Mornings are always a drag. Two days of lie-ins a week just aren’t enough to leave us feeling refreshed, and no matter what we seem to do we’re always yawning come lunchtime. We’re getting our eight glasses of water a day, our phone is banished to charging in the kitchen and those blackout curtains are pulled tight – so why are we still feeling tired all the time?!
We’ve done some research and the answers might surprise you, so get ready to make some changes to your daily routines and start fighting the fatigue. Here’s why you’re tired all day, and the reasons you can’t fall asleep at night.
WHY YOU’RE TIRED ALL DAY
Skipping exercise when you’re exhausted. Any excuse to avoid the gym, right? You might reconsider skipping leg day when you learn that regular and consistent exercise boosts your general overall energy levels. Even if you’re exhuasted, just 20 minutes of exercise three days a week will leave you feeling less lethargic.
Being a negative Nelly. You might not think it, but a bad attitude can actually be the reason you’re dozing through your morning meetings. Being ‘catastrophic’, aka imagining the worst, can leave you mentally exhausted, when things probably aren’t actually that awful. So stop picturing the worst case scenario – it might never happen!
Low iron levels. There are a whole host of medical reasons why you could be tired all the time (especially if you have a history of insomnia), but a low iron level is something that’s easily fixed. Load your diet up with kidney beans, peanut butter, tofu, eggs, leafy green vegetables and beef to wake you up, and enjoy a delicious – and revitalising – lunch break in the process. The break from work will also do you good.
You need to tidy up. Even looking at a messy desk has been shown to run you down, as your brain just can’t hack the clutter. More scientifically, the mess restricts your brain’s ability to hone in on and process important information, meaning it does the equivalent of a gentle workout every time you try and find something underneath the chaos. Give your mind a break, and tidy a little at a time if the task is daunting.
WHY YOU CAN’T FALL ASLEEP AT NIGHT
Brushing your teeth. Yes, seriously. It’s been drummed into us our entire lives to brush our teeth before bed, but that minty fresh feeling might actually be keeping you awake. Peppermint is a brain stimulant, so while it’s great for muggy mornings you might want to switch up your dental care for nighttime – how about herbal, spicy or even fruity flavours?
Drinking too much coffee. Even though you rely on your daily caffeine fix to get you going on a Monday morning (and mid-morning, and afternoon slump…), that Starbucks addiction might actually be damaging your sleep cycle. Drinking caffeine up to six hours before you nod off can affect your slumber, so have a caffeine cut-off point and watch out for things like chocolate and pain-relief meds that might contain the pesky perk-up.
Going out for dinner a couple of times a week. It’s not the late nights that will leave you yawning, but eating at inconsistent times. While we don’t need to tell you that junk food and alcohol are bad for your bedtime, inconsistent dinner times might ruin your rest. Studies show it doesn’t matter whether you eat early or late, just pick a time and stick with it.
Snuggling up and getting cosy. While it’s tempting to snuggle up with a pile of blankets and doze off in a cocoon of cosiness, getting tucked up at night might actually stop you from getting that beauty sleep. Getting toasty can leave you restless, as sleepiness is brought on during a drop in core body temperature. Try leaving the window open a crack and sleeping under just a sheet, and if you’re still chilly, keep a hot water bottle at your feet.
Still struggling? Read our guide on how to fall asleep...