Most people feel fatigue at some point in the workweek, but knowing how to deal with tiredness can help you through those long days. There are many reasons workers experience fatigue, including lack of sleep and long and stressful work situations.
Seventy-six percent of workers report feeling tired most days of the week and wonder how to deal with tiredness, so it doesn’t affect their job performance or safety. Some specific steps rule out medical issues and help you develop better habits going forward. Here are 10 ideas to help you deal with tiredness and fatigue at work.
1. Check Gut Health
How to deal with tiredness just might start in your gut. The gastrointestinal system is sometimes called a “second brain” because it impacts energy levels and overall feelings of well-being. Leaky gut syndrome and bacterial overgrowth are just a couple of the gut health issues that impact energy levels.
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of gut distress and seek medical advice on what foods to avoid and how to heal your gut. Probiotics may be a good place to start, but consult with your health professional before proceeding.
2. Rule out Chronic Fatigue
Some medical situations create intense feelings of fatigue and are challenging to overcome. If you feel tired almost all the time, even if you’re getting plenty of sleep, your first step should be ruling out chronic fatigue syndrome as the root cause.
CFS impacts as many as 4 million Americans. Researchers discovered it may be related to a loss of white matter in regions of the brain. Antidepressants and cognitive training help those with this condition.
3. Get More Sleep
The average adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, yet more than 35 percent of adults indicate they get less than seven hours of sleep a night. If you find yourself dragging at work, or nodding off after lunch, adjust your sleep schedule. While it’s tempting to stay up late and have more “me” time, try getting in bed an hour or two earlier for a few days and see if that helps your tiredness.
4. Overcome Weird Work Hours
When you work a night shift or odd hours that constantly change, it’s difficult to get in a full eight hours of sleep. Your body’s natural circadian rhythms may work against you, or the bright sunlight might keep you wide awake when you have only a few hours to sleep. There are some tweaks you can make to your sleep habits.
Stick to a routine as much as possible, even if it is a weird schedule. If you work from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m., establish a routine where you sleep from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. without fail. Aim for eight hours of sleep a night, as it may take you a while to fall asleep. Get your room as close to 100 percent dark as possible for the best rest by using blackout curtains.
5. Grab Some Rays
Vitamin D deficiencies contribute to fatigue. The best way to get Vitamin D is to trigger your body to make it by getting a little sunlight each day. Take a walk on your lunch hour or on one of your breaks, for example. While you can take Vitamin D supplements, don’t forget the sunlight factor.
While you’re grabbing up that sunshine, also get a bit of exercise. You don’t have to be a professional athlete to reap the rewards of physical activity for improving energy. In one study, participants exercised at a low intensity for just 20 minutes three times a week and boosted their energy levels and lowered fatigue.
7. Hydrate Your Body
Even mild dehydration results in feelings of fatigue, yet some people rarely drink water. Make it a habit to drink water throughout the day and keep your body hydrated and awake. Some medical professionals believe the old rule of eight glasses of water per day may not be accurate. Learn to listen to your body and drink water when you’re thirsty. You can always up your water intake a bit more if you’re still experiencing dehydration symptoms.
8. Move Around
Sitting in one position for hours on end makes the most energetic person tired. If you’re sitting at your desk and yawning, it might be time to shift tasks. Stand up and go talk to a co-worker about a team project, or fill your boss in on an important change in focus on a project.
9. Drink Caffeine
There are times when we have the best intentions of getting more sleep and being energetic, but a sick child or worries keep us awake most of the night. Hopefully, these times are rare, but when they hit, it can seem almost impossible to make it through the workday. An occasional burst of caffeine helps wake up your system and get you going — at least for a while. Just don’t make a habit of drinking caffeine all day every day.
10. Break Bad Habits
Have you developed bad habits that contribute to your tiredness and fatigue? For example, if you nap every day after work, you might lose a lot of momentum and productivity. Perhaps you take an afternoon nap, then stay awake late into the night. It is best to nip these habits in the bud before they become ingrained and impact your overall sleep patterns in a negative way.
Beating Tiredness and Fatigue
There’s nothing worse than feeling exhausted at work. With these 10 tips, you’ll overcome those exhausted feelings and find more energy to do the best work possible. Get plenty of rest, and the next time all your co-workers are yawning and dragging, you won’t feel like joining in.
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