5 Reasons You Might Be Feeling Tired (Other Than Lack Of Sleep)

It’s morning. You can hear the world already buzzing outside and yet there you lie, struggling to throw off the covers and seize the day. Coffee is the first thing you aim for – you need it like you need air! So why are you so tired?

Like millions of other people in the world, you may be wondering: why am I tired when I wake up? This issue has plagued many people for so long, and the answer is far simpler than most people realize.

The answer to most people’s constant exhaustion is their diets. However, not many of us realize that not getting enough protein, vitamins, etc., can lead to decreased energy levels. Excessive amounts of coffee throughout the day could cause sleep issues as well – so by caffeinating to wake up, you’re really just creating a vicious cycle. The answer could even be an underlying medical issue.

In this overview, we’ll cover the multiple reasons you may be feeling tired and what you can do to fix it. We’ll also discuss the effects sleep deprivation can have on your mind and body, as well as natural remedies and supplements you could use to boost your energy levels.

Why Is Sleep So Important?

Most people don’t realize why sleep is so important for their health. You may have difficulty focusing, driving, and working after not getting a good night’s rest. Studies have shown that long-term sleep deprivation could even cause issues such as memory loss, depression, heart attacks, or even strokes. We need sleep not only to survive, but also to live our lives to the fullest.

tired woman
Image by Mel Elías on Unsplash: Sleep deprivation – leading to fatigue and inability to concentrate – could be one of the reasons you might be feeling tired.

What Are The Effects Of Sleep Deprivation?

If the main question you ask yourself each day is “Why do I feel tired?”, you may recognize the physical and mental effects of near-constant fatigue. Here are just a few effects sleep deprivation could have on you:

  • Mental fatigue
  • Increased risk of having a heart attack
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Weakened immune system
  • Memory loss

Some Of The Common Reasons You’re Not Resting Properly

There are so many reasons you might be feeling tired despite getting a healthy amount of sleep each night. Figuring out what’s wrong may be as easy as changing what you eat, or could require you to see a doctor for a diagnosis.

Here are five things that could be causing your exhaustion.

1. Poor Diet

By not consuming enough protein, vitamins, minerals, etc., your body won’t have enough resources to produce the energy you need to function properly throughout the day. Simply consuming more green vegetables and lean proteins could boost your energy levels tenfold.

2. Excessive Stress

Most of us have something in our lives that gets us stressed out to the max, but all that stress is bad for our health. Talk therapy has been found to help overly stressed individuals sleep better.

3. Inactive Lifestyle

Not exercising because you’re tired could cause you to be even more tired. To sleep better at night, try adding a small amount of exercise at a time to your daily routine.

4. Excessive Caffeine Consumption

Too much caffeine could lead to interrupted sleep in the evenings. By reducing the amount of caffeine you consume each day, you could see a change in your energy levels. 

5. Health Problems

Certain medical conditions can cause fatigue and will require a medical diagnosis before you can start receiving treatment. These conditions include iron deficiency (anemia), depression, anxiety, and heart disease, to name a few.

Are There Supplements For Energy?

So now that you know the reasons behind your constant fatigue, the next thing you may be asking yourself is how to stop feeling tired all the time. For many people, the answer is energy drinks or coffee, but as we mentioned above, excessive caffeine has been proven to worsen your sleeping problems. However, there are many supplements for energy and peptides for energy you could try to naturally increase your energy levels, such as the sleep box by Vital RX.

person waking up
Image by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels: Wondering how to stop feeling tired? Constantly thinking “Why am I tired when I wake up?!” You’re not alone – and there are remedies that can help.

Are There Natural Ways To Feel Less Tired?

Now that you have an idea of why you’re constantly exhausted, you may be wondering: is there a natural way to stop waking up tired with no energy? The answer is yes! Here’s a few things you could try to boost your energy levelsnaturally.

1. Cut Out The Caffeine

Most of us start our days with a freshly brewed cup of coffee. If this were the only caffeine you consumed each day, it wouldn’t cause any issues, but most of us continue to drink coffee throughout the day. Whether we have it with lunch or just for the heck of it, an excessive amount of caffeine could lead to poor sleeping habits. Try limiting yourself to just one or two cups of coffee per day.

2. No More Naps

Napping in the middle of the day could result in less sleep in the evenings, leaving you exhausted all day long.

3. Be More Active

If you’re working a sedentary job where you sit most of the day, try taking short walks around the office a few times a day. Even this small bit of added exercise could lead to better sleep.

By altering your diet, setting sleep times, and getting more active, you could enhance your restfulness and put tired days behind you.

Featured image by Lograstudio on Pixabay

How Your Quality Of Sleep Can Influence Fitness Levels

Sleep is essential for our bodies and minds. We can’t operate optimally if we don’t get enough good quality sleep. During sleep, the body repairs itself; cells repair and rebuild, hormones are secreted that promote bone and muscle growth, the immune system is strengthened, and any illnesses are fought against.

Also during sleep, our brain consolidates memories and processes information; new learning occurs when the brain experiments with novel new connections (hence our often bizarre dreams!); and emotions and emotional memories are processed. The power of sleep is pretty clear – but are you aware of how your quality of sleep can influence fitness levels? Read on to learn more.

