Actually Useful Everyday Tips If You Feel Tired AF All The Time
Life is enough of a struggle at the best of times, but things can get particularly tricky if you were just born to be a bed person.
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You’re never more content than when you’re wrapped up in a duvet burrito. You’ve permanently got pillow lines squished into your face. The blankets have accepted you as one of their own and you’ve happily accepted your fate. Sound familiar?
Everyone hits the snooze button on their alarm clock once in a while, but if you’re starting to think that the idea of sellotaping your eyelids open is the only viable option, it might be time to do something about it.
Convinced that you’re never gonna be that chirpy morning person and surrendered to a life of 2pm naps and high impact yawning? Then have no fear, sleepy bear.
Here’s some actual, useful everyday tips for if you’re feeling tired AF all. The. TIME.
Eat more of the right stuff
Don’t worry, we’re not gonna try and convince you that pizza is the reason for all of your snoozing. But there are certain food groups out there which can make a huge difference to your concentration and focus throughout the day.
To avoid that midday slump, look at adding protein-packed avocado to your lunch, for example. Carbs, fat and protein are the perfect combo for sustained energy, so avocado an amazing energy booster.
Apples, wholegrain foods, kale, dark chocolate and blueberries are also all great fatigue fighters.
In a nutshell, avoid giving yourself those dramatic carb highs and refined sugar slumps. That’s when your blood glucose levels fall, leaving you with major mood swings and zero energy for hours afterwards. Bleugh.
Take some no-screen time
The rumours are trumours. That late night scrolling habit really does affect the quality of your sleep, and we’re gonna guess that the rest of your day basically involves your eyeballs alternating from a computer, to a laptop, to a TV screen to an iPad.
Giving your eyes a break from the bright lights (and giving your mind a break from the pressures of social media) can make a huge difference. Using your phone forces your eyes work hard and the muscles around your temples to strain. The longer you do it, the more strain you’re feeling — and it’s pretty much identical to the tension you feel when you’re under emotional or psychological.
No wonder you’re always shattered, so swap your late night scroll for a relaxing bath, a quick read, prepping for the morning or even ten minutes of mindfulness if you’re serious about destressing. Try the Headspace app if you’re wondering where to start.
Spending the day propping your eyelids open with pens means that the last thing you probably feel like doing is anything involving MORE movement. Gah, no thanks.
But trust us, there’s really nothing that fights tiredness more than a bit of light exercise. It’s one of the most effective, healthy energy boosters and even something as basic as a ten minute walk can make the world of difference.
Make yourself get moving and you’ll open up your rib cage, breath more deeply, increase your pulse rate and send more oxygen to your brain. It’s basically a cold shower for your mind, so ENDORPHINS AHOY.
Boost your sleep power
Collapsing into bed at the end of a long, coffee-fuelled day might get you snoring within minutes, but how long is your deep sleep actually lasting through the night? It’s not about how many hours you’re snuggled in bed for, but the quality of your sleep itself.
Start a step-by-step bedtime routine before you hit the sheets to ensure you’re winding down properly. Relaxing bath and body products are a good place to start. A sleep mask will have your brain focusing darkness and producing melatonin (AKA the chemical that helps you get to sleep). A deep sleep spray for your pillow can work miracles, too.
Try it each evening for a week and you’re sure to notice a difference in fulfillment when you wake up.
It’s an actual fact of life that drinking more water can solve pretty much anything. Feeling tired? Drink more water. Been dumped by the love of your life? Drink more water. Wondering what to do with your life? Drink more water.
But seriously, staying hydrated has a massive and often underrated impact on your energy levels throughout the day. Even mild dehydration can cause fatigue, along with lower blood pressure and a slow metabolism which will both leave you exhausted too.
Just make sure you’re drinking your water early enough and throughout the day, because a full bladder at bed time isn’t exactly gonna help your sleep sitch.
Ditch the booze and caffeine
Everything good in life is bad for you (fact), so if you’re serious about feeling more naturally awake throughout the day, then sadly it’s time to step away from the cheeky mojitos and the handy espressos.
Coffee obviously provides a quick boost of energy, but becoming reliant on it means energy dips at certain times through the day. Once you start to expect them, you’re likely to turn to a second cup to boost your energy back up again, and it becomes an endless, latte-based cycle.
The same goes for booze, too. If you’re coming home and having a quick G+T or a glass of wine to relax, it will in fact do the total opposite to your insides. Alcohol puts strain on your liver which is the organ designed to store and release glucose for energy. You’re actually draining your energy and vitality every time.
Look after your mental health
Snoozing for 12 hours at a time, sneaking back into bed mid-afternoon and still feeling like you’re running on empty? Time to consider whether this tiredness could be linked to your mental health, pal.
Check in with your own mind and acknowledge how you're really feeling. It's valid. General fatigue and that never-ending tiredness is just one side effect of depression. It often comes with zero motivation, rubbish moods and poor concentration, along with energy levels that leave you feeling like you’re wading through treacle.
If your moods are starting to get in the way of your daily routine and kind of have you wondering what the point of getting out of bed actually is, a chat with your GP will really help get the ball rolling into recovery.
Chat to your doctor
It’s important to admit when your tired AF daily routine might be something a bit trickier to handle. Around one in five people say that their fatigue is bad enough to get in the way of their day to day activities, and that’s when you know it’s time to chat to a GP.
Your sleepy tendencies could be linked to a number of more serious issues like anaemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, coeliac disease or diabetes. They're not as scary as they sound, it just means there will be a solution to the problem that you can't tackle on your own.
If you’ve tried all the usual stuff and seen no real improvement then book yourself an appointment and get things sorted so you can start catching those Zzzs again.
Words by Lucy Wood