A common problem that I often hear people complain about is being constantly tired despite having slept an entire 8 hours a night and/or napping during the day. In fact this is the number one issue driving people from all walks of life and professions to sleep therapists to seek advice.
If this is you and you have been “doing everything right” in your opinion to ensure a restful sleep, you must consider whether you are actually getting a sound sleep.
Also remember that the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night is simply a guideline and the exact amount of sleep each person needs differs from person to person. Some people tend to find too much sleep can actually make them feel more tired. So listen to your body, the ideal amount of sleep changes as you get older and is different for different people – your ideal amount may be 6,7 or 8 hours.
But the length of time you sleep is not the only important factor, the quality of sleep you get is also important. People who constantly toss and turn in the night usually get less restorative sleep than those who sleep soundly.
People who have poor quality sleep may also be suffering from sleep apnoea, which is related to breathing issues which deprives them of oxygen when they sleep. Many with this problem don’t even realise they have it.
If you suspect you may have sleep apnoea, seek professional assistance. You can also practice certain good sleep habits like avoiding electronics after dark, avoiding caffeine and alcohol. Also it’s good to maintain your sleep schedule everyday rather than going to sleep at different times every day and confusing your body.
Sometimes it may not even be your sleeping habits that are causing you to feel tired. A poor diet or some other health condition could be the culprit. There are foods that we can eat to help us feel more energized and fuel our brain activity. Your doctor may suggest taking a multi vitamin or supplement if necessary. Some people lack iron while others may be anaemic, ask your doctor if you suspect the problem may be more serious.
Truckies and other night shift workers tend to use caffeine as a means of staying awake. This is a mistake because over time caffeine contained in coffee and energy drinks will cause you to crash and become even more exhausted, making you even more reliant on the caffeine just to get by, like a drug.
Instead, consider exercise, healthy eating and balanced lifestyle to stay healthy. Overweight and obese people tend to suffer from sleep disorders more than those who are healthy overall.
Also remember that even the healthiest people cannot go on without sleep forever. You must sleep eventually. Stick to the legally allotted number of driving hours, keep an up to date diary and stop for the necessary rest periods as dictated by the law.
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