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Feeling like a Zombie?

fatigue insomnia tired exhausted

Are you feeling like a zombie?

So many patients come through my clinic with this complaint. They tell me they are trudging through each day with no energy, no passion, and not enough time. There is a real sense that they can’t live their life to the fullest, and that they’re not feeling like themselves.

This is a horrible feeling. The good news is, it doesn’t have to become permanent.

By taking a few small steps at a time you can get your energy, zest and life back. If you want a more in depth understanding of how, get in touch or book in to see me in my clinic and we’ll get you moving in the right direction.

For now, here is a super quick look at sleep and how you can optimise your sleeping habits to jumpstart your energy and your day.

Why is sleep important?

Sleep is when our bodies recover from the stress and strain we put them under during the day. This stress can be physical (workouts, illness, running around completing to do lists) or mental/emotional (study, illness, mental health, relationship/family/friend stress).

The bottom line is, our time spent in deep sleep is when the body heals and builds energy for the following day. If we’re not getting enough sleep, or enough good quality sleep, then we don’t heal and recharge. And if we don’t heal, we feel tired, fuzzy headed, our memory fails us and we start to get cranky and short tempered with those around us.

Good Sleep vs. Poor Sleep

Not all sleep is created equal. You know this already - I’m sure you can think of a time when you went to bed, passed out, and woke in the morning feeling worse than you did the night before.

When we sleep poorly we feel rubbish. Our reaction time slows, we get irritable, and are far more likely to reach for caffeine or sugary foods to give ourselves a boost. Poor sleep makes it hard to focus, exercise, maintain a healthy weight, and function at work or at home.

When we get really good sleep our body has time to recover, heal, and build energy for the coming day. Think of it like charging up your phone or laptop - if your cable has a faulty connection or you don’t leave it plugged in for long enough, then your device doesn’t get enough juice to power all the apps and tasks you need it to do.

When the cable is well maintained and you leave it plugged in for a good amount of time, your device is topped up and ready to roll.

You’re the same. If your sleep quality is good and you get the right amount of hours, you’ll wake feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.

5 ways to improve your sleep tonight

Improving your sleep is easy peasy. Here are 5 little things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep tonight.

book reading sleep hygiene digital sundown

1) Stay off screens an hour before bed. Many patients find this hard to begin with - we have all become reliant on our phones. But here’s the thing - staring at your screens before bed lowers your levels of melatonin in the body, which is what tells our body to sleep, and results in poor quality of sleep or broken sleep. Try a digital sunset - set yourself an alarm an hour before bed and turn your devices off or onto airplane mode. Use that last hour for something relaxing - go for a gentle walk, do some yoga or stretching. You can try connecting with family or friends, have a quiet conversation, or enjoy some quiet time to yourself in the garden, in a nice hot bath, or with a good book. I promise you, if you start doing this instead of screens and stick with it you’ll notice a difference.

2) Get up when you wake up. I know, when you’re feeling tired the temptation to stay curled up in bed is hard to resist, but you can do it. Staying in bed after you wake only makes you feel more tired. You’re better to get up when you wake up and make a start on your day - maybe a short walk to the letterbox and back to get the blood flowing.

bedroom calm sleep

3) Control your bedroom! As much as possible, make your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool. If the room is too hot you’ll find it harder to get to sleep and stay asleep. If you have a heat pump or air conditioning, set this in advance so the room is already cool at bed time. If not, try a fan, cracking a window, or having a cool shower before bed.

bedtime clock sleep hygeing

4) Sleep routine. Decide on a bed time and stick to it. One of the worst things you can do is change your bedtime every night of the week. Our bodies love routine - if you set a bedtime and stick with it, your body will learn to slow down and sleep at that time. You’ll find it easier to fall asleep and you’ll feel better when you wake in the morning .

5) Get some exercise! Try to avoid doing this right before bed, but make a point to get some exercise in every day. Walking or swimming (especially this time of year!) are great options, but anything goes, just find something you enjoy. And if you can’t avoid exercising before bed, try to make it something gentler like yoga, walking or swimming. If you want to do something more intense and before bed is your only free time, balance it out with a good long stretch.

Bonus Tip! Good sleep habits build on each other. The more you’re able to do, and the longer you keep with them, the better your sleep gets. This then means you have more energy during the day, a better mind set, focus, and drive. The benefits are endless and keep on multiplying the longer you stick with it.

So, what have you got to lose?

For more information on how to improve your sleep, energy, or quality of life drop me a line or come and see me in clinic. Together we’ll find a way to make tiny changes that get you moving toward better health and wellbeing.


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