Some people tire so easily that they can’t help wondering if they have an undiagnosed disease causing them to experience such fatigue. Fatigue is a fancy term doctors use to refer to a sense of tiredness or a lack of energy. Everyone gets tired at some point and fatigue is, therefore, nothing to worry about unless it turns out to be an unrelenting occurrence.
According to leading psychologist Michelle L. Segar, PhD, MPH, University of Michigan, lack of adequate sleep is one the major causes of unrelenting fatigue.“Our energy reserves need to be replenished through sleep, just like plants need water,” says Segar.
During sleep, our bodies shut down and assume hibernation mode, during which our brains flush out the toxic proteins they have been accumulating all day. During this process, the body repairs itself, and this replenishes our energy levels. This means that whenever we lose out on sleep, we decline our brains the opportunity to clean up and refresh after a long day at work. According to health experts, we should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep everyday.
Unfortunately, we are a society that never gets enough sleep and it has been taking a toll on us especially in the workplace where its effects can be seen in errors, accidents, and reduced productivity. As a result, we are forever seeking tips on how to sleep better and how to wake up for work energized.
To wake up energized for work, we must first learn how to sleep better. Here are 10 tips that will teach you how to wake up for work energized and rejuvenated enough to face the day’s challenges:
10 habits to help you wake up energized for work:
1. Set a regular sleep schedule - According to doctors, setting a regular sleep routine and sticking to it is one of the best habits for waking up refreshed and energized. Set a reasonable hour to go to bed every evening and to get up every morning, including holidays and weekends. For example, you may choose to retire at 8 pm every evening and to wake up at 5.30 every morning. That way, your biological clock will adjust, and you will be able to rest better.
2. Keep a sleep diary - Keeping a sleep diary will help you to identify the habits that affect your sleep. Start by tracking your sleep for two weeks. Record your eating, reading and exercise habits right before going to bed, the time you actually go to bed, the length of time it takes you to feel sleepy, the number of times you wake up, if any, before morning, the time you actually get up to prepare for a new day, and how you feel the rest of the day.
3. Review any medications you may be taking - Some medications, such as beta-blockers and some antidepressants, are known to cause insomnia. If you always wake up feeling tired and drowsy, have your health provider evaluate any drugs and supplements you may be taking.
4. Quit smoking (if you are a smoker) - Nicotine is a stimulant, and it, therefore, prevents you from having a quality sleep. Studies show that a smoker is four times more likely to have restless nights when compared to a non-smoker. While quitting may give you a few sleepless nights, the effect is bound to pass in about 3 nights.
5. Reduce the intake of caffeine - Cola, coffee, and tea contain caffeine and are therefore stimulants, just like cigarettes. Caffeine stays in the system for 8 hours or so. That means if you have coffee or tea with your dinner or right before bed, you may have trouble sleeping. Aim to avoid or cut caffeine after 2 pm or earlier and you will soon notice that you are waking up energized for work.
6. Avoid alcohol 2 hours before bedtime - If you must drink with dinner, make sure you finish your last glass of wine at least two hours before bedtime. The body takes about 2 hours to metabolize one alcoholic drink and drinking right before bed may interfere with your sleep as the alcohol leaves your bloodstream.
7. Exercise - Exercise, especially when it involves cardio, has been proven to improve both the quality and length of sleep and is definitely among the top tips doctors give people on how to sleep better. Aim for about 30 minutes of aerobics about 4 hours before your scheduled bed time. As your body starts to cool down, which takes around 4 hours after vigorous exercise, the brain will start releasing melatonin, and you will begin to feel drowsy.
8. Stay cool - Experts recommend setting your bedroom thermostat between 65° and 75°F, which is neither too cold nor too hot for most people. It is also a good idea to take a warm shower or bath at least 30 minutes before bed. This will raise your temperature to some extent and cue your brain to feel drowsy.
9. Invest in a relaxing scent - Spraying a relaxing, sleep-inducing scent in your room or on your pillowcase will relax you and help you to fall asleep more quickly and more soundly. Some of the most recognized sleep-inducing scents include chamomile, lavender, and ylang-ylang. Mix a few drops of any or a combination of these 3 essential oils with water in an old spray bottle and give your room a spritz.
10. Get rid of unnatural light sources - The last, but not least, habit we have for you on how to wake up for work refreshed is to eliminate all sources of unnatural light in your bedroom. Such sources include televisions, laptops, smartphones, iPads and so on. According to one Dr. Shives, light sends powerful signals to the brain urging it to remain awake. Therefore, the darker the room, the better the chances of sleeping more soundly.
In conclusion, even with the best habits for waking up and our tips on how to sleep better, if you are lying in bed fretting or feeling anxious about something, there is no chance of getting a good rest unless you get up and engage in a relaxing activity such as doing gentle yoga, massaging your feet or listening to cool music.