Do you wake up already feeling tired?
Find yourself nodding off in your 3 pm meeting or falling asleep when you’re putting the kids to bed?
Have you ever stopped to think about why you’re always so tired, even when you get a full night’s sleep?
There’s a good chance that something you’re doing (or not doing) is making your sleep suck, but the good news is that a lot of these issues are fixable.
With some small lifestyle changes, you’ll be sleeping like a baby in no time.
1) Move your body
If you don’t move your body, your body won’t be tired.
You probably know that sitting at a desk all day is bad for your health, but did you know it could also affect your sleep?
Research has shown that even a 20-minute walk 3 times per week improves sleep.
Exercise increases endurance and muscle strength, making muscles like your lungs and heart work better.
Getting oxygen to every tissue in your body will make you feel more energized and focused.
Intense exercise is best done early in the day because it releases a flood of endorphins that rise and fall in natural waves and makes it easier for you to fall asleep later in the day.
If you can’t get to the gym in the morning take a walk after work, or in the evening.
You’ll never regret taking a few minutes for yourself to move your body.
The first thing that happens when you’re dehydrated is your blood becomes thicker.
Your heart has to pump harder to move it around, and less oxygen gets to the places it needs to be.
This can happen when your normal fluid intake drops less than 5%.
Water is also important for the electrical impulses in your heart and brain.
When you don’t have enough, they slow down. Your brain gets sluggish and sleepy, and your heart has to work so much harder to keep up.
To beat the dehydration monster keep a cup beside you while you’re working and sip all day.
When it’s empty, get up and refill it. Sodas, juices, and coffee don’t count because they have other properties that can be dehydrating.
Snack on water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and grapes, and avoid smoking, alcohol, and salty foods, all of which dehydrate your body.
Anemia happens when you don’t have enough red blood cells to pick up that precious oxygen and carry it around your body.
Your body requires iron, folate, and B vitamins to synthesize red blood cells and if your diet is low in these things, they don’t get made.
Anemia has symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, headaches, and generally feeling unwell.
Luckily it’s usually an easy fix. Talk to your doctor and get some blood tests to be sure, and in the meantime add in foods high in iron, folate, and B12 like liver, fermented yeasts like brewer’s or nutritional yeast, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.
Pair these foods with things naturally high in vitamin c to speed up absorption.
Blackstrap molasses is also very high in iron and sometimes used as a sweetener, you can swap it for sugar in your baking for an added boost.
Improving your iron levels will help your brain, heart, and lungs function better and reduce that constant fatigue.
4) Unhealthy sleep environment and poorly timed sleep
Once you’ve gotten past the age of about 5, naps are not your friend.
Anything longer than a quick catnap will leave you groggy and unable to sleep later in the day.
It messes with your circadian rhythm, that internal clock that tells you when to wake up, eat, and go to sleep.
This is a problem that shift workers have as well.
If you’re working overnight and sleeping during the day, you’re not going to get the same quality sleep unless you retrain your brain.
You can do this by creating a healthy sleep environment.
Studies have shown that people sleep better in a slightly cool, dark room.
Investing in some blackout curtains, and maybe a white noise machine to drown out household noise will greatly improve your sleep.
Make sure you turn off any devices at least an hour before you go to bed too because the ‘blue light’ from electronic screens can disrupt your sleep/wake cycles and make it much harder for you to fall asleep.
5) Using caffeine to wake up your brain
Caffeine is a funny drug. In the short term it can be great for helping you feel awake, alert, and focused, but in the long term it can set you up for a bad crash.
Depending on that cup of coffee or energy shot first thing in the day might seem ok, but it sets you up for an even harder crash later in the day.
Having another cup to get you over that mid-afternoon hump will leave you wired for hours and unable to sleep until you crash again.
Wake up and start the cycle all over again. It’s a bad cycle to get into, and an even worse one to try and get out of, so avoid coffee, pop, and energy drinks if you want to truly feel rested and awake.
6) Poor diet
Eating a diet high in carbohydrates, processed foods, and artificial ingredients will absolutely have an effect on your sleep.
Eating these foods causes your blood sugar to swing wildly from high to low, which causes fatigue, headaches, fainting, anxiety, and mood swings.
All of these things are going to make you feel like you’re not operating at 100%, and will probably make you feel like you need a nap most days.
Much like caffeine, the quick boost of a sugary or carb-rich snack feels really good short term but will mess your body up for the rest of the day.
Switching out your morning donut or afternoon brownie with veggies and hummus or a whole-grain bagel with nut butter will help your blood sugar stay on an even keel and leave your brain feeling clear and energized.
7) Depression and anxiety
Depression and anxiety can quite literally take over your entire life.
Not only does it bring down your mental and emotional health, but your physical health as well.
Common physical symptoms of depression are fatigue, headaches, and change in appetite.
It’s often a cycle as well, the symptoms worsening the depression or anxiety, and the depression and anxiety making the symptoms worse.
Talking to your doctor about your symptoms, and getting treatment will help your quality of life.
Drinking alcohol and caffeine or other stimulants will make your symptoms worse, so avoid those if you can.
Eating a diet of nourishing foods will help your physical symptoms, and could also help the emotional ones.
There are many things that can contribute to your feelings of constant fatigue, from diet all the way to mental health symptoms.
Take some time to really identify where the problem areas are in your life and what you can do to improve your lifestyle and sleep quality.
You can make these simple changes one at a time or all at once for a better, healthier sleep that leaves you feeling rested and refreshed.
If you are experiencing digestive issues too, it can be the reason why you are feeling tired all the time. Go to the next page and learn what you can do to heal your digestive system.
About the Author:
Emma Deangela is the best selling author of The Alkaline Diet Program and 80/20 Fat Loss. She has helped over tens of thousands of men and women to lose weight and transform their health with sound nutrition advice. Learn how you can lose weight fast – How to lose weight by adding these alkaline foods.
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