Does fatigue get you down during the day? With nearly half of Americans saying that fatigue interferes with their ability to work, you’re not alone. Work-related stress, family life, and money problems can prevent you from getting the rest you need to be at your best.
There are ways to fight fatigue, however. Keep reading to learn 15 ways you can increase alertness!
- Fight Fatigue By Drinking More Water
That’s right — staying hydrated can help you fend off fatigue. The average person should be getting between 11 and 15 cups of water per day. If you’re not doing that, you may be dehydrated.
Dehydration disrupts your body’s ability to function normally, and this makes you feel tired. So invest in a water bottle and start filling your diet with more water!
- Exercise To Build Alertness
Exercise is another one of the easy ways to fight fatigue. You don’t have to start deadlifting and training for a road race, but you should look into adding a brisk walk to your daily routine.
Even just 30 minutes of walking per day can help your mind stay focused — plus you’ll look trimmer, too! Walking is an inexpensive way to get moving, though there are other fitness activities that can serve your mind well.
Yoga is known to be great for your mental sharpness. Research suggests that yoga not only builds flexibility and strength, but it also helps build alertness. Even better, you’ll do a world of good for your blood pressure and circulation.
- Eat a Nutritious Diet
As you might have guessed, food factors into alertness. If you consume a diet heavy in refined sugars and fats, you’re going to feel lethargic. Try adding foods to your diet that are heavy in omega-3 fatty acids, which trigger more blood flow to the brain.
Whole grains, avocados, berries, and even dark chocolate can do the trick. The next time you need a snack, reach for some nutritious nuts instead of a bag of chips.
- Limit Caffeine
You may be thinking that caffeine does give you energy, so why limit its presence in your diet? While caffeine does provide a temporary boost, it’s just that: temporary. Over the long haul, you’ll feel better and more balanced if you reduce your caffeine intake.
Another consideration is the time of day when you consume caffeine. Having up a cup of full-strength coffee in the evening won’t enable you to fall asleep. And if you can’t fall asleep, you’ll be rusty the next day.
You don’t have to eliminate caffeine from your diet, but you should be conscious of how much you’re drinking and at what time of day.
- Cut Back On Alcohol
While a margarita can taste great on a hot summer day, you might want to lay off the drinking if you’re feeling lethargic. Alcohol and mental alertness are not the most compatible things.
Alcohol can hurt your ability to sleep, which then hurts your ability to be functional the following day. If you have a big meeting at work or need to have dinner with your future in-laws, consider skipping a glass of wine the night before. When you need to be at the top of your game, alcohol can stifle your plans.
- Go To Bed Earlier
This piece of advice feels like something your parents nagged you to do as a teenager. It turns out they knew what they were talking about. Getting more sleep will help you feel sharper the next day.
Most people need about 7 to 9 hours of sleep each day. Do the math and figure out if you’re falling within that range. If you’re not, it may be necessary to set your bedtime a little earlier.
It can take some time to make this scheduling change, but there are strategies to do it.
Try drinking some warm milk or (decaffeinated) tea before bed. Dim the lights and close up your laptop to give your eyes a break, and maybe even try using a noise machine.
Aside from going to bed earlier, napping can be good for your mental alertness, too. if you’ve never tried a quick afternoon nap, try scheduling it into your day!
- Lose Weight
Losing weight is a good goal for the sake of your general health. You’ll cut your risk of some cancers and diabetes as well as build a stronger physique. On top of those benefits, you’ll feel more alert.
Carrying around excess body weight means that you’ll grow tired more easily. Have young kids? They’ll be much easier to keep up with if you can get your body weight lower.
- Get Your Vitamins
Having a diet full of vitamins can help kickstart some energy in your life. You can find all of these vitamins in foods or get supplements to fight fatigue.
Vitamin D is critical for keeping your energy levels up, as research has shown. Go outside and get some sunshine or pick up some vitamins at the pharmacy.
Many experts point to Gingko Biloba as another natural remedy for fatigue. It’s anti-inflammatory and it increases circulation, all of which is good for your alertness.
Research shows that vitamin b12 can help you fight off the fatigue, too. This vitamin keeps your mind alert and the production of red blood cells in check. Find it in beef, eggs, dairy products, and supplements.
- Schedule Relaxation Time
Whether relaxation means meeting up with a good friend for appetizers, camping, or taking a week off to go to the beach, it’s important to get some time away from your normal routine.
Going on vacation provides a clear break from work-life stress, and it offers a time to rejuvenate. You can gain fresh perspectives from taking time off, and the science proves that you’ll be more alert when you return to your normal life.
- Be Outside
Going outside is a fast fix for fatigue. If you’re stuck inside working under fluorescent lights — or, worse yet, in a windowless room — take a break and go outside.
The fresh air and sunshine will do wonders for your mental health. The act of taking a break or connecting with nature in a more intentional way can help clear your mind and give it focus!
- Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is good for a number of reasons (lowering blood pressure and reducing cancer risk, for instance). A reason that doesn’t always make the headlines is that you’ll feel more alert.
Smoking pulls down your oxygen levels, and that makes breathing harder. All of this means that you have less energy.
The solution? Quit smoking. Medications available over-the-counter can help, or you can join a support group to make it happen.
- Add More Iron To Your Diet
There’s a reason Popeye turned to spinach each time he needed to come to the rescue. Spinach contains iron, which builds energy and alertness.
A diet low in iron means you could develop iron deficiency, otherwise known as anemia. A simple blood test can reveal if you have this condition. If you’re feeling sluggish, add some iron-rich foods, such as spinach or red meat, to your diet.
- Remove Stress From Your Life
This is easier said than done, but yes, reducing stress from your life should give you more energy. When you’re not ruminating over a bad work situation or a flaky friend, you can devote more energy to things that are important in your life.
Devise a plan to reduce the stressors in your life. Learn to say “no” if you’re prone to taking on to much. Or have a heart-to-heart conversation with someone if there’s a rift in your relationship.
- Try Aromatherapy
Many people turn to essential oils to gain a boost in their alertness. If you haven’t tried essential oils, you can start by purchasing a bottle and inhaling the vapors. The more common — and trendy — practice is to diffuse the oils using an essential oil diffuser.
What oils are good at fighting fatigue? Peppermint, spearmint, orange, and rosemary are good bets. And these oils’ effectiveness is confirmed by research studies.
Aromatherapy also helps to put your mind at ease. If you can be surrounded by pleasant aromas at home or work, that can cut down on your stress, which will help you sleep better. And better sleep equates to better alertness.
- Visit a Doctor
When you’ve tried some suggestions and nothing seems to work, it’s best to visit your doctor. They can ask you questions and do bloodwork to determine if there are other causes behind your fatigue.
It’s always wise to seek medical advice from a licensed professional if you have any concerns about your health.
The Bottom Line
Fatigue is a drag. It keeps you from being efficient when you need to be, and it can impact your personal relationships if you don’t prioritize fixing it. But you can fight fatigue if you’re committed to making a few life changes.
Keep at it, and ask a loved one to hold you accountable if it is helpful. And when you’re ready to learn more about the latest in health-related news and research, check back with us for more great articles.