6 Reasons Why You're Still Tired After a Good Night's Sleep
I've recently had a bit of a lifestyle shake up- I'm actively forming better lifestyle habits to combat problems I've been having such as tiredness, bad diet, weight gain and lack of productivity.
One of my biggest problems, which had also been hindering my improvement on other changes, was tiredness. I felt sluggish pretty much from the moment I opened my eyes to the moment I went back to bed. So I identified some reasons I may be lacking so much energy despite not having any pre-existing health problems and despite getting enough sleep every night.
There are numerous reasons our energy reserves could be seriously lacking and we can't keep our eyes open, but the good news is we can often do something about it!
Here are 6 reasons you might still feel tired, even after a good night's sleep and how to combat them.
Not enough iron
Iron helps carry oxygen to the brain, and when there isn't enough of it in our bodies our brains can't function properly, so they become foggy and tiredness soon follows.
Adding foods such as lean beef, beans, spinach and other dark leafy greens to your diet is a fantastic, healthy way to get enough iron. You can also take a vitamin supplement if you think you're iron deficient.
After reading my blog, and probably anything else remotely health related on the internet, you're probably sick of hearing "drink more water". However, I'm saying it again. Dehydration (even mild cases) is a major cause of tiredness.
When we're not taking in enough fluids, oxygen flow to the brain becomes slower (just like with iron deficiencies), resulting in that sluggish feeling.
Drink the recommended 8 glasses (at least) of water daily. If you're not a massive fan of plain water, infuse it with some fruit such as lemon, orange or blueberries or drink herbal tea. Here are some yummy herbal teas with loads of added health benefits.
Lack of bedtime routine
Establishing a routine at bedtime is really important if you want to keep energy levels high during the day. Going to sleep at different times every night can really upset our internal clocks.
Create a routine by going to bed at roughly the same time every night and setting your alarm for the same time every morning (yes, on weekends too). Your internal clock will function correctly and your brain will no longer be confused as to when to release sleep hormones!
Over or under-exercising
The recommended amount of exercise is at least 30 minutes 4-5 times a week. This can be jogging, power walking, a home workout or at the gym. Both under and over-exercising however can lead to low energy levels.
Regular exercise gets nutrients and oxygen pumping to our brains which keeps us energetic and healthy, so a lack of exercise means our brains aren't getting the oxygen and nutrients it needs to function correctly.
On the flip-side, exercising too much can also cause fatigue. Over-exercising can lead to an increase in levels of cortisol- a hormone released by the adrenal glands when our bodies and minds are under stress. Too much cortisol can leave you feeling sluggish and under the weather, so be sure to get enough rest after high intensity workouts and have at least 2 days allocated as rest-days.
Too much sleep
Yep, you read correctly, too much sleep can lead to tiredness during the day. Although there is not much evidence as to why this is the case, many people have claimed to feel hungover after too much sleep. It's likely that it's due to an upset in the body's internal clock.
The amount of sleep we need depends on us as individuals (although it's usually around 7 or 8 hours nightly). Work out how much sleep you need to feel energised in the morning and throughout the day and stick with it, even on weekends, days off and holidays/vacations.
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 reactions in the human body. It promotes restful sleep, enhances circulation and keeps muscles functioning correctly, so it's no surprise that a deficiency in this important mineral leads to a serious lack of energy.
Great sources of magnesium are dark leafy greens, fish, almonds, yogurt, seeds, bananas, avocado and dark chocolate. Eat these foods as part of a healthy, balanced diet to keep magnesium levels up and stay awake during the day. You could also take a supplement.
Feeling tired every day can really upset our quality of life so it's important that we drink enough fluids (not the sugary kind), eat a balanced diet to get all the nutrients our bodies need, and get enough sleep and exercise- but not too much remember!
If you feel that you are doing everything correctly and still feel tired to function, you may have a condition causing constant tiredness such as sleep apnoea, depression, diabetes or chronic fatigue syndrome. In this case it's always important to consult your GP for diagnosis and treatment.
What keeps you fresh and energised throughout the day?