Are you yawning as you read this? Hopefully it's not that you're bored already, but because no matter whether you've had 2 hours sleep or 8, you're permanently shattered. Not many of us have the perfect lifestyle; we're all too busy with work and family. There's only so much time you can devote to health.
Here are some easy tips to try that will boost your energy without much effort.
Sugar, fat and processed meals are not good for you. Eaten regularly they can lead to diabetes and other health problems, such as heart disease. Sugar is not just the white gritty stuff found in a bowl; it's refined carbohydrates in the form of white bread, chips, cereal and rice. It's used up quickly by your body, leaving you feeling tired after. Try swapping white versions for wholemeal, which have a slower release. Brown rice instead of white rice - bran flakes instead of Frosties.
Speaking of cereal, make sure you eat breakfast because skipping it plays havoc with your blood sugar and energy levels. Take a multi-vitamin too, as low vitamin B levels can leave you feeling washed out.
It's better to eat 3-4 small meals a day rather than one big one too as this keeps your blood sugar up. Make them wholemeal-based though.
Caffeine and fizzy drinks give you a quick boost, but lead to a crash soon after. Replace a few of those coffees with caffeine-free versions, and swap fizzy drinks for fruit juice with bubbly water.
Dehydration also leads to tiredness. You need roughly 8 glasses of fluid (water, milk or occasional fruit juice) a day. Aim for one glass an hour throughout the working day. If your wee is light yellow, you're doing great.
Cutting down on evening caffeine consumption may help you sleep, as will switching off electrical devices an hour before you retire. However I suspect that, for most of us, it's not the quality of sleep but the amount that leaves us tired. Try to get some early nights if you can't have a lie-in.
Granny was right, standing up straight is better for you. It burns more calories than sitting and improves your posture. Studies show that slouching makes depressive thoughts worse but the shoulders back / head up stance improves mood.
Despite the brain-splitting idea that using energy will create energy, it is actually true. If you sit down all day, get up for regular breaks to stimulate your heart and blood flow to your brain. Try to exercise with a raised heart rate for half an hour three times a week and your energy levels will improve.
Stress can boost your adrenaline levels to the point you are exhausted by it. It will keep you awake at night and stop you thinking clearly. When you are worried or upset, your energy levels are lower than the interest rate. Long term, this can lead to depression.
Taking care of emotional health is just as important as physical health. Men may struggle more with the emotional side because they are less likely to talk about problems. It's essential to talk though, be it in person, on the phone or on Facebook. If you are reluctant to talk with friends or family you can try the Samaritans instead, they are available 24/7.