We’ve all struggled through days at the office in a haze of exhaustion after late night working or partying.
But what about the days when you feel you just can’t get out of bed, and you have no idea why your limbs feel like lead and exhaustion seems to dominate your mind?
There are a host of factors which you may not have considered, much less thought how to confront, which could be affecting your levels of productivity and efficiency. Being tired can leave you feeling miserable, unable to exercise or interact with your friends outside of work.
So, here are four potential causes of your exhaustion, and some handy hints as to how to combat them.
Not enough sleep
Whilst this may seem a very obvious cause of exhaustion, few people realise that once a sleep deficit has built up, you’ll continue to feel groggy and inadequately rested until the lost hours are (at least in part) recouped. Your levels of exhaustion may also be affected by your particular sleep predilection. The rough split is between ‘night owls’ who (as the name suggests) naturally become more alert and productive in the evening,
and ‘early birds’, whose natural clocks incline towards the beginning of the day.
Try to work out when you sleep best and adjust your timings to this – whilst this can be tricky dependent on work schedule, if your inability to get up in the morning is really affecting your career perhaps consider changing shifts or roles to accommodate your natural sleep cycle.
With the current online obsession with diets, health kicks and possessing the body of a model, it’s hard to know who’s advice to follow to actually eat healthily. Eating a large quantity of carbohydrates can leave you feeling sluggish, unsatisfied and craving more of the same. For increased energy focus on upping your protein intake, eating more fish for healthy omega-3 fatty acids and munching on fruit and veg to fill you up, as opposed to potatoes and pasta.
Iron deficiency – for women especially
Iron deficiency is an issue that effects a high proportion of women, and can be exacerbated at certain points in the month. This can leave you feeling lightheaded and dizzy, constantly tired for no apparent reason, and lacking the energy and motivation to complete the tasks that everyone else is seemingly jumping at.
You can confirm iron deficiency through a simple blood test at your local GP’s, and supplementary iron tablets are available over the counter at chemists and in such shops as boots. A more serious version of iron deficiency is anaemia, which may require stronger prescription pills, and may mean you need to keep a closer eye on feelings of exhaustion.
Stress and worry
At the extreme end of the stress spectrum, severe mental anxiety can have physical implications which cant inhibit normal everyday life. Insomnia, the inability to focus on a specific task and a debilitating worry about the future are all symptoms of extreme stress and pressure at work.
If you think this might be affecting you, speak to your manager to see what can be done to reduce your workload. Plan ahead for each day the night before with realistic time frames; this will help tasks appear achievable and should reduce night-time worry, helping you sleep. Worrying can be exhausting in itself – it’s much easier said than done, but work on reducing you stress levels step-by-step.
If you don’t think that any of the above reasons or factors apply to you, but you suffer repeatedly from fatigue, it would be a good idea to pop in to see your GP. Whilst it’s probably nothing, lack of energy can be an indicator of an underlying medical condition, and it’s always good to catch these things early on!
About the author
Alexandra Jane is the writer and editor of graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency. Check out their website to see which internships and graduate marketing jobs are currently available, as well as their graduate jobs Manchester page for further opportunities.