I have a problem, but I don’t know what’s causing it. My problem is this: I feel fatigued almost all of the time. I mean that I feel physically tired, not just sleepy (though I’m sleepy a lot, too). I’ve tried coffee and other stuff like that to wake myself up, but it never seems to make much of a difference. Is there a reliable way to wake up and get myself feeling energetic, so that I can accomplish the things I need to accomplish? I’m getting pretty sick and tired of feeling so sick and tired all of the time!
There are a lot of factors that can contribute to us feeling less (or more) energetic at any given time. We’ll lay a few of the most important ones out below, but it’s worth noting first that fatigue can also be a sign of illness. If your fatigue has come on recently despite a lack of changes in your routine or lifestyle, that could be a sign that you need to visit the doctor. In fact, looping in a medical professional on this isn’t a bad idea in general–it never hurts to get an expert personally involved.
But if your fatigued state is being caused by your lifestyle, there are a number of things that could be at the root of the issue. Let’s start with the obvious: sleep.
Without sleep, we feel tired–there’s nothing too surprising about that! So it’s important that you create a restful environment for yourself at night. Mattresses matter, as do your pillows and sheets, advise the founders of Cotton and Care— a company that produces high quality linens and sheets made in the USA. Keep your room at a cool, comfortable temperature, and keep it dark and quiet (use a sleep mask and earplugs or a white noise machine if you have to). And keep in mind that plenty of things can make your sleep less restful besides noises, lights, and discomfort waking you up: for instance, drinking alcohol before bed limits your REM sleep and results in less restful shut-eye. Are you short-changing your body at bedtime?
Then there’s your diet, something too many college students neglect. Food is what fuels your body, so take that seriously! Studies show that poor nutrition can make us feel less energetic. And if you’re poorly nourished, you’ll also be more prone to illnesses, which can make you feel tired and (of course) sick.
Finally, you need exercise! Though it sounds counterintuitive, a good workout can make you less tired–in the long run, anyway. Workouts will release endorphins and make you feel better, and they’ll tire you out physically so that you sleep more soundly. They’re part of a healthy lifestyle that will have you feeling stronger and healthier.
With the right lifestyle choices, you should find that you have more energy than ever! Remember to see your doctor if you’re not getting the results you want, or if you believe your fatigue is rooted in a different issue. But starting with the changes above should give you a great shot at a more energetic future.
“Youthfulness is about how you live, not when you were born.” — Karl Lagerfeld