If your energy tank relies on your morning cup of coffee – it might be time to make some changes to your routine. All of us feel tired from time to time, but if you’re constantly muscling through every hour in the day, your low energy can be rooted in your daily habits. Here’s 6 reasons, why your energy may be low.
1. Sleep Hygiene
This one’s obvious, but if you’re not getting enough sleep, your body can’t fully rest and recharge – affecting your energy during the day. Snoozing for 8 hours and still not feeling rested when you wake up? The quality of your sleep matters too. If quality shuteye is a repeated struggle, you might be suffering from poor sleep hygiene.
Sleep hygiene refers to the habits you do to prep for bed- they can either harm or help your sleep. Are you drinking coffee late at night, scrolling your phone in bed, or eating a large meal before you snooze? These are a few common habits that can negatively affect your sleep. Take a look at your routine and see if you can incorporate some sleep-promoting habits into your wind down.
Stress can influence many different areas of your health, including energy. When you’re struggling with long-term stress, your body releases cortisol – your main stress hormone. If left unmanaged, too much cortisol can exhaust your body, affecting your sleep, mood and energy. Practicing stress-reducing behaviors like regular exercise, a balanced diet, adequate sleep or taking supplements can help keep cortisol levels in check.
3. Technology/ Blue light
Nowadays, it’s easy to be plugged in 24/7. While there’s nothing wrong with spending some time catching up on trends or unwinding your mind, bouncing from screen to screen all day can meddle with your sleep and energy. The blue light of screens can disrupt your circadian rhythm and natural production of melatonin. To help with energy, limit your tech use, use a blue light filter and try to avoid using these devices 1 to 2 hours before bed.
Besides stress hormones like cortisol, other hormones including estrogen, testosterone, progesterone or thyroid hormones can influence your energy levels.1 If these are out of balance, it can lead to increased feelings of fatigue and tiredness. If you’re concerned an imbalance in hormones may be contributing to low energy, connect with your doctor to get your levels checked.
This probably isn’t surprising, but your diet might be the reason for low energy. If your meals consist of mainly processed, high-sugar foods – you’re going to feel that midday slump or dip in energy. Try adding some whole grains, protein, and healthy fats to your diet. This can help promote long-lasting energy. Eating enough is also important- if you’re not getting enough calories your body is going to struggle to keep up with daily tasks.
If you don’t love drinking water, you’re not alone. But if you’re not drinking enough fluids to stay hydrated, it can impact your energy levels. Ensuring your body stays well-hydrated helps your body to function at its best to reduce symptoms of fatigue and sluggishness. So how much water do you need? A general rule is: half your body weight in fluid ounces.
All of us struggle with low energy from time to time, but if you’re running low on fuel more than usual, there’s some shifts to your daily routine that might help. Ensure you’re eating well, drinking enough water, getting enough rest, limiting tech use and managing stress levels. If you’ve been addressing the above, but your energy is still low, connect with your doctor to help identify where your lack of energy may stem from.
Read next: 5 healthy snacks to boost your energy
Madison Landis, BSN
Madison is a Functional Nutritionist and member of the Persona Research and Development team. With a degree in Nutritional Sciences from Texas A&M University, she strives to bring science-backed knowledge to the health and wellness community and those who may be interested in positive life change. She has a passion for identifying the impact stress plays on overall health and empowering individuals to break the cycle of chronic stress.
Karina Churchill, BSN
Karina is a Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University. With a passion for community health and recipe adaptations, she enjoys supporting, motivating and educating people on their health journey.
This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information from this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article.