As an Allied Health professional, it’s easy to get tired. You might be working long shifts, and some days might just seem more emotionally and physically exhausting than others. However, even when you get enough sleep, you still feel really tired. What gives?
Here are five reasons you might be tired that you are not thinking of.
1. You’re depressed
Depression can be caused by many different factors including being in a high-stress environment, not being exposed to enough sunlight, drinking too much alcohol, or personal emotional issues you are currently facing. You might be incredibly homesick and feel very lonely, which can lead to symptoms of depression, too. Depression affects about 16 million adults in the U.S., and can really zap your energy levels.
How to fix it: Try spending more time outside, or setting aside some free time to exercise. Eat a healthier diet filled with protein, vegetables, and healthy fats, and limit the amount of sugar and processed foods you are eating. Essential oils like rose and lavender can help promote feelings of well-being, too.
2. You’re relying on too much caffeine
While a cup of joe in the morning can get you perked up and ready for the day ahead, drinking too much of it can actually have the reverse effect. Too much caffeine, whether it be in the form of coffee, soda, or energy drinks, can keep you wired and affect your sleep quality. Which means you’ll wake up groggy again, rely on caffeine, and have the vicious cycle start again.
How to fix it: Try starting the morning with tea or hot water with lemon and honey. If you’re not a fan, have your cup of coffee, but make sure to limit the amount you have throughout the day and stop drinking caffeine well before bedtime.
3. You’re getting sleep, but not the right kind
You might be getting 7-8 hours of sleep, but if it’s not good quality sleep, you might as well have stayed up all night. Poor sleep will leave you feeling groggy and drained of energy. Causes of poor sleep quality include stress, alcohol, poor diet, and hormonal imbalances.
How to fix it: Try creating some form of routine before bed. Doing the same activities before bed helps signal the brain that you are trying to wind down and sleep. Lavender pillow spray can help promote tranquility, and turning off electronics 30 minutes to 2 hours before bed can help make falling asleep easier.
4. You’re dehydrated
While you’re working your shift, you’re probably so busy that you forget to drink enough water throughout the day. Drinking soda, dealing with stress, and exercising without drinking enough water are all factors that can lead to dehydration. Your body needs to stay hydrated in order for your organs to function properly.
How to fix it: Set a time to make sure you get enough water throughout the day. Drink coconut water when you’re feeling really tired or dehydrated, as it’s full of electrolytes. You can also opt for eating water-rich fruits and vegetables like celery, cantaloupe, and oranges.
5. You have anemia
You get enough sleep every night and you eat pretty healthily, but you still feel exhausted all the time. If the levels of iron and vitamin B12 in your blood are low, it can cause you to feel super tired. This is called anemia and can be caused by a loss of blood or a diet that is too low in essential nutrients.
How to fix it: Eat foods rich in iron, vitamin B12, and folate. These include liver, nutritional yeast, and Blackstrap molasses. Green leafy vegetables are also a good option, like spinach and kale. Taking vitamin C along with eating this kind of diet can help with iron absorption in the body.