This goes way beyond sleep, guys
Stayed up until 4 a.m. three nights in a row because you just discovered Friday Night Lights on Netflix? (We understand.) It’s pretty obvious why you’re feeling sluggish. But what if you’re getting proper rest each night and you still feel fatigued? Here are 12 possible factors that could be sapping you of energy.
1 You’re Dehydrated
Fact: You need water to keep everything—from your digestive system to your cognitive functions—operating properly. Not getting enough (at least eight glasses a day) can significantly slow you down and even affect your mood.
2 Or You’re Too Hydrated
This is more an issue of timing your intake, rather than cutting back. Chugging too much water right before bed will lead to sleep-disrupting bathroom runs throughout the night. Instead, sip steadily throughout the day and stop an hour before hitting the hay.
3 Your House Is a Mess
Studies have shown that a little order in your surroundings can help clear space in your mind. Know what’s good for getting a restful night of sleep? A Zen environment.
4 The Heat Is Too High
It’s tempting to crank up the heat as it gets colder outside, but you’re better off keeping your room temperature at a steady 65°F all year-round. This will ensure that you don’t wake up at 3 a.m. tossing and turning in your suddenly too warm sheets.
5 You Have Allergies
Along with the itchy eyes and drippy nose, allergies can make you feel sluggish. Add to that whatever meds you’re taking to relieve those symptoms and you’re pretty much the walking dead. Ask your doctor about non-drowsy alternatives, stat.
6 Your Sleep Schedule Is Off
Say you go to bed at 10 on weeknights, but stay up until 2 a.m. on weekends. Even if you get the same total hours of sleep every night, the difference in timing can throw your body off, leaving you sapped of energy come Monday.
7 You’re Going to Bed Angry
Had an argument with your partner? Resolve the issue instead of stewing silently as you turn out the lights. New studies have shown that this can greatly affect your quality of sleep.
8 Your Thyroid Is Underactive
Been feeling drained for quite some time? It could be a sign of an underactive thyroid, which makes you feel foggy and sluggish no matter how much sleep you’re getting. If the symptoms persist, ask your doctor.
9 You Need More Iron
Iron helps keep your blood moving and carries oxygen to your muscles. If you’re not getting 10 milligrams per day, you might feel slow and tired. Try adding iron-rich foods like spinach, beans and poultry to your diet, as well as a daily multivitamin.
10 It’s the Weather
If the change in seasons affects your mood, it could be seasonal affective disorder (or SAD). Exercise to get your endorphins flowing and sit in the sunlight for a few minutes every day for a dose of mood-boosting vitamin D. If symptoms persist, check with your doc.
11 You’re Not Getting Enough Sunlight
The sun is one of the most important external cues that your body depends on to regulate your circadian rhythms (aka your internal clock). Spend at least 30 minutes outside every day for better sleep.
12 You’re Overexposed to Artificial Light
Beyond the light emitted by your various screens, those little blinking ones on your DVR and Internet router can interfere with sleep. Remove extra light sources from your bedroom or cover them up before bed.