If you read The Times yesterday, you may already be aware that we are all, apparently, exhausted. And that this is not because we are running half marathons every day, producing 3 course meals for dinner or completing assault course in our spare time. Well, I’m not and if you are then yes, that probably is why you’re exhausted! But generally it is because we are not getting quality sleep.
Our brains are constantly active. This seems like old news to me. Many of us have felt as if we can’t switch off at night before going to sleep. And most if us know we are juggling too many thoughts – what needs to be done at work, what you need to pick up on the way home, who you should have rung/emailed and haven’t done for about two months now, what it was you were going to book for next week…… Long, long lists – if you get round to writing it all down.
The reason is partly because we are releasing dopamine every time we hear a phone alert or email ping and this makes us alert again. Hence, checking these all day and especially, checking them before bed is wearing us out. We are not designed to experience such regular hits!
So, in short – quit the work, turn off the phones and ignore the emails sometimes and especially a couple of hours before bed.
If you’re not feeling refreshed from sleep, you need to try and change things. If you don’t have time for a nap when you feel exhausted, try taking 10 minutes with a cuppa and nothing else. ‘Down’ time is insanely important and if you aren’t getting enough, you may well feel as if you are going insane because your memory will go to pot and your ability to make judgements and come up with solutions and basically use your brain for anything too demanding, will become increasingly non-existent. In addition, it becomes harder to resist foods that are sugary, fatty etc as you seek that energy shot to get you through.
Anyway, I think most of us know that. How much we truly accept it and decide to make a few small changes to our lives in order to make our days more enjoyable, is another matter.
I’m trying. And I’d thoroughy recommend it. I’ve even had a little energy to exercise more frequently.