It has become a common problem with people often asking “why am I always tired and sleepy at work and how can I stop feeling this way”? In this article we will reveal common and not so common habits that can make you feel tired at work plus a few tips to help you get back your mojo and spring in your step!
Did you know that the little things you do (or rather, don’t do) can result in burnout where you are exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally? If this is the case, then getting through the day becomes a huge chore that may even increase stress at work!
How to stop feeling so tired at work
We often hear Instagram fitness bunnies and buffs saying never skip a Monday workout, and we wonder whether it’s really true? Well, according to an article posted on Time Magazine, skipping your workout because you are tired may in fact be the reason why you are always fatigued.
A 2016 study posted on Time Health, found that even just 15 minutes of exercise a day can be sufficient for adults.
While at work, exercise may be limited to what is possible at your work station, but don't despair as there are lots of simple exercises and stretches for office workers.
Tip: So next time you’re tempted to crash on the couch, at least go for a brisk walk. Your body will thank you at work the next day.
2) Limit perfectionism
Believe it or not, being a perfectionist may work against you and cause you to be more tired than others. This is because you either do not delegate, or you don't stop until you are satisfied with the level of work produced. In essence, you are at your desk working and not taking regular breaks. You are more concerned about the quality of the work you are producing than your energy levels.
Tip: Take a step back after producing a piece of work. Walk outside and get some fresh air. You will come back with fresh perspective and a fresh pair of eyes.
3) Spend more time in the sun
In an article published by the University of Massachusetts, they found that adults that spent less time in the sun were more prone to anxiety, depression and extreme fatigue.
Tip: Instead of spending your lunch hour in an air-conditioned office, step out and spend some time in the sun. Read a book or chat with colleagues. Bright light has “caffeine like” power that will make you more alert throughout the day.
4) Prevent dehydration
According to an article published on redbook.com, when you feel thirsty you have already lost two to three percent of water in your body. Redbook continues to say that thirst lowers your blood volume which means your body doesn’t pump enough oxygen-rich blood to your brain, resulting in you being lethargic.
Tip: Always have a water bottle with you and make sure you stick to drinking it instead of fizzy drinks.
5) Improve your sleep patterns
Your body’s internal clock thrives on consistency, so if you go to bed at 11pm the one night, at 4am the next and 8pm the other, you are causing your body to crash without even realising it!
Tip: Lauren Broch, PHD Director of Education And Training At The Sleep-wake Disorders Center, suggests that you establish a regular bed and wake-up time and try to stick to it even on weekends. During the week if you want to get more sleep go to bed 20 or 30 minutes earlier.
6) Avoid junk food
Most people know that eating too much always make them sleepy. However, healthy food can keep a person awake and alert if it’s eaten in small portions. Instead of having a burger or pizza for lunch, enjoy a fresh salad. Alternatively, eat small amounts of nuts or fruit, for example, nibble on a bunch of grapes! Stop or at least reduce the consumption of chocolate, chips, donuts and cake, as these will definitely make you feel tired and sleepy at work. Splurging occasionally is fine, but overdoing it will leave you in a cycle of body crashing.
Tip: Snack on fruits & nuts, drink lots of water, and stay away from energy drinks.
7) Too much alcohol will make you tired at work
An occasional glass of wine is OK but hitting it hard every night could be contributing to you asking yourself “why am I always tired and sleepy at work?” Drinking alcohol on a work night tends to disrupt your sleep cycle.
Tip: If you can’t skip social gatherings after a long day, then stick to one glass of wine or beer. Make sure you have a glass of water with lemon afterwards.
8) Limit noisy environments
Did you know that noise compromises the quality of your life and has damaging psychological effects? Arline Bronzaft, a Professor Of Psychology at Lehman College, says that when there is too much noise in your life, your pulse rate and blood pressure increases, your adrenaline surges and your energy is depleted.
Tip: Lessen the noise in your life and develop a wind-down period each night. Make sure the lights are dimmed and that there is little noise before bedtime.
9) Avoid sitting still for too long
It’s easy to spend hours at your desk without realising it, and sitting still is a major cause of fatigue. Says the NHS, “Sitting in one position for long periods of time can sap your energy, even if you’re watching TV or using a computer. Your body equates the stillness with going to sleep.”
Tip: Set a timer on your phone to make sure you get up and take a short walk. Get some water, tea or even take a bathroom break to keep you moving throughout the day. The ultimate ‘how to’ video guide of exercises and stretches for office workers
10) Poor posture
Hunched shoulders, head shoved forward – all the better to type with, but not great for keeping you awake! What is a good sitting position at the office? Poor posture is often caused by sitting incorrectly or on a chair that is unsuitable for your needs. The 5 consequences of sitting on the wrong chair.
Tip from the NHS: “Whether you’re moving, sitting or standing still, try to make sure that your head is lined up over your body – not sticking out in front of it. Aim for your ears to be directly over your shoulders.”