It seems everyone is tired, and it’s only getting worse because of 2020. In 2016, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that a third of all adults in America aren’t sleeping enough regularly. According to a survey of 2,000 adult Americans this year, 60 percent of respondents said their sleep routines have permanently changed because of the pandemic.
Being unable to sleep properly can make you feel sluggish and unfocused. Exhaustion and fatigue can affect your productivity and safety. In 2017, the National Safety Council reported 97 percent of working adults are at risk because of fatigue.
When you’re feeling tired and it’s affecting your life, you need to do something about it. If you have an underlying condition, you could seek out chronic fatigue treatment or something similar.
But if your exhaustion is from lack of sleep or a poor diet, here are 9 tips you can use to feel energized through the day.
Start with a Balanced Breakfast
Resist the urge to gobble down carbs slathered in sugar for your first meal of the day. When you eat sugary foods for breakfast, you’re going to have a sugar crash before noon. On the other hand, carbs will slow down your metabolism and make you feel drowsy. Proteins and whole grains provide ad much healthier and more energy-packed alternative. Your body will digest them more slowly and keep you feeling satiated and perky for much longer.
Your body slows down and you feel more exhausted when you don’t drink enough water. Keep a bottle or a glass of water near you throughout the day and drink whenever you start getting thirsty. Don’t substitute sugary liquids, like soda or juice. Their sugar content can lead to a crash, which won’t help you feel energized at all.
Your body has a lot in common with a machine engine and that includes needing to warm up. When you wake up, you’ll still feel groggy and disoriented. A quick bout of exercise or similar mild physical activity can be the energy booster you need. A short but brisk walk and half an hour of stretching and calisthenics will get your heart pumping and flush your muscles with oxygen, making you feel more alert quickly.
Get Some Sun
Scientists report vitamin D deficiency leads to fatigue. Although you can take vitamin supplements, nothing will feel as good or be as effective as getting some sunlight. Before you start your workday, go out into the sidewalk and take a walk or eat your breakfast al fresco in the garden. Remember to soak up sunlight responsibly and don’t stay out too long without sunscreen. Around 20 minutes of sunlight should be enough.
Don’t Rely on Caffeine
For too long, adults have been taught that you need coffee to function properly during the day. However, caffeine can cause energy crashes just like sugar. Too much coffee can also cause jitters, anxiety, and an inability to focus, which can all be as unhelpful as feeling slow and lethargic. Manage your caffeine intake and try not to become too dependent on it for your morning energy boost.
Eating balanced meals throughout the day are important in feeling energized, but it’s just as important to pay attention to what you snack on between them. A rookie mistake is to eat sugary treats such as candy bars or donuts, but they will just delay your exhaustion and lead to a serious energy crash later. Instead, eat high-protein snacks like almonds or dark chocolate dusted peanut butter bites. You should also eat relatively small snack servings to avoid feeling bloated and slowing down your metabolism.
Take a Nap
No matter how hard you try, sometimes you just need to get some daytime shuteye. Naps are actually vital for staying productive during the day. Try to schedule your naptime around the early afternoon, after lunchtime if possible. A 20-minute nap while you’re digesting your lunch will prevent you from feeling sleepy at work and give you enough energy to last until the afternoon.
Develop a Pre-Sleep Routine
Coming up with a pre-sleep routine is vital in making sure you have a good night’s rest. Your pre-sleep routine depends on you. Take a relaxing and warm bath before climbing into bed. Read a book while you’re curled up under the mattress. Your routine could also involve taking melatonin supplements which aid in better sleep. However, you should be mindful of your pre-sleep activities. For example, you could set a time limit for reading so you don’t stay up too late and make sure you’re not taking expired melatonin.
Avoid Electronics at Night
Blue light, like those being emitted by electronic screens, signals your body that you need to stay awake. You need to stay off electronics when you climb into bed. Don’t check your emails on your smartphone, and don’t keep chatting with people online. When you need to sleep, put away your electronics and shut your eyes.
The year 2020 has been exhausting, but that doesn’t mean it should continue to do so. Build up your strength and stay energized, so you can make it through this very tiring year.