One of the more common complaints I hear from people is how tired they feel all the time. I too experience times where I am tired and fight sleepiness. Being tired obviously decreases motivation and causes you to feel like you aren’t at 100%. Being tired might even cost you money!
That’s why in order to beat tiredness it’s a good idea to have a plan. Here’s my 6 point plan to beat daytime tiredness:
1. High aerobic exercise *- I’m not talking about a leisurely walk after dinner, I am saying some high intensity stuff. If you find yourself wanting to doze during the day, then you need to increase your aerobic exercise. It increases your blood flow, decreases standing heart rate. You’ll be relaxed more during the day, sleep better at night and feel more energy.
John Wesley at Pickthebrain.com says he gets his exercise in the morning and it works for him all day. Personally, I find that either morning or evening works for me. Just depends on the season. So I’d recommend, in the beginning at least, to be flexible and find the right time for you.
2. Cut the sugar – Are you drinking sugar in your coffee or morning beverage? It could be making you tired. When I switched from sugar to honey, I noticed a difference in my energy level that week. Plus, an old farmer’s tip says eating honey from your local bees helps to do away with sinus allergies. Worth a try anyway.
Also avoid sugar snacks during the day. Many office workers bring in treats to share with everyone like doughnuts, cakes, ice cream. Just say no. Avoid these sugar traps that zap your energy.
3. Eat a good breakfast – by “good” I don’t mean Fruit Loops or a Danish. Grab some protein, eggs, low fat toast, granola, yogurt.
Skipping breakfast sets you up for a mid morning crash. Plus, you’ll be starved and eat more for lunch (see point #4)
4. Eat a light lunch – This advice comes from Benjamin Franklin. He noticed that his co-workers would gorge themselves at lunch and then have an afternoon of sleepiness. He chose instead to slowly and methodically eat a hunk of bread as he read a book.
5. Take time during lunch for you – which is the second part of Ben Franklin’s advice. While he slowly ate his bread he’d take “Ben time” by reading a book. By taking a full break from the reality of work in this way, you can come back from a “mini-vacation” refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon.
6. Cat-nap – If you have a flexible schedule you can nap when you get tired. The key with this is not to nap too long. A 1 to 2 hour nap will make you more tired. A 15 minute nap or caffeine nap will wake you up and prepare you for the rest of the day. Sometimes you can squeeze in a 15 minute cat nap during lunch. Other times you might have to wait until after work. Either way, a nap can refresh and rejuvenate you.
Update: Conscientious Achieve-IT! reader Dr. Campbell pointed out that getting a physical checkup if you are feeling excessively tired or fatigued. Fatigue can be a sign of sleep apnea or another physical ailment. * Also make sure you are healthy enough for a high intensity workout. Thanks Dr. Campbell!