Accepting tiredness as ‘the new normal’ is something I talk about with my clients often. And a really common question I get is, “How much tiredness is normal?”
It’s really a cultural problem, and we hear every day, “Oh I’m fine, I’m just tired.” Just recently a client told me that they didn’t think they were very tired, or that tiredness was a problem. But as we dug more into their daily routine, and they told me that they regularly fall asleep in the middle of the day, it became clear that this person was actually quite exhausted.
When a situation has been going on for years, we can get used to it and start brushing it off. So today I want to talk about recognising how tired you are.
It’s important to know when you need to stop and ask if you have a sleep problem, or if your tiredness is a cause for concern.
Start paying attention to yourself
The first thing I want to suggest to you is to pause and have a really honest think about how tired you really are. As I explained above, we are all so busy that we brush tiredness off. We don’t consider that our tiredness is telling us something.
So start by really listening to yourself, and allocating some time to look into any sleep issues you are having. It’s truly worth it.
Look from a different perspective
Our energy levels change over the course of the day, and this is perfectly normal. Generally speaking, we tend to have more energy in the morning, right after we’ve slept, even if the sleep wasn’t that good.
So look at your 24 hours this way. At what time of day to you experience dips in your energy? It is the usual mid-afternoon slump that so many people experience. Or are you somebody who is already tired by 11 am?
Often, early energy dips can be to do with something simple like your eating habits. If you are running out of energy sooner in the day, then think about what you had for breakfast. Are you fueling your body in the right way?
Another thing to consider is food intolerances. These can drain your energy too. It’s worth looking into if you are tired early in the day.
Years ago when I was struggling with my insomnia, I found out that a dairy allergy was contributing to my problems. If I ate something like a creamy pasta sauce for lunch, I would be exhausted in the afternoon.
Epworth Sleepiness Scale
This scale is used by medical professionals to get a measure of how sleepy someone is. If you think you might have a sleep problem, then reach out to me so I can point you to the best places to find this resource.
If you are thinking of speaking to your Doctor, then this might be something you can take and discuss with them.
When we wake up in the morning, we might know we feel tired, but going back to the point I made at the beginning of this post, as we are busy we will brush it away.