As the daughter of a military man, I moved quite frequently. I saw a lot of roads in America. I also saw my parents struggling to stay awake as they drove for hours, doing their best to make as few stops as possible so we could get to our new home as soon as we could. Most people turn to caffeine to stay awake, but there are a few problems with that:
1) Caffeine is addicting. As your body becomes accustomed to it, you'll require more and more to achieve the same effect as when you first started.
2) Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it will remove the water from your system, which could cause dehydration, and will definitely cause you to make more stops to use the restroom. As you dehydrate, you'll become more sleepy and have more difficulty thinking -- the opposite of what we hoped caffeine would do.
3) Caffeine causes vasoconstriction -- it raises your blood pressure.
4) Studies by the Mayo Clinic discovered that people who drank a lot of caffeine (the equivalent to four cups of coffee a day) died sooner and were more likely to develop health issues such as gout, heart attacks, and cysts.
5) The after-caffeine "crash," when the caffeine wears off leaving you feeling exhausted rather suddenly.
All that being said, you still have a job to do, right? Not everyone is a morning person, and some people have health issues that results in chronic fatigue. What's the answer? Fortunately, there's more than one! The experts at Harvard informed us:
1) Control your stress. Stress is tiring! Even small changes, such as talking to a friend, can make a big difference.
2) Admit when you need help. No one is the perfect person, and we aren't meant to handle it all. It's okay to admit when you need help with the kids or housework. Harvard suggests making a To Do list and identifying the most important things that need to be done and done by you. Consider removing the rest or asking for help.
3) Exercise. Even a brisk walk can boost your energy levels. Try for 30 minutes in the morning, which is an energy boost that should last for hours, and it's healthy!
4) Avoid smoking. We all know smoking is bad for you, but what you may not know is it affects the way you sleep, making you less rested and more tired afterward. Find a way to quit smoking that works for you. Not only will you feel better, be healthier, and have more energy, but you'll save some money, too!
5) Eat small meals and snacks throughout the day, rather than the standard three big meals. Our brains need a steady supply of nutrients. Additionally, skipping meals sends a signal to your brain to start shutting down, it's bedtime.
6) Cut sugar and carbs out of your diet. High blood sugar levels can make you feel sluggish and, like caffeine, can cause a "crash" afterward. Both sugar and carbs are in quite a bit of most of our diets, so it may take some time for your body to adjust to life without it. We know someone who dropped it cold turkey, and after three weeks, she felt better, had more energy, and had lost a lot of weight! To date, she's lost 32 pounds. You go, girl!
7) Consider your vitamin and mineral levels. If your diet isn't the healthiest, you could be missing what your body needs. Consider: Magnesium, vitamin D, iron, and the B vitamins. We naturally get vitamin D from the sun, but if you're in an office all day, you may not be getting enough.
8) Hydrate! We're made up of mostly water for a reason. As mentioned above, dehydration can make you feel tired and cause difficulty thinking.
9) Get a wellness check up. Certain health conditions, like hypothyroidism, could be a factor. Hypothyroidism symptoms include: persistent fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, decreased appetite, brittle nails, and thick, coarse hair. Sleep apnea could also be a culprit, resulting in lack of restful sleep.
10) Find something to increase your awareness. For some people, it's loud rock music; for others, it's listening to a podcast or a favorite comedian.
On Time Capital cares about you, which is why this blog and others like it are being written, such as our playlist of positive music. We hope this blog helped. Do you have some advice not listed here? Let us know!