Before I get into the top three reasons why I used to feel so tired all the time I want to point out this – I had no underlying health problems. Your health is your responsibility so if you need to rule out any possible health issues then take a trip to your doctor.
I’m not about to talk about anything groundbreaking here. However, I am going to highlight the importance of some basic needs (breathing, sleeping, and water), that can be very undervalued at times. I know that getting these three things right for me has made a big difference to my energy levels and they may answer your question of why you are so tired all the time.
READING TIME: 9 Mins. Or JUMP AND SKIM:
Breathing is automatically done by our subconscious. Most of the time we don’t even think about it. Until we do of course, e.g. when we can’t breathe or have trouble breathing.
I would pretty much say that most people go through their day breathing shallow breaths. Unless your surname rhymes with cough and you are from the Netherlands.
Put your attention now to how you are breathing to check if this is true for you. Then, take a big deep breath in through your nose, hold it for 2 seconds and breathe out slowly through your mouth. It feels good. You were breathing shallow, right?
Not only is it something we do generally but throughout the day we are faced with different situations and circumstances. Stressful and worrying encounters will mean our body will tense up and we will take shallow and rapid breaths.
Shallow breathing means that less oxygen is circulating in our bodies. Less oxygen in and less carbon dioxide out. This in itself can make you feel tired.
Why not start to give your subconscious a hand with the breathing by becoming more aware of how you are breathing by checking in with yourself?
Check-In With Yourself
It needn’t take any time at all – a few times a day do a quick body scan.
This is two-fold, do a body scan and some deep breaths.
Do a 3 Minute Body Scan to become aware of what is going on with your breathing and how you feel. This allows you to become present and calm in the moment. Use it any time you feel overwhelmed emotionally or when you are anxious or feeling stressed.
Sit comfortably. Take 3 deep breaths in through your nose to the count of four, slowly. Breathe out through your mouth to the count of four, slowly.
Start with your feet and work up towards your head. Place your attention on each part of your body as you work upwards and tell your body to relax.
Deep breathing is such a simple and greatly beneficial thing for most people to commit to but most don’t.
Create this daily habit for yourself and you will feel less tired and less stressed.
Alternative Nostril Breathing
Take time out to do deep breathing using the alternative nostril breathing at least once a day or when you need an increase in energy to feel more alert.
I do this as soon as I wake-up and before eating breakfast for 10 minutes. I recently started to do a further 10 minutes when I get in from working all day.
There are MANY emotional and physical benefits to be gained from doing this practice:
- Higher energy levels/feel less tired
- Better sleep quality
- Decreases stress and anxiousness
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Improves ling function
- Increases Mindfulness
- Better thinking – clearer mind
There are lots of videos online to show you how to do alternative nostril breathing, take your pick.
I have my own way of doing it. I’ve put it in an Info-graph for you if you want to follow the way I do it.
Sit comfortably, back straight.
First, get your hand in position on your face: take your pointing finger and the one next to it and place them on your forehead, between your eyebrows. This leaves the other 2 fingers on one side of your nose and your thumb on the other.
BLOCK your RIGHT NOSTRIL with your thumb (if using your right hand, obviously use your fingers if you are using your left hand).
BREATHE in SLOWLY through your LEFT NOSTRIL for the count of 8.
BLOCK your LEFT NOSTRIL (now BOTH NOSTRILS are blocked) and BEND your head down to the count of 4.
Lift head up. Keep the LEFT NOSTRIL blocked. *Unblock the RIGHT NOSTRIL, breathe out for the count of 8 slowly.
Clench your buttocks and and block BOTH NOSTRILS for the count of 4.
Relax buttocks and repeat the cycle – *Start with nostril you just breathed out from – BREATHE in SLOWLY through your RIGHT NOSTRIL for the count of 8.
At first, you’ll need to get the hang of it by practicing every day. Once you get a rhythm going it will get easier.
There are Apps you can buy to help with the timing. I use a count of 8 and 4 but see what works best for you.
Remember to breathe in and out SLOWLY, otherwise you may feel dizzy.
Lack Of ZZZs
Pointing out that not getting enough sleep (or getting low quality sleep) will have an effect on your day and make you feel sleepy is hardly shocking news to you.
