BEEP BEEP BEEP ……. The alarm goes off…. We hit snooze… once… twice…three times!!! But still wake up tired and exhausted like we hadn’t slept at all….. SOUND FAMILIAR?
And we ask ourselves: Why-do-I-keep-waking-up-exhausted? Is waking up tired normal?
In our day and age of having too much to do and not enough time to do it in… along with stress and “trying to fit it all in”…. we end up exhausted
Sometimes the problem is falling asleep… sometimes it’s staying asleep… or both!
Some people will even shave down their sleep time so they can try and fit other things in. BEWARE of Sleep deprivation! Even a modest reduction in sleep can have detrimental effects on your health.
“During deep sleep at night, there is a sewage system in the brain that cleanses the brain of all the metabolic toxins that have accumulated throughout the day.
One of those toxins is beta amyloid – which is responsible for the underlying mechanism for Alzheimer’s disease. “The less you sleep – the more this plaque builds up” says Dr. Matthew Walker, British scientist and professor of neuroscience and psychology at the University of California, Berkeley.
This along with some unhealthy energy stealing habits can lead to bouts of fatigue and insomnia.
If you have had this feeling of fatigue for quite some time you should get a medical check-up to make sure that there is not some underlying condition that needs attention.
Here are a few strategies for de-stressing and re-energizing your body that may help. And how to avoid waking up tired.
What does fatigue feel like? ….. That feeling of exhaustion, complete lack of energy or lack of interest to do the things you need to accomplish in a day.
1. EAT BREAKFAST:
- Breakfast is an important meal NOT to miss. It means to “break the fast”.
- By missing breakfast most people end up hungry by lunch and overeat.
- When you are tired you are more likely to make poor dietary choices.
2. SMALL MEALS THROUGHOUT THE DAY:
- Having 5 – 6 small meals and snacks throughout the day helps to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable all day.
- Make sure they contain a combination of carbohydrates, protein and a small amount of good fats.
- This also helps to keep your body revved up, burning calories throughout the day. The thermal effect of food.
3. START YOUR DAY WITH A YOGA ROUTINE:
- With a few simple yoga postures in the morning it will help to wake you up and revitalize you
4. FINISH YOUR DAY WITH A YOGA ROUTINE:
- Just as yoga can be revitalizing in the morning there are yoga poses that can help to relax you to help you sleep better at night.
- A tight wound up body and mind will certainly affect how you sleep at night
The most important thing with starting an exercise program to combat fatigue is to establish a regular pattern of exercise.
- Even though you may feel like you have no energy to exercise, it is EXACTLY what you need to gain energy.
- Even just 20 – 30 minutes of a brisk walk per day can be enough to release stress and help you think clearer as well as re-gain that appreciation for life
- Whether you are sitting at your desk all day or on the run (the busy run not the physical) there are easy and creative ways to add some exercises to your day
6. LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD:
- Being overworked leads to fatigue. The constant go go go… with no down time to rejuvenate yourself leaves you depleted. Less sleep does not equal more productivity.
- Find ways to lighten your work load. Delegate. It doesn’t all have to be on your “to do list” give some of that workload away to others.
- Learn to say ‘No’. You don’t have to do everything and when it starts affecting your health… it is just not worth it.
- Find the work / life balance. We need to live in the present and enjoy each day of our life NOT live for the weekend.
Some aromas can perk you up when you are feeling sluggish and tired
- Eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon, lemon, and peppermint are some natural scents that are good for increasing energy and keeping you alert
- A misting spray bottle with: 8 drops of lemon oil, 2 drops of peppermint, 2 drops of eucalyptus, 2 drops of cinnamon oil with 8 ounces of water. Mist the air around you… it smells really good and is an energizer
8. TAKE A NAP:
“Although we can’t use naps to regain lost sleep” says Dr Walker, it can help refresh us during the day.
- 15 – 20 minutes is all you need. A quick nap will refresh you… any longer you will end up feeling groggy and find it difficult to get to sleep at night.
- Even if I cannot fall asleep, just laying down and allowing your body to relax will make a huge difference in the rest of your day
ALL Stages of sleep are important.
- Try to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep a night. “Once you get below 7, we can measure impairments in the brain.” says Dr. Matthew Walker.
- Chronic lack of sleep not only makes you chronically tired but also affects how you think and perform throughout the day.
This is one of the most common sleep complaints. You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep.
And you may be wondering will insomnia ever will go away?
