August 02, 2021

How To Not Be Tired: Science-Backed Tips for Combatting Fatigue

By making sure that you're getting your 8 hours of shut-eye, you can drastically improve not only your physical health, but your mental health too. Here’s our top tips for making sure you’re waking up on the right side of bed each morning.

*yawn* Sorry, what was that? Oh right - yes - how to not be tired. 

Our sleep health is a tricky topic. 

Sometimes, it can feel like you’re full of beans and ready to take on the world; other days, you’re constantly on the edge of falling asleep, no matter what you do.  

You’ve tried everything - changing your diet, doing more exercise, sleeping more, sleeping less, drinking 8 cups of pure caffeine, but nothing seems to work. So, to help you perk up, we’ve compiled the advice of four not-so-sleepy gurus to help you tackle that dreamy feeling.

I'm So Effing Tired – Amy Shah

On Uptime

Author and speaker Dr. Amy Shah aims to shake you out of the problem of constant exhaustion.

1. It’s a gut feeling

Dr. Shah believes that our exhaustion comes down to our hormones and gut biome. 

The problem is that the connections between these bodily systems are so myriad that it’s difficult for doctors to pinpoint. 

But if you’re constantly feeling exhausted, chances are something is very much wrong. If your hormones are imbalanced, then your body will be so busy regulating your hormones and gut biome that you don’t have the energy to live your life. 

So if you’re constantly having trouble sleeping, having frequent mood swings or suffering from increased fat storage, you may want to have your hormone balance tested. 

2. Don’t stress. Sleep.

Much like a cup of tea on the edge of a table, your hormone levels are very easy to disrupt and knock over. 

Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle is filled with stress and disruption that's tailor-made to knock your hormones out of whack. But stress isn’t just an annoying part of life; it can literally send your body into a tailspin that it’s hard to pull out of. 

So take the time to analyze what is causing you extreme stress and do your best to cut it out. Are you stressed about work, your personal relationships, or your personal finances? Try free-writing to explore your own thoughts - a type of journaling where you don't stop to edit yourself, but just let your thoughts spill out onto the page - to help yourself answer this question. You can literally write 'Why am I stressed?' at the top of the page to act as a prompt, if you need it.

Remember: your sleep and your health should take priority over anything else. 

3. You are what you eat

Your diet is a major contributor to your hormone and daily energy levels. 

Things like processed foods wreak utter havoc on our hormones and don’t actually fill us up properly. 

Escaping this deep-fried cycle can go some way to curbing your insomnia. Having a balanced diet full of a diverse range of fruit and vegetables will go some way in helping give you the sleep you need.

quotation marksOur hormones, immune system, and gut are closely linked, and it's very common for them to tip out of balance.

The Body Energy Clock: Harnessing the Chinese 'Qi' Clock – Michael Hetherington

On Uptime

There’s nothing lethargic about how Michael Hetherington tackles the ancient secrets of Qi.

1. Tune into your body

Every part of your body is filled with energy known as your ‘qi’ - pronounced ‘chi’. 

When this energy becomes stuck, we can easily become imbalanced. This, in turn, can result in ill health, both physically and mentally. 

Pay attention to any part of your body where you feel an imbalance. Become aware of these areas to acknowledge your own imbalances. 

2. Good health is mental and physical

We often only think about our health in a physical way. In reality, our mental health is just as important as our physical health. 

When the mind is imbalanced, it can wreak havoc on the rest of your body. 

Meditation can be a huge help when it comes to checking in with yourself. Just 10-15 minutes a day is enough for your qi to cycle and for you to get a grip on how you’re really feeling. 

3. Align your energy - align your body

Your qi takes 10-15 minutes to circulate your whole body. For example, the qi in your left thumb will return there in 10-15 minutes’ time. 

By regularly checking in with yourself, you can pinpoint where in your body you're misaligned. 

The best way to do this is by meditating when you first wake up. You can focus on how you’re feeling when both your body and your mind are fully rested and aligned. 

quotation marksHaving clear insight, clear intuition, clear wisdom – all these phenomena come on board when a human being is aligned with the natural environment of intelligence and of nature.

Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker

On Uptime

Matthew Walker aims to motivate us to get better quality sleep and shows why sleep deprivation isn’t all that nice.

1. Sleep is the core foundation of our health

It’s a pretty big claim. But after years of research, Walker has concluded that sleep is the core foundation that the three pillars of health stand upon. 

He has also seen a link between disease and sleep. Sleep deprivation increases the risk of a person getting or dying from heart disease by 45%.

He recommends using a sleep app to track how many hours you sleep at night. You’ll be able to notice patterns and see if you need to improve your sleep.

2. Driving drowsy = driving drunk

Did you know that driving when you’re drowsy is as dangerous as driving when you’re drunk?

Sleep deprivation is not only a risk to your health, but if you get behind the wheel then it’s a risk to others’ health too. Spending less than 7 hours tucked up in your bedroom will increase your chance of getting into an accident considerably. 

3. Sunlight is your friend. Alcohol and nicotine are not.

Having a glass of wine before bed can feel like the perfect way to unwind. But science shows that drinking alcohol before bed makes it hard for our body to go into a deep sleep. 

Nicotine is an issue because it’s a stimulant. That’s why smokers tend to sleep more lightly and wake up earlier because of the morning withdrawal. 

Sunlight on the other hand helps our body establish and stick to a regular schedule. So swap that wine for water, chew some nicotine gum, and go take a walk in the sun.

quotation marks"The best bridge between despair and hope is a good night's sleep."

Better sleep will help you reduce the impact of negative health effects such as fatigue, various illnesses and allergies, and create a better all-around environment to live in. 

Still having trouble sleeping? Seize from more of our sleep scientists with our other health Hacks featured on the Uptime app. 

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