Believe it or not, feeling tired isn't just due to a lack of sleep. There are a number of reasons why you might be fatigued - and only one of them is not enough sleep!
Learn what works for you.
Everyone's bodies react differently to different food. Some people might never notice an intolerance, while others might realise several intolerances. Fatigue can be a symptom of intolerances, so it's important to recognize which foods you disagree with. Think about which foods might make you feel slightly off or, for example, give you spots. While these are physical manifestations of an intolerance, they might also make you tired! Try cutting them out for 2-3 weeks to see if energy levels improve.
You might also consider organic food over conventional produce. Regular produce contains pesticides. These are unhealthy for us because they are such strong chemicals. A common pesticide is organophosphorus which has been linked to several development issues including autism and ADHD (1). This proves how harsh they can be in our bodies, and you might find that switching to organic gives you more energy. Organic food is often fresher because it is not contaminated with preservatives.
In all aspects of life, from food to a broader lifestyle.
Sometimes allergies can cause symptoms like blocked nose, skin irritation, coughing and a general woolliness feeling. These can prevent you from sleeping well but there is more to allergy-induced fatigue. In fact, according to Healthline, some allergic reactions release chemicals which make you feel tired. These chemicals help fight allergies, but are also responsible for the swelling of nasal tissues which can make your symptoms worse.
Try reducing allergens in your home with these three tips:
Dust at least once a week
Dust is one of the most common allergens in the home. Get rid of it effectively with a damp cloth to catch the dust rather than just brushing it off surfaces! Remember to dust places you can't necessarily see, too, like corners, the top of cupboards and behind photo frames. Even if your house might look dust-free, hidden dust in the corners can cause fatigue!
Keep your bedding clean!
As the winter months roll in, snuggling up in bed is extremely appetizing... but you know who else loves bed? Dust mites. While most people aren't even aware of dust mites, some people are allergic to them. If you often wake up with hay fever-like symptoms in the morning, having your bedding - sheets, pillows and duvet - cleaned. It's recommended that you replace your mattress every 8 years to reduce the amount of germs, bacteria and mites. Investing in a dust cover might also help your allergies!
Clean bathrooms regularly
Not just for the obvious reasons of cleanliness, but to reduce and prevent mould growing. Mould can cause hay fever symptoms, as well as trigger asthma. Sometimes mould allergies can happen immediately, but often they build up over time so it's a good idea to clean mould regularly. For an organic mould-killing mixture, try this Tea Tree Oil mixture:
Improve your sleep routine
Most of us are guilty of lack of sleep. work, kids...life! - everything is prioritised over sleep so much that we forget how much sleep we really need. Train yourself to sleep more each night by slowly going to bed 10-15 mins earlier each night. Organize your day to leave you at least an hour before bed to relax and unwind. Switching off before bedtime is a great way to improve quality of sleep. Remember: unwinding doesn't just mean turning your mind away from work and day-to-day responsibilities, but really letting your mind relax. Turn off screens, harsh lights and anything that will stimulate your brain. Use the time before bed for some proper 'you' time with a hot bath, a book or even gentle cooking!
If you're fatigued from lack of sleep, it will take a while for you to catch up on the sleep you've missed and reap the benefits of a better sleep routine so don't give up!