In today’s world, a person complaining about feeling tired has become very common. It’s no secret that sitting on a desk all day, waiting in traffic for hours, and having busy life schedules contribute significantly to both mental and physical fatigue. However, some of the exhaustion that we experience comes from thoughtless everyday habits that we don’t imagine have a tangible effect on our health and wellness status.
Here are a few mindless everyday habits that we need to watch out for to prevent fatigue.
1. Using gadgets before going to bed
After a long day at work or running other errands, nighttime might feel like the perfect time to catch up with loved ones or check out social media. You may also want to catch up with your favourite shows. However, using your phone, laptop, or tablets before going to bed can affect your sleep leading to fatigue.
Electronic gadgets emit blue light which can affect the production of melatonin. Our bodies need melatonin because it’s the hormone that makes us feel sleepy. The blue light delays the production of melatonin thus affecting our circadian rhythm. This affects your sleep/wake cycle and besides causing fatigue, you could also be moody.
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2. Drinking alcohol before going to bed
You’ve probably heard people have a nightcap because they want to sleep better. Sometimes a glass of wine feels like the perfect way to relax after a busy day. However, alcohol can affect our sleep. Although initially, it acts as a sedative because it depresses the central nervous system, it causes an adrenaline surge as the body metabolizes it.
This is why it’s common to wake up in the middle of the night after taking alcohol. The sleep disturbance leads to feeling tired. It’s advisable to stop taking alcohol about four hours before going to sleep.
3. Skipping breakfast
Often nutrition experts have referred to breakfast as the most important meal of the day. Yet, very many of us skip breakfast because of various reasons. Some have to leave the house very early to beat traffic on the way to work or to school. Breakfast provides the energy boost that our bodies need.
Many people want to do most of the difficult work in the morning when they think they’re most alert but don’t fuel up the bodies that do these activities. You’re running on fumes while trying to force your body to be productive causing you to feel tired.
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4. Having a messy desk
It’s pretty easy to have a messy desk. While some people claim to work well with the mess and even ‘brag’ about knowing where exactly everything is in the pile of clutter, a messy desk can cause mental fatigue.
The clutter on the desk can make your brain feel overwhelmed, making it more difficult to focus. The messy pile on the desk causes a visual distraction which overloads our cognitive resources and reduces our working memory. It becomes more difficult to relax and we get tired both mentally and physically.
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5. Working with too many tabs open
We often have many tabs at the same time as we work. Perhaps you’re conducting research, and you also need to respond to your emails. You might feel like you need all those tabs but this thoughtless everyday habit works against you.
Having too many tabs open overwhelms the brain and while we might think we can multi-task this leads to loss of focus. You keep switching between tasks so you don’t fully process the information on each tab. You then lose concentration while tiring your brain.
6. Watching emotionally triggering movies and TV shows
We can all agree that some of the best TV shows and movies are the ones that trigger emotions. A certain character could either make you very happy or annoy you thoroughly. While watching such shows may look like just entertainment, they can lead to exhaustion.
A psychiatrist in California suggests that trait identification in characters causes mental fatigue. Binge-watching shows that trigger emotions can lead to a sustained state of emotional overstimulation. Shifting back from this state to your regular emotional state takes up more mental strength leaving you tired.
7. Postponing tasks leading to a pileup
Many of us are guilty of procrastination. There’s always one more task to accomplish before tending to another one. Soon enough you find that all the small tasks that you had to do have become a mountain that requires so much time and yet your time already feels filled up with activities.
Similar to having clutter on your desk, piling up tasks is another thoughtless everyday habit that can make you feel overwhelmed and tired. To prevent this from happening, it’s best to finish tasks as they arise. If you create a mess in an area while looking for an item, tidy up immediately.
While finishing small tasks immediately may not always be possible, have a schedule – time allocated to attend to such matters. That way you don’t feel overwhelmed by the lack of order in your life.
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Also, check out 7 Ways To Overcome Mental Fatigue