Feeling well-rested is something different than feeling energetic. Energy comes from a variety of places. Getting a good night’s sleep is not the only way to restore your energy. In fact, regular sleep does not always guarantee good energy levels. If you are well rested but still neglecting yourself in other ways, you may still end up feeling tired and sluggish.
Good eating habits and exercise can help boost your energy. Changing your environment and making sure you get regular social interaction can also help. Take a break from constant screen exposure. These are some basic considerations, but here are 10 more ways to feel less tired, without having to go back to sleep.
Hydrate: Making sure you drink enough water is important no matter what. But if you’re feeling tired even after a solid night’s sleep, make sure you’re drinking enough. Staying hydrated with non-caffeinated beverages is important. Thought water is the best thing for you, there are many other options available. Find what works for you and give your body the hydration it needs. There are plenty of hydration reminder and/or tracker apps available if you need a little extra help, or you can ask a friend or co-worker to be your accountability buddy.
Balance Your Diet: Even if you’re trying to change your eating habits, your body needs a variety of foods to stay energized. Instead of cutting out carbs all together, look into healthy sources and eat them in the morning when they’ll provide energy for your day. Proteins and vitamins are also important for energy. Talk to a nutritionist or dietician if you want to maximize the energy that you get from your diet.
Energize with Relaxation: Stress is a huge energy suck, and it’s almost impossible to avoid. Taking time to relax may seem counter-intuitive to building up energy, but it helps alleviate stress and allows you to better cope with stress in the future. Practicing yoga, breathing and mindfulness are just a few ways to energize with relaxation.
Leave Work in the Office: If you keep working after leaving work, try and create a better work/life balance. Regardless of your job, you do not need to work if you aren’t getting paid. Turn off notifications if you get work emails on your phone or disconnect the account altogether. If you work from home, try to separate your work space from the rest of your house, even if it’s just by keeping your “office” at a different table than where you eat dinner. Take your vacation days and definitely stay home if you’re not feeling well (if you can). If your job or boss refuse to let you draw this boundary, consider looking for employment elsewhere, and save up enough to be able to leave if you have to before finding something new. Yes, this will be stressful in the short term, but it will be worth it for your own mental and physical health.
Stay Up to Date on Doctor’s Visits: If you’ve made some changes to your lifestyle and you’re still not feeling more energy, there may be an underlying medical cause. Make an appointment with your physician and let them know how you’ve been feeling. Fatigue is a symptom of a variety of medical issues, from anemia to liver disease to depression. It’s also a side effect of certain medications, so talk to your doctor if you feel more tired after a change in prescription.
Get Your Vitamin D: Spending time outside is good for multiple reasons. Not only does a change of scene help restart your brain, but the fresh air and vitamin D contribute to good energy. Going outside and taking a walk during work can shake off any cobwebs from sitting in one position all day and allows you to take a break from your screens at the same time.
Learn to Say No: No matter how much sleep you get, if you’re stretching yourself too thin then feeling well-rested will be an extra challenge. Learn your limits and say no to additional responsibilities when you know you’ve reached them. Try not to compare yourself to others and take time to assess your priorities, so you know what tasks will be fulfilling and which will be draining.
Go “Clean”: If you drink or smoke, try to cut back. Alcohol is a depressant and can make you feel tired on your own. It also dehydrates you and can cause hangovers. Cigarettes have similar effects as well as affecting your lung capacity and general breathing ability. Both substances have overall effects that are counter-effective to good energy levels. Cutting back or cutting them out entirely from your life can give you some energy you didn’t know you had.
Sleep Smarter: If you’re getting a decent amount of sleep but still waking up tired, check to see if you’re throwing off your own circadian rhythms. Websites like sleepcalculator.com can tell you what time to wake up or go to bed based on your own schedule to maximize restfulness. If you wake up with sore muscles or cramps, talk to a specialist about changing your sleep environment—a different mattress or more or less pillows may help. And finally, check the temperature in your sleeping space. Set your heat/ac on a timer so that it will be between 60 and 67 degrees during your sleep schedule.
Talk to a Professional: If you’ve made several changes and still feel tired all the time, let your doctor know. Talk to them specifically about the changes you have made. Let them know what your goals are and how you’d like your experience to change. Ask them if there is a sleep specialist or another professional who may be able to help.