Sleeping is so individual that some people do well with 6 hours and others prefer at least 8 hours. I went through a phase of sleep hacking, trying to work out the minimum I needed to feel good and still have lots of energy.
I also did the waking up super early like some of these big business CEOs and the like online. You know, the ones that get up at 4 am and have probably done more before 8 am than most people do in a whole day.
That’s not me.
I eventually arrived at needing 7 hours 11 mins as my required healthy amount – go figure. Actually, go figure your ideal amount.
I do not enjoy waking up any earlier than 6:30. Before 6:30 is too early for me.
I’d recommend working out what is good for you and then sticking to waking up and going to bed at more or less the same time. That usually helps most people to balance their sleep and not feel tired.
There are some days that even though I have had a good night’s sleep I can still feel tired when I get in from working all day. On those days I take a 30-minute nap to switch off and get a boost of energy.
More on that later.
Sleep Environment And Routine
Actually, I mix up my routine a little. I said in the last part of going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time is useful when you are trying to feel less tired. It is true for me but I don’t always do it as I think it is healthy for the mind to not get too stuck in a routine. Variety is the spice of life for me, but that is my opinion and it works great for me.
The bed I sleep in must be firm but not too firm and the bedroom comfortably warm but with a little fresh air coming in through the window. However, there are some nights that I cannot have my window open because the noise in my block of flats is too loud. I’m sure I am not alone in this. Check your bed and your bedroom and make it comfortable for you – skipping things like this will have an effect on your sleeping.
For noise -earplugs can be used or just shutting the window. I either use the progressive muscle relaxation technique (see next info-graph) or listen to a relaxing video/audio track. Nine times out of ten I just fall asleep.
Winding down at the end of the day and putting the laptop and mobile away is easier said than done – I do work right up until I go to bed some nights. But again, I try to not do it as much as I do it.
I wrote an article about the effect of the blue light that comes from artificial light, laptops and mobiles – if you are having any sort of trouble getting to sleep or not getting enough sleep and feel tired during the day then definitely think about stopping all electronic use for at least an hour before sleeping.
Nap Or Not?
Naps are new to me. I tried them years ago but I felt like they defeated the object – I would always feel more tired. But that’s because I was doing it all wrong.
Not every day but some days when I need it I take a power nap. I set my alarm for 30 minutes. I lay down, I take some deep breaths and relax my body, closing my eyes and then I rest. I get up when the alarm goes off. That’s it, and it gives me a little boost and I can get on.
Previously, I would lay down for too long and then go into a different sleep state and feel groggy on getting up.
Now, 30 minutes is what works for me – experiment yourself and find that sweet spot for you.
Dehydration And Lethargy
Not only will you feel lethargic if you don’t drink enough water but you may feel hungry too. The next time you feel hungry and you know you’ve eaten enough, drink a glass of water. Wait 20 minutes and see if you still feel hungry. The mind can sometimes not distinguish between the two so this is a way to discover whether you are actually hungry. (Useful to know if you are trying to lose weight too).
Best tip here – do not get to the point of feeling thirsty.
Ensure you drink enough water so that you don’t feel like that. Keeping hydrated will mean you feel less tired in general as the body works better when it has enough water.
The general rule is to drink at least 2 liters of water (about 8 glasses) for someone who is not very active. But again, we are all so individual. Like with the sleep hacking I have also worked out the amount of water I need to keep me feeling hydrated and not tired. That’s 3 liters for me. I drink a big glass of water as soon as I get out of bed. It is 700ml, I only know this because I drink out of a beaker that has the milliliters marked on it.
RECAP On How To Reduce Or Eliminate Feeling Tired In The Day
7 Basic But Great Tips To Beat Tiredness:
- Body scan and take a few deep breaths during the day.
- Check your breathing when feeling stressed, deep breathe and calm down
- Deep breathing for 10 minutes or more at least once a day.
- Quality Sleep – comfy bed and room, cut down the electronics before bed
- Quantity of Sleep – know what works for you
- Take Naps
- Drink plenty of water and DO NOT get thirsty.
Remembering to breathe deeply, sleep well, and drink enough water is not always at the forefront of our minds – but trust me it is worth getting your mind to remember.
Take action NOW – I created info-graphs for you to print out and stick where you can see them – click on the info-graph pictures and download them.
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