Being tired all the time is such a common condition these days, it has its own acronym: TATT.
Being perpetually tired could be down to a number medical factors; anaemia and an underactive thyroid are just two issues that may leave you exhausted so it’s always worth getting checked by your GP. However, there are also some lifestyle changes you can make to help you up your energy levels day-to-day.
What you put in your body can have a significant effect on how you feel and many experts point to breakfast as being the most important meal of the day. Foods that are low on the glycemic index release energy more slowly, keeping blood sugar levels steady, so are a better option. However a study at the University of Worcester found that it’s most beneficial to have a breakfast that combines low GI food with protein. It helps control blood glucose levels and can boost energy levels as a results. Try it: team porridge or oats with some almonds or opt for eggs with spinach or salmon.
When your energy levels aren’t quite where you want them to be, adding in a supplement can help shore up a gap. Due to our sun-deprived climate may Irish people can suffer from a vitamin D deficiency which can lead to tiredness and lethargy - and there is an increasing conversation around its potential help in the fight against Covid-19. Vitamin B is another energy-boosting supplement that may be worth trying if you’re particularly active. The Irish-owned Revive Active is a good all-rounder (we know of one nutritionist who swears by it), with zinc, copper, folate, selenium and vitamins B12, B6, C, and D. It's RRP €59.95 for a one-month supply.
It can seem like impossible advice: tired all the time? Exercise! But it’s true - particularly if you’re not very active at the moment. Research by the University of Georgia found that sedentary but healthy adults who began doing some light exercise three days a week reported feeling more energised after six weeks. Wearable tech can be a way to motivate yourself to get moving as it helps track your activity patterns. The Circular smart ring, currently on Kickstarter is one of the new-gen devices that not only tracks your biometrics (from activity to sleep quality) but will recommend how to make improvements to your lifestyle to help boost wellbeing and energy levels as a result.
The lifestyle change
It’s easy to feel that working constantly is the most effective way to get things done but there is a growing belief in the idea of intermittent resting. It’s based on the notion that our brains can only really stay focused for around 90 minutes and taking a short - complete - break after every 90 minutes is more productive than powering through. During sleep our bodies experience circadian rhythms, the ebb and flow of activity and rest, and researchers believe our waking hours are guided by ultradian rhythms. Rather than pushing, or caffeinating, through that 90-minute slump, taking a break can help recharge your batteries naturally, so you’re ready for the next bout of activity.
The mind reset
Obviously having sufficient, good quality sleep is one of the bedrocks of feeling alert and energised during the day. In our busy lives those vital hours or rest and recovery time are getting shunted aside in favour of working late, scrolling through phone screenings or blitzing a box set. Creating a wind-down ritual in the evenings can help get your mind ready for sleep. Having a warm bath before bed is one recommended way to shake the day off - ESPA's Soothing Bath Oil, €44, contains sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense to encourage rest, myrrh to helps ease the mind, and sweet almond oil to nourish skin.
Main image: Carlos Lindner/Unsplash