Tired all the time? Read This

Tired all the time? Read This

You’re not sure why, but for some reason, you always feel tired all the time.

It doesn’t make any sense.

Even when you go to bed early, you find that ten hours of sleep feels more like ten seconds.

It’s not your fault.

Modern life leaves many people feeling exhausted.

So, now you’re here because you want to make changes to your life.

You want the energy you need to achieve your dreams.

I’ve been in that exact same place. I tried everything I could think of and nearly gave up on the idea of feeling like I’d ever have energy again.

But, through research and determination, I learnt techniques that have transformed my energy levels.

For me, feeling tired all the time is a thing of the past.

I’m going to make the same change to your life, right now. For free.

So let’s crack on with, How to stop feeling tired all the time & discover what causes fatigue and tiredness.

 

1). Find your ideal sleep time & never feel tired.

Tired all the time lying on a pillow

You’re probably wondering “How do I determine the exact amount of sleep I need to stop me from feeling tired all the time?”

We’ve all heard that we should be sleeping 8 hours a night in order to wake up feeling refreshed. But don’t worry if you are getting more or less sleep than this.

We actually all need different amounts of sleep depending on our age and circumstances.

It’s generally somewhere between 7 & 9 hours.

But it’s not as simple as that.

What if each day you go to bed at 10 PM. Wake up at 6 AM, but it takes you two hours to fall asleep?

Then you’re only getting 6 hours sleep and you’ll likely end up feeling tired all the time.

The best way to discover how much sleep you need is to make sure you get 8 hours sleep. Then notice if you feel tired all the time during the day.

If you do find that you feel tired all the time, continue to wake up at the same time each morning but add or decrease the time you go to sleep by 15 minutes each night.

Eventually, you will discover your ideal sleep and awake schedule.

For example, if you always wake up at 8 AM but usually go to sleep at 11 then try going to sleep at 10.45 on day one.

On day two go to sleep at 10.30 and continue the pattern of decreasing your bedtime by 15 minutes each day until you wake up feeling refreshed.

When you do, you have discovered your ideal sleep time.

 

Setting The Body Clock

Going to sleep and waking up at the same time every day will help to set your body’s internal clock.

Your body’s clock is also known as the circadian rhythm.

We need to consciously set our body clock so that we know when to feel tired and when to feel awake.

This works by our adrenal gland releasing the hormone, cortisol in a morning. Making us feel awake.

Followed by the pineal gland releasing the hormone, melatonin in the evening which makes us feel tired.

This is why we feel awake during the day and tired at night.

Shaun Stevenson writes in his book, ‘Sleep Smarter’: “The production and secretion of melatonin is heavily affected by light exposure. Sunlight provides the natural spectrum of light that we need to help coordinate the cycle of melatonin production.”

Sticking to a consistent wake time is crucial to stop feeling exhausted all the time.

HelpGuide.org  believe: “Sticking to a consistent sleep-wake schedule helps set your body’s internal clock and optimize the quality of your sleep.”

Sometimes it can be difficult to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.

But, what if you have a heavy night out with your friends on a Friday?

Don’t worry I’m not going to suggest you race home from the club to hit your sleep deadline. 🙂

 

Wake Up At The Same Time Every Day

All you need to to do is make sure you wake up at the same time every single day. On the weekends and during the week.

This isn’t always easy. You’ll feel tired when you wake and accumulate sleep debt.

To remedy this, go to bed earlier on Sunday to pay off your sleep debt.

This is important because lying in on a Saturday (as many of us do) can also mess up your sleep cycle.

You’ll likely go to bed later on Sunday evening.

You will get less sleep the following night and accumulate sleep debt throughout the week. This will lead to you feeling tired all the time.

Always opt for an earlier sleep time over getting up later.

Harvard Health writes: “Most sleep debt is due to burning the candle at both ends. Consistently failing to get to bed on time and stay there until we’ve slept enough”.

The most important thing is that you wake up at the same time every day. Unless you’re using a ‘sleep cycle alarm clock’ (which we’ll talk about below).

 

Action Points

This app works by tracking your sleep patterns and waking you up during your lightest sleep.

