by Carolyn Meers
If you find your focus waning throughout the workday and often crave an afternoon nap, you’re not alone. Recent surveys by the National Safety Council found that 76% of American workers say they feel tired at work, 53% feel less productive and 44% have trouble focusing.
Basically, most of us are battling some degree of fatigue all day, every day. We’re tired at our desks, on conference calls, on factory floors, in front of clients and during our commutes.
In addition to impeding our ability to be productive and learn and retain new information, feeling sapped of energy can also be a hazard. It’s harder to focus on simple tasks — turning off the stove, operating a vehicle, staying alert to traffic on the road — when our brain is begging for a nap.
Here, we’ll outline a few common factors that can impact our alertness during the day and share tips on how to naturally boost your energy.
What causes tiredness?
While it is important to consult your physician to get a more complete understanding of your body’s needs and potential deficiencies, there are a few key lifestyle factors that could be contributing to your tiredness during the day.
As you might have guessed, lack of sleep or poor-quality sleep is the most common cause of daytime tiredness and fatigue.
While it’s generally recommended that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night to feel rested, there are many modern challenges to achieving this goal—from workplace and family demands to broader feelings of anxiety and tension, which lead to restlessness.
Keeping hydrated is essential for maintaining a strong, high-functioning brain and body.
One study even found that dehydrated people consistently experienced elevated fatigue, confusion, and anger, plus problems with concentration, alertness and short-term memory.
Fatigue is known to be a symptom of mild to moderate dehydration, so keeping a jug of water nearby and sipping it throughout the day—in place of a caffeinated coffee, soda or tea—can help keep your brain and body alert.
In this life, it’s hard to disconnect from our tech. But all that screen time, from sunrise to sunset (and beyond) can mess with your energy, mood and state of mind.
In addition to information fatigue and staying online to answer work-related queries long after you should have punched out, the pesky blue light emitted from your smartphone and tablet suppresses your body’s melatonin production (AKA the “sleep hormone”).
That means when you finally look away and try to get some rest, it will take your brain and body longer to produce the right amount of melatonin to get you to sleep. Try to shut off the screens a few hours before bed and consider making your bedroom a screen-free zone from bedtime to your next wake-up call.
Natural ways to feel more energized
In addition to setting yourself up for a good night’s sleep, there are a few natural ways to feel more energized throughout the day so you can juggle the million and one things you have going on with ease.
Choose the right snacks
When you’re in an energy slump, avoid quick fixes like simple carbs and sugars. These snacks will spike and crash your blood sugar in no time, leaving you just as tired. Instead, opt for protein-rich foods like chicken, almonds or nut butters with slow burning complex carbs like whole wheat breads, crackers or oatmeal.
Again, it’s water for the win! For some added flavor, consider squeezing in some vitamin C-rich lemon juice and sliced cucumber.
Add a natural energy booster
Arm yourself with naturally-derived energy amplifiers, like those found in FOCL Day. Made with energy-boosting adaptogens, focus-enhancing botanicals and vitamins — think Lion’s Mane mushrooms, Rhodiola rosea, vitamin B6 and hemp-derived CBD — FOCL Day is designed to keep you going without a crash.
Carolyn Meers is an editor and copywriter based in Los Angeles. She has more than a decade of experience in the luxury lifestyle realm—specializing in health and wellness and home design—and has contributed to publications including CSQ, C Magazine, Robb Report, 805 Living and The Knot.
Occupational Health and Safety: National Safety Council Report
Harvard Medical School Division of Sleep Medicine: Sleep, Learning and Memory
Sleep Foundation: The Connection Between Hydration and Sleep
Harvard Health Publishing: Fight Fatigue with Fluids
U.S. National Library of Medicine: Water, Hydration and Health
Harvard Health Newsletter: Blue Light Has a Dark Side
Workplace Psychology: Information Overload — When Information Becomes Noise