Lack of sleep isn't the only thing that drains your life energy. The little things you do (or don't do) can exhaust you mentally and physically. Experts have identified the most common bad habits that make you feel tired, and have described simple life tricks that can help restore your gait and alertness.
1. You skip a workout when you feel tired
Many people mistakenly believe that they can save energy if they skip a workout. But in fact, playing sports, on the contrary, can add strength to you. According to a study by the University of Georgia, people who are sedentary begin to feel more energetic as early as 6 weeks after they start exercising. At the same time, three 20-minute workouts a week are enough for them.
Exercise increases strength and endurance, stimulates the heart and helps the body to more effectively enrich oxygen and nutrients. So the next time you run out of energy to go to the gym, force yourself to at least go for a walk - you won't regret it.
2. You are not drinking enough fluids
According to Texas nutritionist Amy Goodson, even mild dehydration of 2% of the normal volume of fluid leads to a significant decrease in energy. Lack of fluid in the body reduces blood volume and makes it thicker. The heart needs more effort to pump blood, so it starts to work less intensively, as a result of which the circulation of oxygen in the body slows down.
3. You are not getting enough iron
Iron deficiency can make you sluggish, irritable, weak, and unable to concentrate.
“You get tired quickly when your muscles and cells receive less oxygen,” says Goodson. To avoid this and lower your risk of anemia, include iron-rich foods in your diet, including tofu, beans, green leafy vegetables, nuts, and peanut butter. Please note that if you have symptoms of iron deficiency, you should see your doctor, as this may be due to another medical condition.
4. You are a perfectionist
“The constant pursuit of excellence (which you must admit is impossible) keeps you working longer and harder than necessary,” says Irene Levin, professor of psychiatry at New York University's School of Medicine. "You set yourself unrealistic goals that are very difficult or impossible to achieve, so you don't get satisfaction from your work." Levin recommends limiting the time spent on projects and strictly following the established schedule. After a while, you will be convinced that the extra time you spent at work did not affect its quality.
5. You make an elephant out of a fly
If every time your boss calls in for an unscheduled meeting, you expect to be fired, then you tend to dramatize everything and constantly expect the worst. According to Irene Levin, feeling anxious literally paralyzes you and drains you mentally. So the next time you find yourself thinking negatively, take a deep breath, then ask yourself how likely it is that your worst guess will come true. Walking in the fresh air, meditating, exercise, and friendly advice can help you cope with your worries and learn to look at things more realistically.
6. You don't have breakfast
Food is the fuel for our body. When we sleep, our body continues to use energy gained during the day to maintain blood and oxygen circulation. Therefore, in the morning you need to "refuel". If you skip breakfast, you will feel exhausted. As Amy Goodson says, "Eating breakfast is the spark that fires up the metabolism." Goodson recommends eating whole grains, pure proteins, and healthy fats for breakfast. This can be a fruit smoothie with skim milk, oatmeal with peanut butter, or whole grain bread and yogurt.
7. You eat junk food and other junk food
Foods high in sugars and simple carbohydrates have a high glycemic index, that is, they contribute to a sharp increase in blood sugar levels.
“Frequent surges in sugar causes fatigue,” says Goodson. Try to control your sugar levels by consuming whole grains and plant-based foods regularly.
8. You don't know how to refuse
The desire to please everyone is often a waste of energy. Worse, over time, this behavior can develop feelings of resentment and resentment in you. Remember, when your child's coach asks you to bake cookies for the whole team, or when your boss asks you to go to work on Sunday, you don't have to agree. Learn to say no. Clinical psychologist Susan Albers recommends practicing this psychological technique as a workout: “Try saying no out loud when you're alone in your car. If you hear how you say this word, it will be much easier for you to say it when the need arises."
9. Your office is a mess
A cluttered desk psychologically drains you, slows down the brain's ability to process information and prevents you from focusing on work, according to researchers at Princeton University. At the end of your day, put all your belongings in their place. This will help you start the next work day with a positive attitude.
10. You work while on vacation
Checking your emails instead of relaxing by the pool can drain your energy and lead to complete exhaustion. While on vacation, try to forget about work and allow yourself to relax. This will help your brain and body recover so that you can return to your duties with renewed vigor. A good rest will make you more creative, more productive, and more efficient.
11. You have a glass of wine before bed
Some people are used to skipping a couple of glasses of wine before bed, believing that it helps them to relax. In fact, this habit often produces the opposite effect.
Allen Toufai, M. D., says alcohol initially suppresses the central nervous system and does indeed have a calming effect. But ultimately it disrupts sleep. As it is absorbed, alcohol leads to an adrenaline rush. Therefore, there is a high chance that after drinking alcohol, you may wake up unexpectedly in the middle of the night. To avoid sleep problems, Dr. Tofay recommends abstaining from alcoholic beverages at least 3-4 hours before bedtime.
12. You check your mail before you go to bed
"Flickering light from a smartphone, tablet or laptop disrupts your body's natural circadian rhythm by suppressing levels of the hormone melatonin, which is responsible for cycling sleep and wakefulness," says Dr. Thafay. And although the sensitivity to the glow of screens is different for each person, the doctor recommends not using digital devices at least an hour or two before bedtime. If you cannot go to sleep without checking your incoming messages, then at least keep the device screen at a distance of 35 cm from your eyes.
13. You only rely on caffeine during the day
It's okay to start your day with a refreshing cup of coffee. What's more, according to research, you can even drink three cups of coffee a day without harm to your health. However, caffeine abuse can seriously disrupt your sleep, says Allen Thafay. Caffeine blocks adenosine, a byproduct of active cells that helps us sleep. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine confirmed that drinking caffeine even 6 hours before bed can affect sleep. Therefore, it is best to have your last cup of coffee no later than in the afternoon.
14. You sleep a lot on weekends
“If you don't stay up late on Saturday and then sleep half a day on Sunday, it will be difficult for you to fall asleep on Sunday night. This, in turn, will make you feel overwhelmed on Monday,”says Dr. Tofay. If for some reason you cannot go to bed at your usual time on Saturday, then at least force yourself to wake up early on Sunday, and then just take a nap after lunch. “A 20-minute nap will help you gain strength without entering the deep sleep phase, after which it is usually more difficult to wake up,” says Dr. Tofay.