You can find loads of apps and advice online for managing your time and projects, but what about your energy levels? Preventing fatigue is essential if you want to stay productive and enjoy the activities you love.
Many lifestyle choices can revitalize you or drain you. Getting adequate sleep may be the most obvious factor, but there is a lot more to think about.
Find out what triggers fatigue for you and what you can do about it. Try this foolproof formula for managing your personal energy.
Different phases of sleep provide different benefits. You get the biggest energy boost from the later stages of non-REM sleep, also known as deep or non-dreaming sleep. REM sleep, characterized by rapid eye movements, has more influence on memory and learning.
- Firm up your schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Some adults thrive on shorter overnight sleep supplemented by naps. Others need uninterrupted slumber. Experiment to see what works best for you.
- Block out noise. Keep your bedroom quiet. Use a fan or a thunderstorm recording to mask the sounds of traffic or your neighbor’s stereo.
- Dim the lights. Exposure to morning light wakes up your brain while darkness makes it drowsy. Hang heavy curtains in your bedroom. Use a small nightlight for trips to the bathroom.
- Drink warm milk. Do you go to bed on time but have trouble falling asleep? Developing soothing rituals like doing needlework or a few restorative yoga poses can help.
Do you try to perk up with a candy bar from the office vending machine? Your diet could be making you feel worn out.
- Choose complex carbohydrates. Foods with a low glycemic index yield the most lasting energy. That includes whole grains and many vegetables and fruits. Most foods high in protein and fat also fall into this category.
- Eat more often. Does your energy crash in between meals or after a big lunch? Try enjoying smaller and more frequent servings. You might plan 5 mini meals and a few snacks.
- Limit caffeine. Coffee can pick you up in the morning but may keep you awake at night. Cut yourself off at least 8 hours before bedtime.
- Stay hydrated. Fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Sip water or herbal tea throughout the day.
- Lose weight sensibly. Crash diets may not provide enough calories for your daily needs. Use an online calculator to figure out your individual requirements or talk with a nutritionist.
- Manage stress. Chronic tension can crush your zest for life. Talk with friends and family when you’re struggling. Relax with meditation or deep breathing.
- Simplify your life. Overwork and decision fatigue can dampen your spirits too. Shorten your to do list. Make healthy habits automatic so you won’t have to think about them.
- Work out. Physical exercise gives you energy rather than using it up. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week.
- Quit smoking. Increased stamina is one more benefit of giving up tobacco. Pick a day to quit and seek social support that will help you stick to your goals.
- Know your purpose. It’s easier to steam ahead when you care about what you’re doing. Think about what a meaningful life means to you. Focus on activities that you find fulfilling.
- Schedule a checkup. Symptoms of fatigue are usually temporary and minor. However, they can sometimes be related to a medical condition. Your doctor can recommend tests that will help you get the treatment you need.
You can stay energized throughout the day. Make sleep a top priority and eat a balanced diet. If you still feel tired most days of the week, talk with your doctor.