The Sleep Heath Foundation (SHF) notes research that has found exercise can help you sleep better and a good night sleep can also improve your activity levels the next day.
Specifically, moderate to vigorous exercise can increase sleep quality for adults by reducing the amount of time it takes to fall asleep and the amount of time they lie awake in bed during the night.
The SHF also notes studies have shown people who engage in exercise three or more times a week were more likely to sleep at least six hours per night, experience better sleep quality and were better able to fall and stay asleep.
Stress and their associated emotions consume huge amounts of energy. If you feel like stress and emotions are weighing you down, talking to someone you trust, joining a support group, or seeing a psychologist may help relieve some of the pent up stress.
You could try relaxation therapies like meditation, walking, sound bath, massage, bathing, self hypnosis, yoga and tai chi.
You could also start relieving yourself from some of your obligations, tasks and commitments where you can. Start by prioritising what is most important and paring down those less important. Consider asking for help to alleviate some of your responsibilities.
Try to address any workplace issues before it leads to burnout. Speak to your Manager or HR department about what is causing the stress, and how this can be relieved, whether it be demanding job or conflicts at work.Tackle any family, career or personal issues, all of which can drain energy. Perhaps write them down, talk to a counsellor about how best to deal with these.
One of the most common causes of fatigue, is not enough sleep, or poor quality sleep. Try to aim for the recommended six to eight hours of sleep, to see if this has any improvements to your energy levels. There are many ways to sleep better and one of the key points is to relax, as a common cause of insomnia is worrying and stressing about problems in bed. Try to find the relaxation technique that will work for you, whether that be yoga, meditation, sound bath or guided imagery.
Eat for better energy by consuming foods with a low glycaemic index, those with sugars that are absorbed slowly, rather than refined sugars which are quickly absorbed, causing you to feel low in energy soon after. Foods with a low glycaemic index include whole grains, high fibre vegetables, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil. In general, high carbohydrate foods have the highest glycaemic indexes, while proteins and fats have lower glycaemic indexes, close to zero.
Fresh, whole, unprocessed foods such as fruits and vegetables, eggs and legumes renew energy as they contain lots of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Vitamins that are great for energy levels include Vitamin D and B12.Packaged, processed foods can weigh you down. Keep consumption of animal products in moderation (especially red meat) as they take longer to digest, which saps energy.
Check with your doctor to ensure you don’t have any nutritional deficiencies, such as iron deficiencies that can lead to tiredness. When it comes to beverages, drink plenty of water as fatigue will be the first signs if your body is short of fluids. Caffeine does help increase alertness, however, Harvard University suggests using it in the morning rather than later in the day especially when consumed in large amounts or after 2 p.m.
Limit alcohol and if you do have it try to have it when you aren’t looking to use much energy, like at the end of the day. Avoid drinking alcohol at lunch as the sedative effect of alcohol is especially strong at midday and you may feel low in energy for the rest of the day.
Avoid overeating, as large meals can drain your energy. If you are carrying extra weight, making the effort to lose weight, can help increase energy levels, even if it may take some time for a noticeable difference. The SHF notes research that has shown roughly 60% of moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnoea cases have been attributed to obesity.
Even taking one small part of the day to practice a relaxation method, such as yoga, meditation, or muscle relaxation can make a great difference to your day. It could be just five to 10 minutes to just switch off from everything. It could be giving yourself that time to just pour yourself a cup of tea and focus on doing this, on the water pouring into the cup, on the aromas of the tea, on the warmth of the teacup in your hands, just sitting and taking deep breaths while you slowly sip it. This can be a meditative experience in itself. It will make a difference, giving you a mini retreat, to leave you rejuvenated for the rest of the day, or at least more energised than if you hadn’t.