It creates a natural way of waking you up outside of your sleep cycle, leading you to feel more energized.

  • Try and keep a sleep diary. Make a note of the times you are waking up throughout the night and what is going on in your mind during that time. This will help you to recognise if anything in your life could be causing you to wake up in the night. Which results in you feeling tired the next day.
  • Try going to bed 15 minutes earlier every night until you stop feeling tired. Keep adjusting by 15 minutes until you finally hit your sweet spot. When you find it, stick to that wake and sleep time every night!

Within 4 days through trial and error, you will figure out the ideal amount of sleep you need and when to go to sleep. Then you need to be consistent and stick to it.

This step alone is one of the most important in figuring out how not to feel tired in the morning.

 

 

2). Avoid the social media spiral of doom.

social media and sleep deprivation

It’s 12 AM. You’re supposed to be sleeping.

You tell yourself you will, soon.

You just need to read one more post on reddit.

Sorry, I meant two more posts.

Did I say two?

I meant nineteen.

Now, it’s 2 AM.

Er… So what’s happening here?

A study by Jessica C. Levenson, (a postdoctoral researcher in Pitt’s Psychiatry Department). Discovered that “participants with higher social media use volume and frequency had significantly greater odds of having sleep disturbance”.

An article published in The Independent shows: “In a study of 10,000 16 to 19-year-olds, researchers in Norway found that the longer a young person spent looking at an electronic screen before going to bed, the worse quality sleep they were likely to have.”

The problem comes from the short bursts of excitement you get when consuming social media. This feeling is the body releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine.

Dopamine motivates you to continue to replicate the original behaviour that made you feel pleasure. Repeatedly clicking on social media posts or sending text messages.

The problem with this is that too often we can find ourselves trapped in a spiral of seeking more gratification.

We become junkies, desperate for our next fix.

So how do we avoid the social media spiral of doom?

 

Action Points

 

  • One hour before your bedtime, do not use any technology.
  • Buy an alarm clock instead of using the one on your phone.
  • If you can, turn your phone off. Remove your phone from your bedroom so you won’t be tempted to use it.
  • The best way to re-enforce a new routine is to take a few minutes to imagine the negative consequences of not following the advice. Imagine feeling tired all the time if you use social media close to bed time and how awake you will feel if you don’t use it. Really feel the emotion of both ends of the spectrum and then take action. This will motivate you to not want to stay up late using your phone.

 

3). Filter the blue light out of your technology.

tired all the time from mobile phones

So we’re not quite done with the technology yet…

Here’s the problem. Laptops, tablets and phones all emit a blue light which illuminates the screen.

This blue light suppresses the body’s production of the hormone melatonin.

This hormone is essential in order for us to feel sleepy.

Alaska Sleep Clinic believe: “The light emitting from these devices is similar in wavelength to daylight and can trick your circadian rhythm into believing it’s daylight and delay the release of melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.”

A delayed release of melatonin means it will take you longer to fall asleep. This could be the main reason you feel tired all the time.

So what’s the solution?

There are a couple of free apps which filter the blue light out of your devices, as soon as the sun has set.

 

Action Points

  • Download & install the free app ‘flux’ for your computer or laptop.

 

4). Change the temperature in your bedroom.

being too hot leads to always feeling drowsy

 

Some sleep specialists believe that sleeping at room temperature (65 degrees Fahrenheit) will result in better sleep.

Better sleep will, of course, stop you from feeling tired all the time.

The National Sleep Foundation says “If it’s too hot, it may interfere with your body’s natural dip and make you more restless through the night. In fact, studies indicate that some forms of insomnia are associated with an improper regulation of body temperature. “

I often find that if I’m too hot or too cold I struggle to get comfortable.

Action Points

  • Experiment with your bedroom temperature. Find out what makes you feel more comfortable.  It can be hard to gauge your best temperature. But if you have a thermostat you could turn that down or open a window if it is too warm.
  • Try purchasing some thinner cotton sheets, a fan or air conditioning unit.

 

5). Consider losing the sleeping pills

pros and cons of sleeping pills

(If you aren’t planning on taking sleeping pills, feel free to skip this section and move straight on to Tip 6).

