It’s not always easy to get the recommended amount of sleep with everything we have going on in our super glamorous lives. It’s one thing when you know you’re working too much and going to bed too late, only to wake up feeling super tired. But when you’re doing everything “right” (getting eight hours of sleep, unplugging an hour before bed, etc.) and still feel zonked all the time, it’s time to take a deeper look into what’s going on.
You’re probably doing SOMETHING weird in your routine to make you tired. But once you change a few teeny tiny habits, you might be surprised at how much better your feel.
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According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need to sleep at least seven to nine hours every day. Teenagers need eight or ten hours and elderly adults need seven to eight. That’s a lot of sleep! When you finally do settle in for the night, it’s also important to take all the necessary precautions to make sure you’re getting a *good* sleep— not drinking alcohol or smoking weed before bed is important, as is making sure you turn off the TV, computer, or phone. Even if your eyes are closed, the noise can make it hard for your brain to really, truly turn off.
If you’re getting enough sleep and still feel exhausted or fatigued, you might want to check with your primary care physician since chronic fatigue can be a sign of quite a few health issues that can be easy to treat once you know what’s up. We all know there are tons of reasons you might be feeling more tired than normal, but these are some odd ones you might not have thought of.
1. You’re carrying too much.
We adore our bucket bags as much as the next gal, but those oversized bags could be weighing you down. Literally. This is especially true for city girls who are lugging their gym clothes, a book, and a laptop along with twenty other random things *just in case* something goes wrong on the go. If you’re a big bag girl (hey, we get it), make sure you’re switching sides throughout the day and give yourself a break now and again. Also, be careful — Busy Phillips recently had a shoulder injury from carrying around her kids’ bags all the time. It can happen to you!
2. You’re drinking too much coffee.
Although guzzling a few cups of coffee may seem like a good idea if you want to keep going throughout the day, drinking too much coffee can mess with your body, too. Caffeine dehydrates you, and when you’re dehydrated, your body starts to work overtime just to keep going, making you more tired. So for every cup of coffee, have a glass of water, too. Also, too much caffeine — even for the coffee pros — can make it harder to fall asleep late at night, resulting in an endless hamster wheel of exhaustion.
3. Your clothes are too comfy.
This is by far the weirdest mind game you can play on yourself. Experts have found that if your clothes are too soft and cozy, your body starts to think its bedtime! If you’re not getting dressed in office attire every day, and want to stop feeling sleepy — check what you’re wearing. You can actually trick your body into waking up.
4. You’re eating too much fruit.
If you’re eating fruit for your midday snacks, good for you. But! The sugar levels in most fruit are pretty high and could lead to a crash later. Pro-tip — eat a handful of nuts with your sliced pineapple (or preferred fruit obvs) since the fats and protein help to process the sugar.
Related: What's the Difference Between Dried and Fresh Fruit?
5. You’re stressed out.
Really, who isn’t stressed out these days? Avoiding stress can be tough, but when you’re feeling the pressure at work or fighting with your S.O. at home, it takes a major toll on your body. You might think those crazy deadlines are energizing you, but they’re totally killing your sleep vibe. Try to take even 15 minutes a day to meditate. If meditation isn’t for you, make sure you’re allotting time for your favorite self-care activity every day, whether it’s 30 minutes of mandatory novel reading, taking a bath, or having a mini Beyoncé dance party in the kitchen before dinner. Whatever helps you relax!
6. You’re friends are stressed out.
If you’re an over-empathizer, when you help your friend through a messy breakup or listen to her dish about their stressful job for a few hours every day, it can actually have an affect on your stress and sleep levels. Make sure you set boundaries with your bestie so you’re taking care of your emotional health, too. They’ll understand.
Getting enough sleep is essential. When you’re well rested, your body is at the top of its game, which means good things for your health, your personal life, and even your performance at work. So make sure you’re getting all of those recommended hours in. Having to squeeze naps into your day is not such a bad thing after all.
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