Most people, for one reason or another, will get fatigued at some point in their lives. It’s normal to feel tired every now and again with so many responsibilities and things to get done and not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you want.
Prolonged fatigue, however, can become a problem. When you’re constantly tired, it affects other areas of your life as well, including your mood, eating habits, relationships and your overall physical well-being.
The first step in combating fatigue is finding out what’s causing it. Your schedule could be making you tired. A variety of schedules necessitate erratic sleeping patterns, which could in turn be making you tired:
If you are in a profession where a changing or erratic work schedule is the norm, it can be difficult to develop a regular sleeping pattern, which in turn can make you tired. Nurses, doctors and people who work nights are particularly prone to this.
While it is not ideal, many students find themselves staying up very late studying, going out, partying, and so forth. This can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule, particularly if you are sleeping in very late the next day or getting up early, both of which will make your prone to tiredness.
New moms especially will find that their sleep patterns and schedules are disrupted when they are getting up every few hours to take care of a baby. This can in turn make you tired the next day.
If your schedule is making you tired throughout the day, sometimes there’s not a lot you can do to change it. For example, shift workers have to accommodate their sleeping schedules when they are on call or start a new shift, and a new mom can’t ignore the crying of a hungry newborn that needs to be fed.
However, there are still things you can do to lessen the effects of a lack of sleep, even with a hectic or erratic schedule:
• Don’t stress about it. Stressing about not getting enough sleep will cause you to get even less sleep, so focus on getting what sleep you can, when you can. Regulate your sleeping as much as possible. Go to bed and get up at the same time as often as you can.
• Don’t nap during the day. While it may seem like a nap is the only thing that can keep you from being tired, it is actually counterproductive. If you must take a nap during the day, don’t nap for more than 15 or 20 minutes as anything longer than a “power nap” can make it harder for you to sleep later on.
• Don’t rely on energy drinks and coffee to keep you awake. Wean yourself off of caffeine when you are using it to stay awake.
• Move around. Some studies have shown that a good 5-minute stretch is as invigorating as a cup of coffee and may be the push you need to get you through a tired spell during the day.
• Get up early instead of staying up late. If you have to study, try and arrange your schedule so you can get up early instead of staying up late and cramming.
It can be hard to get enough sleep when you have a crazy schedule. However, your schedule could be making you tired throughout the day. A few modifications could make it so you get the rest you need, making you less tired.