Sleep Stages

There are four stages of sleep. This includes three stages of non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep and one stage of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. We cycle through these stages several times each night.

  • NREM stage 1: Lasts for about 5 to 10 minutes. The body relaxes and the brain, heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements all slow down.
  • NREM stage 2: We spend about 20 mins in this stage every cycle. We become less aware of your surroundings, our body temperature drops, our eye movements stop, and our breathing and heart rate become more regular. The brain begins to produce bursts of rapid, rhythmic brain wave activity, which are known as sleep spindles and are thought to play a major role in memory consolidation.
  • NREM stage 3: Also referred to as delta sleep or deep sleep. During this stage, muscles are completely relaxed, blood pressure drops, breathing slows, and the body starts its physical repairs. The brain consolidates memories about personal experiences, general knowledge, facts or statistics, and things we have learned during the day.
  • REM: REM sleep is also known as dream sleep. During REM sleep, the body is paralyzed but the brain is active. The body is relaxed and immobilized, the breathing is fast and irregular, and the eyes move rapidly. Dreaming occurs, emotions and emotional memories are processed and stored, and information is locked into memory.
person in fitness gear
Image by RF._.studio on Pexels: How does sleep affect physical fitness?

How Much Sleep Is Enough?

How much sleep we need depends on our age. It is recommended that:

  • Infants below age one get 12 to 16 hours’ sleep
  • 1–2-year-olds get 11 to 14 hours’ sleep
  • 3–5-year-olds get 10 to 13 hours’ sleep
  • 6–12-year-olds get 9 to 12 hours’ sleep
  • 13–18-year-olds get 8 to 10 hours’ sleep
  • People over age 18 get at least 7 hours’ sleep

How Does Sleep Affect Physical Fitness?

How your quality of sleep can influence fitness levels is an important topic to understand. So in what ways does sleep affect physical performance?

Research suggests that sleep deprivation, even for short periods of time, can have a very detrimental effect on physical and mental performance. Essentially, not getting enough quality sleep causes a reduction in the quality of physical performance by impairing cognitive or motor performance.

Further research suggests that with insufficient sleep, accuracy levels decrease. Research also shows that with enough sleep, general athletic performance increases, as do mood and alertness. Research even indicates that poor quality sleep can lead to obesity.

The Relationship Between Sleep And Exercise

Getting enough sleep means that your body and mind will be optimally repaired and rejuvenated, and ready to engage in physical exercise. Research suggests that the more you exercise (as long as it’s not too close to bedtime), the better quality of sleep you will have.

Why Does A Lack Of Sleep Affect Your Body’s Performance?

A lack of sleep affects the body’s performance because it means that the body has not had enough time to repair and rejuvenate itself. It has not had a chance to heal any injuries or general wear and tear. Also, learning has not had a chance to take place, and memories and experiences have not had a chance to be fully consolidated if sufficient sleep has not taken place.

Lifestyle Factors That Prevent Good Quality Sleep

For many people, lifestyle factors prevent them from getting enough good quality sleep. This has a negative impact on their health and fitness. Some lifestyle factors that prevent people from getting enough sleep are:

  • Shift work
  • Consuming caffeine late in the day
  • Lack of a sleep schedule
  • Not allowing yourself enough time in bed
  • Overwork
  • Exercise too close to bedtime
  • Alcohol too close to bedtime
  • Marijuana and other recreational drug use
  • Eating too close to bedtime
  • Drinking fluids too late in the day and needing to urinate during the night
  • Sharing a bed
  • Sleeping with a partner who snores
  • Sleeping in a noisy or not sufficiently dark room
woman about to go to sleep
Image by Dominic Sansotta on Unsplash: Does sleep affect physical performance?

How To Improve Your Quality Of Sleep

You can improve your quality of sleep, and with it your fitness levels, by implementing the following guidelines:

  • Have a consistent sleep schedule. Studies suggest that an irregular sleep schedule can reduce sleep quality.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Research shows that noise and temperature have a negative effect on sleep quality.
  • Don’t eat too close to bedtime. Research shows eating too close to bed spikes insulin and reduces sleep quality.
  • Avoid caffeine in the second half of the day. Research shows that caffeine causes sleep disturbance.
  • Avoid alcohol before bed. Studies show that alcohol reduces circulating melatonin and reduces sleep quality.
  • Increase light exposure during the day. Research suggests this helps to keep your circadian rhythm healthy.
  • Decrease light exposure from screens close to bedtime. Research suggests blue light from screens delays sleep onset.
  • Avoid long daytime naps. Napping for extended periods during the day has been shown to reduce nighttime sleep quality.
  • Unwind before bed with a bath or shower and perhaps some reading.
  • Get regular exercise, but not too close to bedtime. Research suggests that regular exercise improves sleep quality and reduces the time it takes to get to sleep.

How To Improve Fitness Levels

Here are our top tips to improve your fitness levels:

  • Get copious amounts of good quality sleep!
  • Get plenty of cardiovascular exercise – go for runs and cycles; take the stairs where possible.
  • Reduce alcohol intake.
  • Stretch daily.
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other wholefoods.
  • Do some weight training.
  • Sauna bathe regularly.
  • Implement an intermittent fasting regime.

