Do you constantly feel tired at work? The good news is, you’re not alone. The bad news is that, according to research, 43% of U.S. workers are too tired to function at work because they don’t get enough shuteye to conduct their roles and responsibilities.
If you feel tired at work, the obvious solution is to get more sleep. This isn’t always easy to achieve, particularly if you work shifts, which may explain why some 30% of adults get less than six hours per night, despite needing an average of seven to nine.
However, you could also be guilty of picking up the following bad habits that may make you feel tired at work:
1. Dark spaces
Sitting in a dim office isn’t just bad for your eyes, it will also affect your energy levels. A recent study linked light exposure in the workplace to office workers’ sleep, activity and quality of life.
The research revealed workers with windows in their office received an average of 173% more natural light exposure during work hours. They also slept an extra 46 minutes more each night.
However, workers without windows scored lower on quality of life, sleep quality, sleep efficiency and daytime dysfunction measures.
It’s also important to try and get some natural light as early as possible, too. Research reveals getting some morning rays can help us to perform better later in the day and sleep better at night.
2. Sitting still
We’re often told that sitting all day, every day is detrimental to our health. So, make sure your workstation is optimized to help you stay healthy, moving and energized.
A standing desk is one possibility to help you get moving–but it’s no silver bullet for your energy levels at work. In fact, experts say the best strategy is to incorporate some gentle exercises into your workday to keep you mobile and alert.
Further research reveals moving around can help boost your circulation and stimulate the mind. You may also want to try taking 15-minute breaks every 90 minutes or slotting in a 20-minute workout to help boost your energy levels.
3. Eating wrong
Sugary snacks may give you a temporary spike in energy, but you’ll ultimately experience a crash in your energy levels a few hours later. Fatty foods can also make you feel tired because your body has to work harder to break them down.
Instead, try to eat a healthy and balanced diet that incorporates both carbohydrates and protein. The protein helps protect your blood sugar from sudden spikes and the carbs will provide you with the energy you need. Complex carbs, in particular, break down slowly and can help you to stay alert for longer.
Also, make sure you think enough water. There are plenty of health benefits to staying hydrated, including a boost to your energy levels and brain function.
A cup of coffee, tea or another caffeinated beverage can also help boost your energy. But, remember, caffeine is a diuretic so don’t overdo it. One study found just one cup of coffee is enough to keep sleepy drivers more alert on a long haul journey.
4. Staying awake
While it may not be wise to take a snooze halfway through a board meeting, catching 40 winks at some point during the day can make a big difference. Research from the National Sleep Foundation revealed a 20- to 30-minute nap can help boost your productivity and mood.
Also, make sure you get enough rest at night. A 20-minute nap won’t save you from hours of sleep deprivation.
5. Surrounded by mess
There are pros and cons to a messy desk. While some studies claim clutter supports creativity, others link a clean desk with productivity.
When it comes to how mess affects your energy levels, the jury is still out. Most studies seem to agree that increased clutter also increases the strain on your brain, causing it to get tired over time. However, others claim forcing a naturally untidy person to work in an uncluttered space is more damaging to their energy levels.