Strange Reasons Why You Feel Tired All the Time
Everyone is tired a lot of the time, but fatigue shouldn’t be the norm. Extreme lifestyles and nutritional deficiencies aside, if you feel like you just can’t catch up your sleep or can’t remember the last time you felt alert in the morning there might be some surprising but simple reasons for it.
Sure, checking emails (or Instagram) in the middle of the night might only take a second or two, but the light your phone emits can disrupt your sleep more than you might imagine. A flash of that light in the night can reduce the amount of melatonin your body produces which can can make you feel more sleepy the following day. Turn off as many appliances as possible when you hit the sack and do what you can to avoid checking your phone during the night. If you must use it, download an app like Twilight which reduces the amount of blue light your phone emits and cuts down on some its wee hour harshness.
It’s understandable that your weekday alarm time doesn’t get much use on the weekend, but those changes in your sleep schedule can really throw your body for a loop. When you sleep in your body misses it’s expected wake up, sunshine, and breakfast, and can make you feel off when it’s time to wake up again early on Monday morning. Try to keep as close to a normal sleep schedule as possible, and when you can’t get up and take a nap later in the day as opposed to sleeping through the day. That more closely supports your body’s desire for consistency.
We commonly reach for the coffee to fix our low energy levels, but often it’s actually the water that we need. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that just missing 1.5% of one’s water weight from sweating can cause decreases to energy levels and mood swings. Keep a water bottle with you at work and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables to sneak some water through your foods as well. Think about it, if you’re running out of water your body probably doesn’t want you running around and wasting even more of it. Stay hydrated to retain your base energy levels.
Stress isn’t just an annoying feeling, it does all sorts of crazy things to the body. On an average day the stress hormone cortisol in your body runs higher during the waking hours and then dips at night, but when you’re chronically stressed it can get off schedule and either neglect to give you a boost in the morning or give you an unwanted boost when you’re trying to sleep. Sometimes the last thing you feel like doing when you’re stressing and overworked is to sit quietly for a few minutes, but regular meditation sessions are proven to help reduce stress levels.
Getting busy with work and life can make it hard to fit in workouts every day of the week, but you should do it as much as possible. When we’re busy and stressed our cortisol levels raise, but then we just end up sitting idle at our desks while we stress out some more. There’s nowhere for that energy to release physically and when it comes times to sleep our mind is still moving a million miles a minute. It can take a couple weeks to really see a decrease in insomnia after adding a workout routine to your schedule however, so all the more reason to get with it and stick with it. The pizza and couch can wait an extra hour.
A study done at the University of Pennsylvania found that adults who smoked pot regularly before the age of 15 were more likely to experience sleep disruptions than those who didn’t. The correlation isn’t entirely known, but the researchers think it might be linked to a decrease in dopamine from smoking. There’s not much you can do about your wild child ways now, but paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you can help you revamp your sleeping habits for the long run.
About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.