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Ten science-backed tips to deal with fatigue

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We often speak to people who use doppel to feel more energized and alert, especially when they want to concentrate on something important. Just like how there are many ways to tackle stress, there are also lots of different things can you can try to feel less tired. These are our top tips for dealing with fatigue:

1. Stick to your sleep schedule

This might seem obvious, but according to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America® Poll, while 65% of Americans think sleep contributes to next day effectiveness, 90% think that their day starts when they get up, rather than with their sleep the night before - and 60% don’t take into account how much sleep they’ll need the night before when planning their day.

Different schedules work for different people but try to aim for eight hours a night and try to go to bed and get up at the same time every day.

2. Drink water

Sometimes you feel tired simply because you're mildly dehydrated. A glass of water will help, especially after exercise. A recent study published in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise found that mild dehydration can also impair cognitive performance, particularly when completing tasks that require concentration.

3. Maximize sunlight

We can feel more sleepy when it’s dark. This is because when the sun sets the brain products more of the chemical compound melatonin - a hormone that makes us feel more tired. To avoid this, you need to trick your brain into thinking that it is actually summer! Open your blinds or curtains as soon as you get up and try to get outdoors in natural daylight as much as possible. Even a brief walk at lunchtime will help.

4. Exercise

Exercise may be the last thing you want to do when you're feeling tired - but you might be surprised by how energetic you feel after working out. Exercise in the late afternoon may help to reduce early-evening fatigue and also improve your sleep.

5. Eat like it’s summer

Being overweight or underweight can affect your energy levels and leave you feeling sleepy. So it's important to make sure you eat a healthy, balanced diet. If it’s cold or dark there is a temptation to give up salads and fill up on comfort food. However, you'll have more energy if you include plenty of fruit and vegetables in your meals.

6. Listen to feel good music

A 2011 study published in Nature Neuroscience found that when people listened to music that they found emotional for only fifteen minutes, their brains overloaded with dopamine, a chemical that is involved in pleasure and reward. It also activated other feel-good chemicals like serotonin and oxytocin which can help you feel more stimulated.

7. Snack healthily

You may also find that your sweet tooth goes into overdrive in the winter months, but try to avoid foods containing lots of sugar. They may give you a rush of energy, but it's one that wears off quickly. Caffeine can help to mask the dip in energy in the short term but will only delay the crash.

8. Have a power nap

If you’re already running low on sleep then a power nap can help you to feel more alert. Sara Mednick, Ph.D., a scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies who is at the forefront of napping research says the results show that power naps can also lift productivity and mood, lower stress, and improve memory and learning.

9. Chew gum

Not only will it leave you with fresh breath, one study showed that chewing gum helped to reduce daytime sleepiness. While the authors say that the underlying mechanism underpinning the effect of chewing gum is unclear, the reduction in daytime sleepiness may be caused by either heightened cerebral activity following the chewing of gum or the arousing effects of mint flavor.

10. Take time to think about why you’re tired

Quick fixes like power naps and snacks might help you feel less fatigued in the moment, but try to take the time to think about the underlying causes. Is there anything you can do re-balance your day so that you can sleep for longer at night? Is stress keeping you awake? Ask a friend or family member to talk it through. And if you find that you’re constantly tired and you’re not sure why then you should consult your doctor.


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