We all have days when we feel sluggish, and sometimes all it takes is an afternoon nap or heading to bed early to be fully ourselves again the next day. But when the exhaustion follows you through several days and stretches into weeks and months, the problem might be rooted in more than a few nights of poor sleep.
According to the Medicine Net, fatigue is “a condition characterized by a lessened capacity for work and reduced efficiency of accomplishment, usually accompanied by a feeling of weariness and tiredness.”
Though it may be short-lived, some people report being in a constant state of fatigue. Studies from the Mayo Clinic suggest while factors such as mental health or substance abuse can be key contributing factors, those who experience the occasional bouts of sluggishness can tackle the problem by altering a few lifestyle habits.
# Don’t overdo caffeine
#Eat smaller meals
#Maintain a consistent sleep pattern
While you might quickly link your tiredness to being physically overworked or exhausted, the contrary is more likely the case. That feeling of unease and lack of motivation can be traced back to moving too little and ‘resting’ too much.
Tweaking some daily habits can keep fatigue at bay. From a shift to caffeine-free beverages to getting your heart rate up, try incorporating these five lifestyle changes to beat fatigue and feel energised.
Moving off the couch is likely the last thing you want to do when you’re feeling out of steam, but it might just be the most critical first step to regaining your groove and lifting your mood.
A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that ‘being less sedentary is associated with lower levels of fatigue,’ in a study that accused the activity levels of 73 women.
Though it might be hard to get motivated and push through, studies have found that even just 15 minutes of light cardio significantly impacts overall mood and wellbeing. Exercising gives an immediate boost to blood and oxygen circulation and allows the body to function better.
A fresh cup of coffee or tea in the morning is how many people kick start their day. The little pick-me-up can help boost alertness and delay fatigue; consuming too much can have the opposite effect.
Research suggests up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, equivalent to four cups of healthy, is a healthy amount to consume daily. Any more and there’s a good chance you’ll have a caffeine crash- overstimulate the brain and trigger a drop in serotonin level that leads to a dreary mood and poor sleep.
Large, carb-heavy meals often contribute to sluggishness- high amounts of glucose are released as the body breaks down carbohydrates, producing insulin that gives us that food coma feeling. The UK National Health Services suggests smaller meals more time throughout the day. Instead of eating three big meals, opt for five or six smaller portions and a few healthy snacks throughout the day instead.
Instead of heading to bed whenever you feel tired, try to maintain a regular sleep schedule through weekdays and weekends. Though a 15 to 30-minute power nap is proven to boost productivity, any longer and you risk disturbing your sleep routine, a first misstep in the vicious cycle of sleep deprivation.
Keeping a consistent sleep schedule will help you feel more energized in the long run.
Fatigue often leads to a feeling of a lack of motivation, and in today’s world, most people turn to their phones or television to solve this chronic feeling of boredom. Studies have found this habit is detrimental to physical and mental health. Too much screen time almost always comes hand in hand with sitting too much.
Dependence on digital devices and television as clutches to ease fatigue and boredom negatively impacts our mental health and mood; blue light from overexposure to screens can also overstimulate our brains and disrupt our sleep patterns.
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