8 Surprising Things That Are Draining Your Energy

Do you feel especially zonked at the end of each day? Or do you feel tired throughout the day no matter how much sleep you get?

This could be happening for several reasons. One of them could be that you’re doing (or not doing!) something that’s just draining the energy right out of you.

In today’s article, I’m going to go over 8 things that could be negatively impacting your energy levels and preventing you from being at your best every day!

1. Too much caffeine

This one may or may not be surprising. Caffeine is supposed to give you energy, right? Well, of course! It can make you feel like you can achieve anything.

Well, except for sleep…

Research has found that having coffee even six hours before you hit the hay can impact not just how long of a sleep you get, but the quality of your sleep. [1]

Now, I’m not saying ditch the coffee. I’m not a monster. But experts do recommend not having a cup of joe – or any caffeine – after 2PM. 

2. Multitasking

Nothing feels better than knocking out a bunch of tasks at the same time. It’s called multitasking. This term comes from the 1960s, when computers were first being developed, to describe the capabilities of a computer. 

And that’s just it…

Computers can multitask, but we can’t. Our brains can’t actually focus on two things at once. So, when you’re doing what you think is multitasking, you’re actually switching between the two tasks. 

This constant re-focusing exhausts the oxygenated glucose in your brain, making you tired, and actually less efficient at completing your tasks. [2]

3. Dehydration

You know those people that walk around reminding you to drink water? 

Listen to those people!

Especially if you feel tired. Research shows that even mild dehydration can plummet energy levels, especially in women. [3]

Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to have some water. At that point, you’re already dehydrated. Casually drink water throughout the day, setting an hourly alarm to have a few gulps if you have to!

Hydration is needed for your body to function properly. It’s a relatively easy way to help keep yourself healthy and energized!

4. Complaining

Sure, we all complain about things here and there. But here’s the thing about complaining… it changes nothing.

Well, almost nothing. Researchers have found that complaining, criticizing, and focusing on the bad can have negative impacts on your productivity. 

It was found that those who focused on the positives and, instead of complaining, looked for ways to improve things were more protective and energetic. Those who simply complained were much more drained at the end of each day, with nothing more to show for it. [4]

5. Going online before bed

Before bed, it’s best to unwind. Something like knitting, reading, or listening to a podcast are good options. But bringing your phone, tablet, or laptop to bed are not good options.

The blue light from these devices can negatively impact your sleep-wake cycle. It does so by interrupting the release of melatonin – the hormone that tells your body it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. [5]

As a result, it can take you longer to fall asleep, and once you do, your body may not properly go through the sleep cycles, such as REM. This leaves you groggy and tired the next day.

Try to avoid these at least an hour before bed. And if you do need to be on a device right before sleep, most of them should have a blue light filter, or “night shift mode” that you can toggle on. Alternatively, you can find a blue light filter for the screen or blue light filter glasses.

6. Skipping the gym

It doesn’t have to be at an actual gym, but if you’re skipping your workout, it may be tiring you out.

Wait, what?

Yeah, it doesn’t seem to make sense until you look at the science. Researchers state that this has to do with the mitochondria in our cells – the less energy you expend, the less energy they produce. [6]

A 2013 study out of the University of Georgia found that just one bout of exercise increased energy levels. Fatigue decreased mostly after low-to-moderate exercises which lasted at least 20 minutes. [7]

So, even if you’re not feeling up to it, getting your exercise in – even just a light one – can help boost your energy levels for the day. 

7. Slouching

Did you know that slouching can drain your energy levels? Well, you do now.

Poor posture can have many negative effects on your health like decreasing circulation, causing headaches, and increasing pressure on the joints. 

But research shows that it can also tire you out. Poor posture and the consequences of it require more energy to compensate for the misalignment of the spine. [8]

It can be hard to remember at all times, but be mindful of your posture while standing and sitting. If you work at a desk, consider investing in an ergonomic chair that can support your back and ensure that your screen is at eye level so you’re not looking downward all day.  

8. A deficiency 

If your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs, you will certainly feel the effects. 

Trust me, I’ve been through this.

Your body needs vitamin B12 to form red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen throughout the body, delivering it to the cells that need them. Which is all of them.

So, if you’re low on vitamin B12, it’s like suffocating your cells.

This can lower their output…

And greatly impact your energy levels. 

To learn more about this click here.

References and resources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/sleep-newzzz/201312/new-details-caffeine-s-sleep-disrupting-effects
  2. https://www.sciencealert.com/how-multitasking-drains-your-energy-reserves-and-what-you-can-do-about-it 
  3. https://today.uconn.edu/2012/02/even-mild-dehydration-can-alter-mood/ 
  4. https://www.thecut.com/2015/03/being-negative-at-work-will-drain-your-energy.html 
  5. https://www.brighamandwomens.org/about-bwh/newsroom/press-releases-detail?id=1962 
  6. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-for-energy-workouts-that-work#1 
  7. https://news.uga.edu/uga-kinesiology-exercise-boosts-energy/ 
  8. https://health.usnews.com/wellness/slideshows/10-ways-poor-posture-can-harm-your-health?slide=4 

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