An increasing number of us are finding that we are tired all the time. Even after a good nights sleep we still feel jaded and out of sorts. When we wake up feeling drained, unrefreshed by our sleep this can start to impact on the other areas of our lives as our energy levels, good humor and enthusiasm all start to suffer.
Let's consider the question, why am I so tired all the time;
– Do you have a healthy diet? Food and quality nutrition are an important component of good health, wellbeing and are an important factor in quality sleep. Commit to having breaks for regular nutritious meals, to drink plenty of water and to minimize long periods without eating. Try to avoid regular bingeing on junk food or having sugary or caffeine laden drinks to artificial keep energy levels up. These decisions are an important part of feeding your body well, maintaining health, balance and supporting improved rest and sleep.
– Do you switch off from stress? Many people have lots of responsibility. They have to balance work, home and personal life and this can be a tough ask when all those areas are demanding 100% of their time and attention. Finding ways to introduce a little quiet time, to intermittently allow the mind to become calm and still, is essential as a way of managing stress.
Learning to prioritize, to have a deadline of say 9pm after which only real emergencies are attended to is important. Ask for help, let others have a go; even if they are not as proficient as you, by helping they will gradually improve and start to feel more involved.
– Do you try to balance your mental and physical efforts? Better quality sleep occurs when we feel both mentally and physically tired. Some people have jobs which require them to work hard mentally but they get little physical exercise. Other people have hard manual activity to occupy them, but they do little mental work. Find ways to address these inequalities when you're away from the work environment by going for a swim, a bike ride, doing a crossword puzzle, reading a book.
– Do you get enough exercise? Enjoying the fresh air, taking a walk on the beach or in the countryside, enjoying an outdoor game of tennis or football are all pleasurable ways of exercising while enjoying other people's company.
Exercise does not have to be pounding a treadmill at a gym, though some people enjoy that as a way of starting the day or of drawing a line after work before their evening starts. Exercise can be enjoyed with friends or family as a group activity by going for a walk or playing a game. The combination of fresh air, exercise and fun supports better quality sleep.
– Is your bedroom a comfortable place? De-clutter and make your bedroom a haven of peace and calm, a place where you go to relax, switch off and extremely sleep. Minimise or screen off gadgetry, an office space, electrical and wireless equipment. Keep your bedroom as the one place where you go to be quiet, undisturbed, to read a book, have some 'me' time.
– Do you prepare for bed? Shower or take a relaxing bath and wash away the cares of the day. Put a few drops of lavender on the pillow. Enjoy fresh bed linen and keep your bedroom well ventilated. Avoid overstimulation from scary films, difficult conversations or late night computer games. Try to wind down an hour or two before bed.
Being tired all the time provides information that areas of your life are out of balance. Regarding sleep as an important part of your commitment to overall health and wellbeing is important. Some people delay going to bed until the last possible minute, feeling compelled to cram more and more tasks into each day. They then wonder why they feel drained the next day.
Treating sleep as important, as something that we prepare for as the day draws to a close is an important way of committing to better quality sleep. When we do this we will find that we wake up feeling refreshed and ready for the coming day.