There is no question that our world is operating a speed that is outpacing our ability to respond to it. This means many of us are exhausted almost all of the time. From skipping sleep to study to staying up too late just to get the dishes done, the amount of time we have in the day no longer seems adequate to enable us to do all the things we need to do and get the 8-10 hours of sleep we need. Lack of sleep, especially when paired with the high stress levels many of us experience everyday means that we may be living in a state of chronic fatigue. Unfortunately, one of the ways many of us manage this problem is by loading up on caffeinated beverages like coffee or soft drinks which may perk us up but can exacerbate the problem by keeping us from sleeping at night.
Rather than reaching for another cup of coffee when fatigue starts to get the best of you, try these small changes and helpful tips to fight back against fatigue without compromising your ability to get to sleep when you need to.
1. Get a Check Up
If you are really struggling with fatigue or you feel fatigued no matter how much sleep you get, make an appointment with your doctor. There are several serious medical conditions like diabetes, lupus, and thyroid problems that can cause fatigue and ruling those out should be your first step.
2. Make a Move
Although you may feel like you lack the energy required to walk to the coffee machine, one of the best things you can do to combat debilitating fatigue is to get moving. A walk may be just as good as a workout in this circumstance as it gets your blood moving, alleviates stress, and even elevates your mood.
3. Manage Moodiness
Speaking of your mood, fatigue can also be caused by some mental health conditions like depression and anxiety. If you have ruled out a medical condition and nothing else seems to ease your fatigue, it is a good time to find a therapist and do a mental health checkup.
4. Watch What You Eat
Eating right is important for your overall health but what you are eating and even when you are eating it can have a serious impact on how much sleep you get. If fatigue is weighing you down, keep track of what you are eating and when you are eating it and the amount of sleep you get so that you can see any patterns. It may be that you are eating or drinking things that are keeping you from getting the sleep you need.
5. Keep a Sleep Diary
You may not be sleeping at much or as well as you think you are and the best way to see what kind of sleep you are getting is to track it with a sleep diary. Tracking information like when you went to sleep, when you woke up, how many hours you slept, and if you woke up during the night can help pinpoint why you are feeling so fatigued. It can also be helpful in working with your doctor.
6. Prioritize Sleep
Even if you do everything else on this list, if you don’t put sleep at the top of your list of priorities, you will still find yourself struggling with fatigue. Getting adequate sleep is important to every aspect of your life and it needs to be as important as anything else on your list.