We are a very tired country. In a past Sleep in America poll, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) found that 36% of us having trouble driving because we are so drowsy, 29% of us are super sleepy at work, and 20% of us are too tired to even have sex. All this fatigue is taking its toll on our happiness and our health. It is time we fight back. Here are 5 tips for fighting fatigue:
1. Get More Sleep
While this may seem painfully obvious and simplistic, it is the best way to fight fatigue. According to the findings of the NSF, one of the main reasons we are so sleepy is that we are shortchanging ourselves and sacrificing sleep to do other things. This self-imposed sleep deprivation happens when we skip sleep to try and finish a project, stay up late to spend time with friends and family, or spend time we should be sleeping, playing games or working on the computer. Adults need 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Get the sleep you need and you will win your battle against fatigue.
2. Make an Appointment
If you are experiencing consistent fatigue and feel like you are getting enough sleep, make an appointment with your doctor. Fatigue and excessive sleepiness can be caused by sleep disorders like sleep apnea and by medical conditions like diabetes and thyroid disease. Ruling out other medical problems or getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan is another way to help combat chronic fatigue.
3. Move More
Although it may seem counterintuitive and like the last thing you want to do, exercising can make a big difference in your energy level and how tired you feel. Being active also helps you get the sleep you need at night which also helps fight off fatigue. According to the NSF, people sleep better and experience less daytime sleepiness when they get between 2 and 3 hours of exercise each week. This means that exercise helps fight fatigue itself while also addressing one of the problems that causes so many of us to be tired in the first place.
4. Have a Drink
Just make sure the drink is water. Dehydration can make you feel fatigued and sap your energy. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to remain hydrated. Next time you hit that 3 o’clock energy slump, try drinking a glass of water instead of a soft drink or coffee. Hydration will help you fight off that afternoon fatigue without keeping you up later that night and making you even more tired tomorrow.
5. Have Good Hygiene
Having a good sleep hygiene program promotes getting the sleep you need every night which helps fight fatigue. Good sleep hygiene means sticking to a schedule, following a regular bedtime routine, saving your bedroom for sleep and sex, establishing an environment that is conducive to sleeping, and skip coffee and alcohol later in the day.