy
Did you know that fatigue is the most common issue women bring up with their doctors? Of course, no matter what your gender, it always seems like there’s too much to do and not enough hours in the day to do it all! Although there’s no way to magically get more time, there are things you can do to help get your energy back! Some of the things you’re doing may be draining your energy without your realizing it, especially if you’re feeling tired after a good night’s sleep.
You’re consuming too much caffeine
The morning cup of coffee is pretty much ubiquitous, but as you probably know from experience, it makes you feel more wired than actually awake. Consuming caffeine as a replacement for adequate sleep is unhealthy in and of itself, but it also perpetuates an unbalanced sleep cycle, particularly if you drink coffee, soda, or energy drinks later in the day.
You’re not sleeping as well as you think you are!
Have you ever heard of “junk sleep?” Chances are, that’s the kind of sleep you’re getting. Just like junk food, it’s a poor substitute for the real thing. When we overstimulate our brains too close to bedtime, it causes us to get a poor quality of sleep. Some of this is from stress, but it’s also from the blue light that comes from our electronic devices. This light alters the body’s production of melatonin and serotonin, the hormones that help us to sleep and be calm. Stop checking your email, or even Facebook, for at least an hour before going to bed and improve your sleep quality!
You’re ingesting too much sugar.
Yes, sugar gives you an energy high for a time, but the crash makes you feel even more tired later. Be prepared for hunger and avoid sugary foods by making sure you have healthy snacks around. Even if you are too busy to pack some sugar-free nibbles, the corner store is sure to sell a banana, which is a great, energy-boosting alternative!
You’re not eating enough vitamin B, protein.
Proteins and and complex carbohydrates are your friends when it comes to feeling more energetic. Protein helps keep your blood sugar stable, an effect which can last for several hours. Lean meats and fish, such as water-packed tuna, or nuts are great choices. Complex carbohydrates are processed as glucose by the body, so they give you a boost of energy without the crash that comes from eating refined sugars. Some people take vitamin B-12 pills or injections for fatigue, but this is not a proven treatment. However, if you’re low in vitamin B, especially B-12 and iron, you’re not going to be properly absorbing the nutrients from your food, which prevents you from getting their energy-boosting goodness.
You’re getting too much, or too little exercise.
Being stuck at an office desk all day will make anyone tired. A moderate amount of exercise energizes our bodies and minds. As our body releases endorphins through physical activity, our mood is also enhanced, thanks to those “feel good” brain chemicals. Too much exercise taps too much into our energy reserves and breaks down muscle without time for it to heal. It may surprise you to learn that working out too much also suppresses our immune systems. If we’re more vulnerable to the office cold, being sick will further decrease your energy levels.
Tips for increasing your energy right now:
- Try this one in the office: The pressure point between your thumb and index finger is considered to enhance the flow of energy. Pinch this point for two minutes and release.
- Try this one at home, in case you have smell-sensitive co-workers: According to principles of aromatherapy, rosemary, lemon, and juniper are thought to be energizing.
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