How many times have you asked yourself this question:
“Why am I so tired all the time?”
If you are like me, the answers can be so multiple layered that it can be difficult to solve. But the key is to identify the problem or problems, and to tackle each one individually so you too can have better energy levels.
Are you getting enough sleep?
This is the first step in improving your energy. An average adult needs at least 7 hours sleep per night. Of course many can function on less than this, and some have more difficulty maintaining concentration without at least 8 hours a night. Now examine your own sleep. I have 3 sick kids at the moment. Everyone has a cough and a fever of varying degrees. And, at ages 2, 4 and 6, they rely on me heavily to solve all their woes. Last night I went to sleep around 10pm and was woken at least 4 times between 11pm and 4am, eventually getting up at 7am this morning. I might have had 4 hours of valuable sleep, and the rest was probably just dozing lightly and not getting into the healing REM sleep which is the stuff that actually counts.
To improve your sleep you can try the following strategies:
- Turn off all electronic devices an hour before going to bed – the white light in phones and computers interferes with the body’s natural sleep rhythms.
- Have a warm non-caffeine drink before bed.
- Eat dinner at least 4 hours before retiring. This allows your body to focus on falling asleep rather than doing some hardcore digesting.
- Make your room dark, quiet and the temperature consistent.
- If you’re having trouble falling asleep, reset yourself rather than laying there tossing and turning. Get up, have a shower, brush your teeth and then go back to bed and start again.
- Help your partner with the kids. My husband and I try to take turns with the kids so that neither of us gets too exhausted, especially considering if one has a big day coming up. The problem with being the mommy is that often, especially when they are sick, daddy just doesn’t cut it.
- Try to catch up on sleep where you can. This may mean having an afternoon nap, or an early night where possible. My kids, even when they are not sick usually wake me up around the 1am and the 4am marks. So, if my energy levels are lagging, I try to get a couple of 8.30pm bedtimes under my belt per week to catch up on REM sleep before it gets interrupted.
- Get a new pillow. I tried this and it worked wonders. I actually spent a bit of money on a decent microfibre pillow and it immediately had a positive effect on my sleep. If your pillow ever feels a bit flat, go and put it outside in the sun where it will fluff right back up again!
- Caffeine intake. Please examine your caffeine intake before claiming you just can’t sleep. Everybody’s ability to metabolise caffeine is different but for me, I can’t have a coffee after midday or I simply cannot get to sleep.
Sleep, or lack thereof might not be the only problem.
Are you getting enough exercise?
Exercise actually helps increase your energy across the board. We will soon be adding some exercise tips for couples including how to motivate your partner over on the Looking Good page of this website. The key is to start out small, then, as your fitness and energy increases over time, so too will your ability.
Now let’s look at your diet.
A diet high in vitamins and minerals is going to provide more energy than one that’s high in fats and sugars. Magnesium is an important mineral that many of us aren’t getting enough of. Don’t go down the path of using sugar as an energy booster as that is a very short term fix which then has an longer low period. Fresh fruit and vegetables as part of a balanced diet is the key. Add more superfoods such as kale to your diet simply by having a daily green smoothie.
One more important thing….
If you are consistently tired all the time and there is no immediately available explanation for it, if your tiredness is accompanied by other symptoms such as significant weight loss or gain, nausea, pain or swelling please make an appointment to see your Doctor straight away.
Good luck in your quest for better energy. Please let us know below if you have some success!