Feeling tired? Experts say there are a lot of ways to combat it. But the best way depends on what “brand” of tired you are. So, here’s a list of the most common reasons we feel tired, and how to fix them:
You’re emotionally tired. Meaning, you’re wiped out from stress or fighting or anxiety. According to Yale research director Dr. David Katz, emotional exhaustion is a result of our stress hormones interfering with our feel-good brain chemicals – leaving us feeling like we’re dragging – from our brain to our muscles. To combat it, Dr. Katz says do the exact opposite of anxiety, and have some fun. See a friend, go to a movie or take a hike. It’ll divert your mental focus and reduce your stress, so you’ll feel more refreshed.
If you’re having a mid-day energy slump – blame your lunch! Studies show that oversize, carb-heavy meals can cause huge blood sugar swings, which leave us feeling tired. Then we reach for something sweet to perk us back up again. But that creates a cycle of a sugar buzz followed by a sugar crash. Instead, eat less at lunch. But make sure what you do eat has a combo of fiber and protein to keep your energy up. Because the fewer sugars and carbs we have in our meals, the more “awake” we feel.
What if you’re so tired you’re wired? That usually means you’re suffering from a combination of stress and fatigue. Experts say your brain gets so stimulated that it switches into overdrive – making it hard to sleep. The fix? Try focusing on a non-emotional task – like solving a word puzzle, or counting backwards from 100 in threes – as in 100, 97, 94, and so on. Sleep scientists say that’s a proven way of distracting your brain from whatever’s stressing you out. And when your brain can’t focus on anything else, your body will wind down on its own.