I'm sleeping for 7-8 hours a night so why am I so tired and have no energy?
Here are a few things that could be the culprit.
How much caffeine is too much
If you're a woman and you're reading this, we have some news: women metabolize caffeine differently than men. The enzyme that breaks down caffeine as well as estrogen play a key role in your caffeine tolerance. Only 10% of the population make a lot of this particular enzyme called CYP1A2.
Not to mention, this enzyme also metabolizes estrogen - so if you are someone with extreme PMS symptoms, it's safe to assume that you are also low CYP1A2.
Cutting back to one cup of coffee per day, or swapping it out for one of our energy blends that's only 90MG of caffeine can both be good options to lower your caffeine intake. Or, make sure to have any caffeine with a full meal.
Not sleeping well (and low energy levels in females)
Although you may be getting 8 hours of sleep, you may have poor sleep quality. Things like anxiety and depression, physical illnesses and pain, stress or sleep disorders can contribute to this. Studies have also reported that women are more likely to experience difficulty falling and staying asleep, which would explain low energy levels in females.
Some sleeping problem solutions can be:
- Keeping a consistent bed time and wake up time
- No caffeine or alcohol 4-6 hours before bed
- No exercise within 2 hours of going to bed
- No screens within 2 hours of going to bed
- If you're napping midday, don't.
Bad eating habits
In addition to alcohol and caffeine, there are foods that could be affecting your energy levels. Carbs are NOT the enemy, however high-glycemic (high sugar) carbs like white bread, bagels, doughnuts (ugh no not the doughnuts too) can cause a surge in blood sugar followed by a crash, which would cause poor sleep and energy.
This is of course a lifestyle that involves little to no physical activity. We may find this is more common in ourselves during COVID when it's harder to engage in the activities we once used to. Aside from more serious risks like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure, not being active can also just make you more tired.
But wait, doesn't physical activity also make you tired? Well yes - certainly in excess it can. But regular exercise will boost your cardio endurance, and allow your heart to work less hard for normal everyday activity and tasks. When your heart and lungs improve, the more you can do!
Also a symptom of COVID times, vitamin deficiency can play a role in energy levels (check out our blog on B6 for more info.) Lack of vitamins can lead to a lower red blood cell, and fatigue is usually the first sign of this. Vitamin B12 is a necessary vitamin for good health and is particularly important for women who have been pregnant or nursing. B12 benefits include:
- Serotonin production
- Brain health and focus
- Red blood cell production
- Bone health
- Improved mood
Some great vitamin B12 foods include
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified non-dairy milks like soy milk
Stress and anxiety
Finally, stress and anxiety can be the biggest culprits of feeling tired all the time. Tiredness can come on as a result of mental exhaustion, anxiety attacks themselves, or not being able to sleep due to a racing mind. If you in a high stress job or experiencing much of the normal anxiety we're all feeling in 2020, try:
- Lowering your caffeine intake
- Taking a break from the news, social media and/or technology in general
- Speak with a therapist
- Stay hydrated
- Slowly increase physical activity to help with serotonin levels
If you're feeling particularly tired this winter season, you are certainly not alone! Feel free to also check out our blog on fighting the winter blues for more tips on how you can increase your energy levels naturally.