While sleep is a crucial part of life, it’s not the only thing that keeps you energized. Lack of energy and focus can negatively affect you at work and in your personal life, but it’s crucial to figure what exactly is sapping all your energy. And you might be surprised by some of the reasons. We’re going to reveal 10 common mistakes that could be making you tired without you even knowing it.
You Don’t Drink Enough Water
Drinking water just isn’t important to keep you hydrated throughout the day, it also gives you incredible amounts of energy. Scientifically, when you’re dehydrated your blood tends to be thicker, making it difficult for your heart to pump blood efficiently. So drink that water!
To figure out how much you should be drinking a day, divide your weight in pounds by half – and that’s approximately how much water you should drink. Toss in a little lemon and honey to boost your awareness. To learn about the other amazing benefits you can get from drinking plenty of water, check this article out.
You Check Emails At Bedtime
Like we said, sleep is crucial. And one of the worst ways you can disturb your sleep cycle is by stimulating your brain before bed – fancy talk for checking your phone before you sleep. No emails, no going on Pinterest, even flipping on the TV can be disturbing to your sleep.
You Stay Up Late
This no-no seems pretty straight forward and has a variety of consequences. Staying up late on the weekends is understandable, but you can help regain your energy by taking mid-day naps. 20 minutes is the perfect length of a nap to really let your body recharge. However, if you have a tendency to stay up late ALL WEEK long, you will be drained throughout the day. Try to be more aware of the 7-8 hours you need to be getting a night.
You Live on Junk Food
The kind of foods you’ll get from a drive-through window is loaded with sugars and simple carbs, which breakdown much quicker in the blood stream and cause spikes of energy. But with spikes of energy comes the downside – the fatigue that follows. The foods that keep you full and focused all day with prolonged energy are lean meats and complex carbs, so try to include a whole grain with every meal.
You’re a Workaholic
You love your job and that’s great! We love that you love your job. But if your entire life revolves around your job 24/7, you are going to get burnt out. And fast. Signs of a workaholic are working on weekends, starting at 5 in the morning and wrapping up around 10 every day, never taking a vacation – or worse, working on your vacation.
If this sounds a bit like you, you need to take some time for yourself. If relaxing weekends aren’t your thing, you don’t have to be a couch potato every weekend. But every once and a while you need to take some time for you to reboot your system. Even some daily meditation would be great just to keep you fresh and focused every day.
You Skip Breakfast
It’s true what they say: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. This isn’t just a fun rhyme, it’s true. Breakfast sets you up for your whole day, giving you the nutrients and protein that result in all-day energy. If you skip breakfast, you’re basically like a car running on empty. You need to fuel up to keep going strong.
Try making some delicious, healthy breakfasts that you can take out the door with you, like these yummy breakfast cookies.
You Don’t Consume Enough Iron
Although you may not wake up thinking, “I have to consume my daily iron!” this under-the-radar nutrient is crucial to keeping you awake and energetic. Those complex carbs that keep you full all day (your red meats and grains) have the iron that you need! Beans are also a great source of iron, as are some boxed foods like pasta and rice. Make sure to check the labels (or look online for fruit and veggie nutrition breakdowns) to make sure you’re getting enough iron.
How much is enough? Experts say that generally, men and non-menstruating women should receive about 10 mg of iron daily, menstruating or nursing women 15 mg, and pregnant women 30 mg daily.
You Drink Wine Before Bed
Now we all love a glass of wine with dinner or maybe two if you’ve had a particularly hard day. Red wine in particular SHOULD be consumed every day, what with its heart-healthy benefits. But try to sip that vino well before you go to bed. Having a glass or two before laying down to sleep has been shown to disrupt your REM cycle and will leave you waking up drowsy the next morning.
You Rely on Caffeine
I can relate. If your relationship with caffeine has become a bit more of an addiction than anything else, you’ll need it throughout the day to stay alert. Should you miss your morning coffee (gasp) or your post-lunch latte, you are going to fall into one terrible slump. You may even experience caffeine headaches along with your fatigue.
To try and gradually get off coffee, try reducing how many cups you have a day. You’ll be groggy to start, but like anything else, your body will thank you when you’re getting energy from other natural sources besides 7 cups of Joe a day.
You Have a Messy Office
This one seems a little weird, but the space you work in does affect how you work throughout the day. Recent studies have found that people with clean, organized office spaces tend to have more focus and less stress throughout the day. Conversely, those with a cluttered work station were found sleepier and more stressed than their organized counterparts.
A trick I like to use is coming in a little early in the morning. If you get in even just 15 minutes earlier than you’d like to start your day, you can use that 15 minutes to get your station in order, get your coffee, and get entirely organized so when that clock hits 9:00 you are already on the job.
These are just a few reasons you may be feeling chronic tiredness, of course. If none of these seem to be solving the riddle for you, or you’ve tried to adjust your lifestyle and you’re still beat, speak to your doctor! There may be further steps you can take to get the day-to-day energy you need.