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.