How To Stop Feeling Tired: 7 Lifestyle Changes To Make If You’re Tired All The Time
As we get older, we tend to find ourselves feeling more tired than we used to.
Feeling sleepy or lacking in energy every so often is normal, but if you’re feeling tired all the time, you may want to make some lifestyle changes.
Follow our seven tips below to learn how to boost your energy.
Eat foods to fight fatigue
A healthy, balanced diet will help you to stop feeling tired and boost your energy levels. This means getting a mix of protein, healthy fats, fibre and low GI carbohydrates in your diet from a variety of food groups.
It also means cutting out foods that contain high levels of saturated (bad) fats — which can make you feel lethargic — and sugary snacks — which will cause your blood glucose levels to spike and then crash (causing an energy drop).
As well as eating a balanced diet containing plenty of fresh whole foods, some foods can help with combatting tiredness. In particular, food rich in iron or protein can help you to feel less lethargic and boost your energy.
Here are some foods to fight fatigue:
- Lean red meat
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
If you don’t think you’re getting enough protein or nutrients like iron to keep your energy levels topped up and stop you from being tired, you can also take nutritional supplements.
The SUSTAGEN nutritional range can help you to stay active and energised as each SUSTAGEN product contains high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals to help keep you moving and support your health.
Drink more water
Dehydration can have all sorts of negative effects on the body, including zapping our energy and making us feel tired.
Staying hydrated helps you to feel more energised, and improves your brain function — improving focus, alertness and memory.
Make sure you drink plenty of water every day (around 8–10 cups a day) to stay properly hydrated. This is particularly important if you’ve been exercising or the weather is hot; you’ll need to replace the fluid that you’ve lost from sweating.
Cut down on caffeine
Does a cup of coffee in the morning help you to feel more awake? Yes. Can caffeine make you tired? Absolutely.
Caffeine might give you an initial energy boost and make you feel more alert, but once that effect wears off, caffeine can be detrimental to your energy levels.
Too much caffeine or drinking caffeinated beverages late in the day can negatively impact your sleep, stopping you from getting a good night’s rest and making you feel tired the next day. Of course, this can make us reach for the coffee pot again to combat our tiredness, creating a negative cycle.
Caffeine is also a diuretic (increasing the production of urine), causing us to become dehydrated — which, as we know, can also make us sleepy.
To combat the effects of caffeine, keep your caffeine intake to a minimum, and don’t drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks past about 3 pm. This can include some teas (black tea and green tea), cola and energy drinks.
Regular exercise is renowned for having all sorts of physical and mental benefits — from improving your mood, to helping with weight, to reducing your risk of serious illness.
Exercise can also help if you’re feeling tired. It may seem counterintuitive to exercise if you’re already tired, but exercise releases endorphins which make you feel more energised, boost your mood and relieve stress.
Physical activity also improves sleep quality and helps you feel refreshed the next day. And by elevating your heart rate, you are improving your cardiovascular health — which improves your endurance and fitness levels, meaning you can do more and be less tired.
Aim for at least two and a half hours of moderate-intensity exercise each week — around 30 minutes of exercise a day.
Improve your sleep hygiene
Too much or too little sleep can stop you from feeling energised and alert during the day.
If you’re feeling tired all the time, one of the reasons may be that your sleep quality is poor. It might be that you wake up a lot in the night, are unable to get to sleep at bedtime, or wake up early in the morning.
There are a few things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene:
- Go to bed and set your alarm at the same time each night — your body needs this consistency to get into a proper sleep schedule and stick to it
- Don’t use screens (like your phone, the TV or computer) just before bedtime — read a book or listen to some relaxing music instead
- If you get too hot, use a fan or aircon to cool you down
- Practise meditation or guided mindfulness to relax your brain before bedtime
- Drink a non-caffeinated herbal tea instead of coffee after dinner
Good sleep is essential if you want to stay energised and not feel tired during the day, and following these tips will help you.
Drink less alcohol
It’s not surprising that alcohol can throw a spanner in the works when it comes to your sleep routine. A few beers or glasses of wine before bed may seem to help you fall asleep, but your sleep quality is much worse when you’ve been drinking.
Excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt sleep, cause you to wake up more frequently in the night, trigger insomnia, and decrease sleep duration. The type of sleep you get when you’ve been drinking heavily is also poorer — you may fall asleep deeply to start with, but this will cause an imbalance later in the night and cause low-quality sleep.
Try to have a few alcohol-free days each week and reduce your alcohol intake when you do drink. You’ll soon notice a difference in both your sleep quality and energy levels.
Look after your mental health
Your mental health and wellbeing can impact how tired you feel. Stress, anxiety and low mood can all cause tiredness — affecting your sleep routine as well as your overall health.
Poor mental health often doesn’t have a quick fix, but practising self-care can help. Here are some ways you can practise self-care and feel less tired:
- Breathing and mindfulness exercises
- Listening to relaxing music
- Gentle exercises such as yoga or swimming
- Spending time outdoors
- Having a bath
- Spending time with loved ones
Self-care can mean different things to different people, so find positive routines and habits that work for you.
If you are struggling with your mental health and lifestyle changes like the above don’t seem to be improving your situation, speak to your doctor or a healthcare professional.
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