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Is It Nap Time Already? 4 Areas To Keep You From Snoozing At Work

by | Apr 12, 2019 | Lifestyle, Mindset, Nutrition, Training

You realize you missed breakfast once again, but as you refill your coffee cup you notice one last sprinkle covered donuts in the break room – it is your lucky day!

“We do not have to go through our day “too tired” to complete our daily tasks.  You’re also not being asked to change every single habit listed in this blog.  Start with the habit you look at and view as the easiest to incorporate, master it, and build from there.  You have the opportunity to feel more energized for your day, are you ready?”

The alarm goes off and you have but a split second to feel tired before you’re off to the races for the day.  There’s no time to feel tired because you have cut your morning so tight to ensure every last available minute is spent sleeping, and your free minute or so is dedicated to starting the caffeine IV.  It’s not until about 15 minutes into your 9 o’clock morning meeting that you begin to wonder how much longer there is left in your workday because all you want to do is nap.  You realize you missed breakfast once again, but as you refill your coffee cup you notice one last sprinkle covered donut in the break room – it is your lucky day! 

The rest of your morning is filled with phone calls, projects, and miscellaneous tasks, yet you still cannot help but wonder if all this could wait while you take a 15-minute power nap.  Because your breakfast was a sugary-coated donut, you opt for a small salad to make up for your less than optimal breakfast.  Mid-afternoon rolls around and you are at a standstill with your work as your hands are occupied with physically holding your eyelids open.  A pop or coffee should get you through your last two hours, right? Sure, but the mental crash hits full force on the drive home. The errands and after school activities all run longer than expected, so your hopes for a nap are crushed. 

The exhaustion is really starting to set in, so you stop at the easiest, “not so terrible” fast food place on the drive home to spare yourself a night over the stove.   After dinner, you barely stay awake through your favorite show before heading off to bed for a “quick” scroll of social media.  You put down the phone excited to get 7 hours of sleep.  As soon as you close your eyes you realize you’re more awake than you’ve been all day, and by the time you fall asleep you’re on track for another 4-hour night of restful sleep.

“Does this sound like one of your workdays? Are you wishing your boss took a page out of your kindergarten teacher’s book and brought back nap-time? I cannot stress how important sleep is, but what if I told you there are strategies to lessen those feelings of exhaustion and restore your natural energy stores?”

Fatigue is a very common complaint among adults, but is something that can be combatted by changing and picking up new habits.  Here are 4 areas of emphasis for fighting fatigue and associated habits to consider picking up to boost your energy. 

Fuel Your Body

Fatigue does not happen without reason.  It is a message sent by the body indicating it is running low on fuel and feeling the need to resort to lower energy activities.  Instead of finding a solution so the body stops sending us the message, we try to mask it.  If we were to solve it how would do that?

Start your day off with a great breakfast

Your parents were not wrong when they said it was the most important meal of the day.  Fill it with a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats and do your best to limit sugars (especially the hidden ones!).  Your body wakes up ready to take in nutrients in its fasted state, so our goal is to provide it with both short- and long-term fuel to endure all of your morning activities. 

Fuel yourself throughout the day

The craze of a workday as well as family activities can cause us to move through our day forgetting to eat until we’re home for dinner again. Your body is continuously burning fuel, so you need to continuously provide it with fuel! Schedule time to eat during your day or keep on-the-go snacks with you!

Fuel yourself throughout the day.

The craze of a workday as well as family activities can cause us to move through our day forgetting to eat until we’re home for dinner again.  Your body is continuously burning fuel, so you need to continuously provide it with fuel! Schedule time to eat during your day or keep on-the-go snacks with you!

Fuel yourself throughout the day

The craze of a workday as well as family activities can cause us to move through our day forgetting to eat until we’re home for dinner again.  Your body is continuously burning fuel, so you need to continuously provide it with fuel! Schedule time to eat during your day or keep on-the-go snacks with you!

Movement

Another method for fighting fatigue is to keep the body moving! Movement helps pump fresh blood through the body, which keeps muscles, including the brain, oxygenated and fresh.  Where do I start?

Regular Workouts:

Take time at the beginning of each week, before the craze begins, and schedule and commit to a minimum of 3 workouts in a week.  As little as 30 minutes of exercise can boost your circulation, relieve tension, increase your metabolism, and cause your body to release endorphins (the happy chemicals).  The more consistent you are, the sooner your body adapts and is able to combat fatigue on a less active day. 

Desk Job Activity:

While your job may require you to sit at a desk, it does not mean you are glued to it.  Find an excuse to get out of your chair every hour – walk around the office, to the restroom, to talk to a coworker, etc.  There are also many ways to stretch and activate your muscles in your chair or in your office.  The purpose is to move your body, so set a calendar appointment or reminder for hourly movement and keep it simple by starting with a walk or light stretch, then build from there. Also, forget about what other people think – wouldn’t you rather FEEL better?

Enjoyable Movement:

Not all activity should be a workout.  Find activities you enjoy that move your body, take the focus off work, and stimulate your brain.  These can be as simple as walking the dog, yoga, or playing catch with a kid in the yard. 

Hydration Status

What you drink in a day does more than quench your thirst, but did you know that by the time you feel thirsty that you’re already dehydrated? Shorting yourself of water can leave you feeling sluggish and tired, as it leaves cells dehydrated, decreases your blood volume, and creates a greater work load for the heart due to the greater energy required to push oxygen throughout the body. 

Water:

While water may not possess energy in a caloric sense, it does aid the energy producing processes.   It is essential for life and optimal functioning, so do your best to sip on it throughout the day while swapping out sodas, coffees, and other sugary drinks when you’re feeling fatigued during your day. 

Spice Up Your Water:

Ever get tired of plain water? Try adding fruits, herbs, or essential oils to infuse your water.  Not only does it add some flavor and keep you hydrated, but it’s another opportunity to take in some nutrients and antioxidants to refuel your systems!

Restful Sleep

The daytime (unless you work nights) is when the body requires continuous energy to complete its activities.  Unfortunately, the body can only run for so long before needing a rest.  If a body does not get the rest and necessary time for recovery, research has found employee performance and productivity to significantly decline.  In today’s world, there are two major areas you can alter to see a more restful night sleep: Spice Up Your Water.  Ever get tired of plain water? Try adding fruits, herbs, or essential oils to infuse your water.  Not only does it add some flavor and keep you hydrated, but it’s another opportunity to take in some nutrients and antioxidants to refuel your systems!

Cool Your Body Down:

We live in a go-go-go society, and typically by the time we arrive home, we feel ready to drop.  However, our body does not fare well when we cease activity and force it into a low energy state.  It takes time to calm systems down and shift into a lower gear.  After the majority of your day and night time tasks are complete, take 5 to 10 minutes for some light stretching, foam rolling, or yoga to cool the body down before climbing into bed.

Power Down:

What’s the last thing you do before bed? If you’re like most, it’s probably check your phone. Research continues to show how much the lights from our screens influence our sleep patterns.  Try putting your devices (especially your phone) into night shift mode to darken the screen and aid your body in preparing for nighttime.  Better yet, turn off all screens (yes, this includes turning off the TV mom) a minimum of 30 minutes before you’re crawling into bed. 

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