Featured image by Claudio_Scott on Pixabay

5 Breathing Exercises To Induce Sleep

Getting enough good-quality sleep is vital for the body to function as it should. During sleep, processes in the body continue to run, repairing muscles, organs, and other cells. Chemicals that help strengthen the immune system are also released into the blood. The brain gets rid of toxic waste that may have accumulated throughout the day and even stores new information. For many people, though, this all-important sleep can be elusive.

From sleep disorders that cause a person to be unable to get a good sleep, to life events that keep people up throughout the night, there are many reasons a person may find it difficult to fall asleep. Some options to help a person sleep include medications, getting on a proper schedule for one’s body, and breathing exercises. But can breathing exercises help sleep, really? And if so, how do you breathe to help you sleep? Read on to find out.

Can breathing exercises help you fall asleep?

Breathing exercises have shown to be highly effective against insomnia. This could be attributed to the fact that they act as aids in reducing the stress and anxiety that may keep people up throughout the night. Insomnia, or the inability to get adequate sleep, is caused mainly by stress. When people are stressed, their ability to relax becomes hindered because of the release of certain hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline. These hormones elicit a response in the body that makes it believe it needs to be ready for action.

When the body feels as though it needs to be in fight or flight mode, it cannot get to a point of relaxation that will lull a person into sleep. Research has found that by changing breath rhythms, however, you can signal your body that it’s time to relax. This causes your heart rate to slow down. It also stimulates the vagus nerve, which travels through the body from the abdomen up to the brain stem and is responsible for the body’s rest and digest behaviours. This leads you into to a calmer state, and thus encourages sleep.

Vital RX - breathing exercises to induce sleep
Image by bruce mars on Unsplash: Can deep breathing help you fall asleep?

What exercises can I do to fall asleep faster?

Deep breath for sleep isn’t just a matter of taking a few breaths and waiting for yourself to slip on into dreamland. The exercises that are required to help encourage sleep are unique and deliberate in nature. The following five breathing exercises have been proven to induce sleep.

1. The 4-7-8

This breathing technique was developed by Dr. Andrew Weil, a celebrity doctor who bases his practice on alternative medicine. To perform this exercise, you will haveto sit up with your back straight and place the tip of your tongue behind the upper row of front teeth. While keeping your tongue in place throughout the entire breathing exercise, exhale through your mouth while counting to eight. It’s important to make a sound while exhaling, such as a whoosh noise. Once you have exhaled, you will have to close your mouth and take a deep inhale through your nose while counting to four.

It’s important to inhale for the full count of four. You will then hold your breath there for a count of seven. Once you have gone through these steps, you will repeat the cycle four more times. During the repetition, it’s important to keep the counts at the 4-7-8 mark for each breath for it to be truly effective.

2. Bhramari pranayama breathing

Studies have found that this breathing technique is proven to slow heart rate, which can help aid in relaxation and prepare the body for sleep. To perform this exercise, you will start by closing your eyes and breathing deeply in and out. Then, you will position your index fingers above your eyebrows. Using the rest of your fingers, you will cover both eyes.

While breathing, you will apply a gentle level of pressure to the sides of your nose while focusing on your brow area. With your mouth closed, breathe deeply and slowly through the nose and hum, or make the “Om” sound. Once you have completed one round, repeat the cycle five times.

3. Three-part breathing

Perhaps the simplest breathing technique to induce sleep is the three-part breathing exercise. All you have to do is take a long and deep inhale, then exhale all the air. While you’re exhaling, focus on your body and how it feels. Repeat the cycle three times, and then slow down your exhale and repeat.

4. Diaphragmatic breathing

This technique aims to slow down your breathing to help decrease the amount of oxygen your body needs. To perform this exercise, you will want to start out by lying on your back with your knees bent over a pillow. Put one hand flat on your stomach with the other on your chest and begin taking slow and deep breaths through your nose. Keeping your hands in place, you should be able to feel the breaths rise and fall.

Following a few breaths, begin to breathe slowly with your lips pursed. Continue to do this until you are breathing both in and out without your chest moving. This type of breathing exercise also aims to strengthen the diaphragm.

Vital RX - sleep
Image by Nick Karvounis on Unsplash: How do you breathe to help you sleep?

5. Alternate nasal breathing

Studies have shown that practicing alternate nasal breathing can help to reduce stress immediately following the exercise. To perform this breathing technique, you will start by sitting cross-legged with your left hand on your knee and right thumb against your nose. Then, you will fully exhale and close your right nostril using your thumb. Once the nostril is closed and you have finished exhaling, you will inhale through your open left nostril. To exhale, you will close the left nostril and open the right one. Repeat this cycle for a total of five minutes, finishing with an exhale out of your left nostril.

Not being able to get to sleep can induce stress all on its own, but utilizing one of the above breathing exercises can help you limit stress, control your breathing, and enjoy quality sleep once again.

Featured image by Ben Blennerhassett on Unsplash