We know that sleep is vital to our health, but so many of us put the rest on the back burner and essentially become exhausted.
In fact, it is a national epidemic. Because of the sheer number of people in the U.S. who don’t get adequate sleep, the CDC has even gone so far as to call it a “public health problem.”
Between work, family, friends, cooking meals, and running errands, most of us feel pressed for time, and don’t get the rest we need to function optimally. According to the National Institutes of Health, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. However, most get seven or fewer, which might explain our nation’s coffee and energy drink addiction.
Most people have been running on empty for so long that they might not even realize how exhausted they genuinely are. We will go over common signs of exhaustion and how you can combat it to feel your best.
Here are five signs you’re exhausted (and what to do about it):
1. You hit the snooze button several times each morning if exhausted.
We have all been there – the alarm goes off, and we don’t want anything to do with it. We wish we could throw it across the room and never have to hear its not-very-pleasant dinging and ringing ever again. Hitting the snooze button might seem harmless, but it probably means you haven’t gotten the rest you need to make it through the day.
What to do to awaken without the snooze alarm:
This might seem like a no-brainer, but try to head off to bed earlier each night. Even fifteen minutes can make a big difference, so you won’t have to rush so much during your morning routine.
2. You can’t get through the day without multiple cups of coffee or energy drinks.
If you find yourself reaching for coffee during your breaks at work or downing energy drinks to stay awake, you probably have surpassed being tired, and entered into the realm of sheer exhaustion. Don’t feel bad about drinking coffee – many studies have proven the health benefits of coffee – it’s the amount of coffee you should pay attention to. Drinking too much coffee leads to dehydration, which results in feeling lethargic and exhausted.
What to do to cut back on excessive reliance on caffeine:
Drink water instead of coffee or energy drinks. Water naturally increases your energy levels and makes you more alert, eliminating exhaustion.
3. You feel like taking a nap in the middle of the day.
If you have a healthy, balanced diet consisting of high-energy foods, drink enough water, and get adequate sleep, you should make it through the day without feeling too tired. However, if you have trouble keeping your eyes open and regularly feel your body crashing shortly after lunchtime, you might need to reevaluate your sleeping schedule. Naps have beautiful benefits, and taking an occasional nap doesn’t usually point to some serious health problems. However, needing a nap every day might mean you need some more shut-eye.
What to do to stay alert during the afternoon slump:
Start bringing high-energy snacks with you to work. Not only will the food’s nutrients help you stay awake, but countless studies reveal that eating a balanced diet can improve sleep. Eat natural, whole foods from the Earth, which will help regulate your sleep, give you energy, and much more.
4. You have trouble concentrating.
A surefire sign you’re exhausted is difficulty focusing. Missing out on rest makes your mind fuzzy, vulnerable to forgetting important dates and facts, and susceptible to making mistakes. During sleep, your body regenerates cells, restores the chemical balance in your brain, and regulates hormones. By losing sleep, you miss out on all these vital processes, making your brain feel foggy and disoriented.
What to do to increase your focus on your daily tasks:
Try light yoga or meditation before bed if you have trouble sleeping at night. Many people can’t fall asleep due to racing thoughts that prevent them from easing into relaxation, so calming the mind can significantly improve one’s sleep.
5. You have frequent cravings for junk food.
You generally feel irritable and cranky when you don’t get adequate sleep. Your brain seeks quick fixes for pleasure, and junk food is a very easy way to obtain that feeling. Also, when you feel exhausted, your body naturally craves calorie-dense foods that will give you a quick energy boost, according to studies. An occasional indulgence in junk food won’t kill you, but eating it frequently can damage your health and make it difficult to sleep at night. So, eating heavily processed foods puts you in a vicious cycle of obtaining quick energy, losing sleep at night due to the lack of nutrients and difficulty in digesting these unnatural foods, and then starting again the next day.
What to do to curb your junk food cravings:
In this case, you’d be much better off taking a quick nap or packing fruit or nuts for work. Nuts and certain fruits have surprisingly high calories and contain nutrients vital to your health. You will still get energy from the food without all the adverse side effects of junk food.
Final Thoughts on Overcoming Feeling Exhausted
Try these tips to help overcome that exhausted feeling. You’ll be able to ditch energy drinks and enjoy a healthier and happier life.