Mid-sleep awakenings often occur during periods of stress.
Some medications or medical conditions can trigger insomnia. But for the average person it is usually brought on by anxiety and stress. Which can be aggravated by alcohol and caffeine.
Prescription or over the counter medications can help you sleep but often come with a side effect… one being that it makes you tired throughout the day…. WHICH WE DON’T WANT. Or they can become habit forming in the way that we cannot get to sleep without it.
10. THINGS TO AVOID AND THINGS TO CREATE:
AVOID things like caffeine from the late afternoon onward.
CREATE a regular sleeping pattern: Regularity is most important – go to bed, and wake up at the same time every day.
AVOID alcohol in the evening as it can cause us to wake up throughout the night
CREATE a comfortable and restful place to sleep in. Blocking out light with blackout curtains are helpful. Having a fan or soothing music or sounds of nature can help the mind to rest and block out other outside sounds like traffic or talking.
AVOID any screens in the last hour of your day. One hour of Iphone use will delay the onset of melatonin production by about 3 hours. And your peak melatonin levels will also be 50% less.
Radiation emitted from cell phones can have an affect on how long it takes you to reach the deep sleep cycles. It can also shorten the time spent in those cycles. Put it out of your room all together and do not use it as your alarm clock
CREATE a ready to sleep mood by turning off most of the lights in your house at night 2-3 hours before bed. Incandescent light bulbs have shown to suppress melatonin.
AVOID your room being too hot. Your brain needs to drop it’s temperature 2-3 degrees F in order to sleep.
11. PUT CLOCKS IN YOUR BEDROOM OUT OF SIGHT
- Watching the clock causes stress and makes it harder to get back to sleep.
- Turn the light of the clock away from your face so you do not have the brightness glaring at you during the night
There are some natural remedies you can try instead
- In modern herbal medicine, valerian is the leading herb recommended for insomnia.
- It helps you to sleep more deeply without that “hangover” feeling in the morning that comes with a lot of prescription sleep medications
Available at your health food store or online, you can get concentrated valerian root capsules.
Some are on their own and others may also have some relaxing herbs such as lemon balm and passionflower. Follow the directions on the package
13.DRINK A CUP OF CHAMOMILE:
- Chamomile and lemon balm have been used for centuries to help induce sleep and aid in helping you to relax.
1 – 2 teaspoons of either herb in one cup of boiled water. Steep for 5 – 10 minutes. Sweeten if desired with a little honey or maple syrup
CAUTION: Do not use chamomile if you are allergic to ragweed or other plants in the aster family
14. BREATH IN LAVENDER
The essential oil of lavender contains many medicinal components.
- Research has shown that just by inhaling lavender can be calming
- You can put lavender (freshly cut) inside your pillow case.
- Drinking a lavender tea before bedtime is helpful
- Lavender in a diffuser by your bedside is helpful for sleep
15. MAKE A PILLOW OF HOPS
- Hops has mild sedative properties
- Fresh hops cut and placed in a cloth bag inside you pillow case will do wonders
16. HOT MILK
- This remedy has been around for ages. I remember my mother giving this to us when we were kids if we had trouble sleeping
- Heat up a cup of milk. You can add nutmeg and/or a little honey to it.
- Take a warm bath or shower before heading for bed. This can help relax the mind and body
- Meditate: Deep, slow and controlled breathing can help you relax before you head for bed.
- More research is emerging on meditation’s benefits for people with sleep disorders.
- Read a good Book
- Slow down.. to a STOP.
Sometimes insomnia is caused by a medical condition such as sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome or chronic pain. Or by menopause.
It can also be caused by a mental health disorder such as depression. Treatment for one of these underlying conditions may be needed for insomnia to get better. Also treating insomnia may help depression symptoms improve faster
IF after you have tried everything and still are having trouble sleeping talk to your health care provider. You might need to see a sleep expert at this point.
We hope that you will find some relief with these tips and get the relaxing sleep and fresh start to your day that you deserve.
Natural Home Remedies – National Geographic, 2012.
Buysse DJ. Pubmed article 23423416. Insomnia
Archer S, JD, MA, IDEAfit, 2015. Can Meditation improve Insomnia
Mayo Clinic. 2016. diseases-conditions/insomnia/symptoms-causes/syc-20355167
Mayo Clinic. 2018.symptoms/fatigue/basics/definition/sym-20050894.
Walker M. M.D., “Why We Sleep: Unlocking the Power of Sleep and Dreams”.