When I struggled with insomnia, one of the questions I often asked myself was: “why am I always tired and sleepy the next day?”

See, I took sleeping pills every night and expected them to make me feel energised when I woke.

They didn’t.

This might sound difficult to believe. You might think prescribed sleeping pills are the answer to your sleepless nights…

And on the one hand, they are… Sleeping pills are effective at inducing sleep. They help you stay asleep for longer.

The problem is that instead of waking up feeling refreshed you’re likely to wake up feeling groggy.

Sleeping pills can create the dreaded ‘hangover effect’. This is where you wake up feeling drowsy, as though you’d just had a night of heavy drinking.

The NHS website states: “More than 10 million prescriptions for sleeping pills are given each year in England, but medication only offers short-term relief.”

 

Building Up a Tolerance

 

Another issue is that you could build up a tolerance to sleeping pills and may have to take more in order for them to have an effect.

These days doctors tend to only recommend sleeping pills for short term relief of insomnia. Up to 4 weeks.

Depending on the situation, your doctor might also recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. A natural form of psychotherapy and a preferred method to sleeping pills.

CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) is used to help you change your thought responses to certain situations. It can be helpful for more than just learning how to stop feeling tired all the time. It can reframe your entire outlook on life.

The NHS UK writes about the benefits of CBT:

It can change “unhelpful thoughts and behaviours that may be contributing to your insomnia. It’s an effective treatment for many people and can have long-lasting results.”

 

Action Points

  • If you are taking prescribed sleeping pills, speak to your doctor. See if you can come off them and replace them with positive lifestyle and dietary changes. For example, exercising and eating a healthy balanced diet.
  • Important Note: If you are thinking of starting OR stopping using sleeping pills, MAKE SURE you speak to your doctor first. They can then advise you of the best way to do this. I am not a doctor and this post on “how to stop waking up feeling tired” is for entertainment purposes. It is based on my own experiences & research with sleep.

 

6). Drink less before bed

not sleeping through the night adults

Here’s a simple rule to stop you being tired all the time. Don’t drink any caffeine (cola, tea & coffee etc) after 2PM.

Caffeine is a stimulant which can stay in your system for up to 8 hours. This will keep you awake at night, leading you to be tired all the time.

But it’s not just caffeine that can affect your sleep.

Drinking too much alcohol before bed can cause you to wake throughout the night. This will result in feeling more tired the next day.

Dr. John Shneerson head of the sleep center at Papworth Hospital in Cambridge explains:

“Deep sleep is when the body restores itself, and alcohol can interfere with this. As the alcohol starts to wear off, your body can come out of deep sleep and back into REM sleep, which is much easier to wake from. That’s why you often wake up after just a few hours sleep when you’ve been drinking.”

Got it. So if I avoid alcohol and coffee at night I won’t feel tired all the time, right?

Well… There’s more…

Sometimes drinking too much water late at night can keep you waking up and going to the toilet. This disrupts your sleep leading you to feel exhausted the next day.

Dr. Shah a GP in London says: “I’m always surprised to find how often patients who complain of tiredness are drinking far too much,”

In general, it is good practice to drink about 2 litres of water throughout the day. Then minimize any liquid intake 3 hours before bed.

This even includes water so that you don’t wake up throughout the night needing to urinate.

Also, the acid found in tea and coffee can irritate the bladder causing you to use the toilet more in the night.

 

Action Points

  • Don’t drink caffeinated drinks 8 hours before you go to sleep.
  • Try not to drink too much alcohol near to your bedtime.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day, but less at night.
  • Make going to the bathroom the last thing you do before going to bed.

 

7). Exercise Is The Key To Not Being Tired All The Time.

tired all the time due to lack of excercise

What’s the number one thing you could do to stop feeling tired all the time?

Exercise.

We all know how good exercise is for us. If you exercise in the morning, it has the added bonus of helping you sleep better at night.

It can also help you to calm your mind, making it easier to fall asleep.

