5 Ways Women Can Beat Tiredness (According To A Dietitian)

If you regularly wake up feeling tired, you might want to read this.
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There are many joys to being a woman, but tiredness certainly isn’t one of them.

If you’ve woken up feeling sleepy today, you’re not alone. In fact, nearly two-thirds of women in the UK wake up feeling tired, regardless of how long they’ve slept for, compared to just half of men, according to a YouGov survey.

What’s more, a whopping 81% of women surveyed said their tiredness impacts their daily activities.

And then there’s the intense fatigue experienced during their cycle, for those who are menstruating.

Women across the UK are losing an average of five months of sleep in their lifetime due to discomfort, anxiety and fear while on their period, with more than two out of three (69%) women suffering from disturbed sleep, according to a recent poll by Essity.

With so many women suffering from tiredness, consultant dietitian Jenaed Brodell sat down with Pro Plus to share a list of five simple but powerful actions that can help reduce fatigue in day-to-day life.

1. Incorporate movement into your day

It might feel counterproductive to exercise when you’re feeling sleepy but research shows that regular exercise can, in fact, improve fatigue.

There are plenty of other benefits to getting active, says Jenaed, including: releasing feel-good endorphins, regulating our stress response and improving concentration.

“Find the form of exercise that you enjoy the most so you’re more likely to stick with it and reap all the benefits,” says the dietitian.

2. Take time for yourself

It’s easier said than done, but you should make sure to carve out time for yourself during the day – sometimes it’s the only thing we need.

This might be especially important just before and during menstruation, as the drop in hormones such as progesterone and oestrogen can cause more tiredness than usual.

Jenaed says spending even just 10 minutes in the morning to pause and take time for yourself “is a great way to start your day feeling energised and grounded”.

“Whether it’s meditation, journalling or perhaps reading a book, find what makes you feel your best,” she adds.

3. Create good sleep habits

There’s nothing worse than tossing and turning in bed for hours, but it’s a common experience for a lot of people in the UK.Creating a calming sleep routine can make all the difference. Try to limit all screen usage for at least 30 minutes before bed, as well as avoiding alcohol in the hours leading up to sleep.

“Our circadian rhythm loves routine, so keeping to the same sleeping schedule can help you feel more energised during the day and make you sleepy in the evening, preparing you for a deep and refreshing sleep, giving you a spring in your step the following morning,” adds Jenaed.

4. Use caffeine strategically

It’s no secret that caffeine is a lifesaver on those days when everything seems like a struggle. Experts even suggest that consuming caffeine strategically may help you get the most out of it.

Try to hold off your caffeine hit until right before your most important task of the day to achieve the hyper-focus when you need it most. If you want to ensure it doesn’t affect the quality of your sleep, try to keep your caffeination time earlier in the day.

5. Eat for sleep

A healthy balanced diet is beneficial for overall health, and sleep is no exception. Certain nutrients such as magnesium and B vitamins are known to enhance sleep by regulating melatonin.

Eating magnesium-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, or foods high in B vitamins such as fish, eggs and legumes, can help to increase your levels to support melatonin production.

The number of meals you eat may also affect your energy, according to Jenaed.

“Where energy is the issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day,” she explains.

This approach can reduce your perception of fatigue because your brain, which has very few energy reserves of its own, needs a steady supply of nutrients.

Some people begin feeling sluggish after just a few hours without food, but it doesn’t take much to feed your brain – a piece of fruit with some yoghurt or a few nuts is adequate, Jenaed adds.

And if you’re feeling persistently tired despite making efforts to improve your energy levels, it’s worth speaking to your GP about it – as many underlying health conditions can cause fatigue.