In the online magazine, Psychology TodayMichael J. Breus, Ph.D. writes: “Exercise lifts mood and reduces stress. It can strengthen circadian rhythms, promoting daytime alertness and helping bring on sleepiness at night.”

The National Sleep Foundation talks about how exercise can help with sleep.

“If you are inactive, adding a 10-minute walk every day could improve your likelihood of a good night’s sleep… Making this small change and gradually working your way up to more intense activities like running or swimming could help you sleep better.”  says Max Hirshkowitz, PHD.

How stuff works.com, explains that exercising before bed will give you the best temperature for sleeping. It will prevent you from feeling tired all the time.

“Twenty or 30 minutes of aerobic exercise is sufficient to keep the body temperature at this higher level for a period of four to five hours, after which it drops lower than if you hadn’t exercised.”

This is why we don’t want to exercise too close to bedtime. We won’t give our body enough time for the temperature to decrease.

 

Action Points

  • Do some aerobic exercise in the morning. This could be going to the gym, taking a walk or going for a run. Aim to get 150 minutes of exercise in total a week. (Spread across several days).
  • Make sure you don’t exercise too close to bedtime as this will fill you with adrenaline, making it harder to fall asleep. Try exercising 4 – 5 hours before you intend to go to bed.

 

 

8). Make changes to your diet

why am i always tired and sleepy

Chronic tiredness in men and women is more common than you may think.

Two-fifths of Americans are tired for the majority of the week according to YouGov.

One of the main reasons for this is the food we eat.

When I get asked the question of “What to take for energy and fatigue”. I always reply with an answer, that is simultaneously  boring and useful…

Healthy foods.

But which foods specifically?

We need foods that give us energy in the day & help us to sleep at night. Stopping us from feeling tired all the time.

Minerals such as magnesium and calcium are known to help with sleep.

BBC Good Food writes: “Magnesium and calcium work together to calm the body and help relax muscles… Calcium helps the brain use the amino acid tryptophan to manufacture the sleep-inducing substance melatonin“.

Eating dark leafy greens or nuts and seeds can be beneficial to producing melatonin. Magnesium tablets also make great natural supplements for fatigue.

But melatonin isn’t all you need to have a great night’s sleep, you also need serotonin.

Live Strong believe: “Serotonin is one of the most important brain chemicals, or neurotransmitters, for regulating the sleep/wake cycle. Diets high in the amino acid tryptophan can maintain healthy serotonin levels”.

Some foods that contain this amino acid called tryptophan (which helps to make us sleepy) are eggs, bananas, seeds and turkey.

The National Sleep Foundation teaches: “Carbohydrates make tryptophan more available to the brain, which is why carbohydrate-heavy meals can make you drowsy. The best bedtime snack is one that contains both a carbohydrate and protein, such as cereal with milk, peanut butter on toast, or cheese and crackers.”

 

Action Points

  • Try and stick to eating organic, enriched, unprocessed foods as often as possible. E.g. salmon, poultry, meat, nuts, grains- brown rice, cereal, seeds, chickpeas, beats, vegetables- broccoli, green leafy vegetables, eggs, dairy- cheese and milk, fruit- bananas and pineapple. These will help stimulate melatonin at night and serotonin during the day. Making sure we have energy at the right time.
  • If you like to have a snack before bedtime, try a glass of milk or a piece of cheese on a whole grain cracker. Do this about 30 minutes before you go to bed. This will help to create the amino acid, tryptophan, which helps us to get a good night’s sleep. We’ll no longer feel tired all the time.

 

CONCLUSION

Since making these changes to my lifestyle, I have lots of energy every single day.

If you want to take this advice to the next level & increase your productivity and free time.

Get my ultimate cheat sheet to help you get an amazing night’s sleep every night and fall asleep in just a few minutes!

It’s totally free and can be downloaded here!

(Warning some of the techniques in this guide are a little unusual)!

Let me know if you’ve found this article helpful by sharing it using the social buttons below. Or leave me a comment. I’m always keen to hear about your experiences with sleep.

 

All that’s left to say is happy sleeping, folks!

Ian.

 

Ian Jordan

30 year old human male from the United Kingdom, I’m a self help author and former insomniac.

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