Burning the candle at both ends is symptomatic of modern life. Relentless pressure to excel in the workplace has driven 13 per cent of us to put in at least 49 hours per week at the office, and 75 per cent of us manage to do so on far less than eight hours of sleep.
Throw in the occasional bender, a gruelling workout schedule and the plate-spinning act that is your social life and it’s no wonder that “fatigue” is more of an epidemic than an excuse.
The telltale signs of tiredness run the gamut from the familiar (puffy eyes, sunken skin) to the plain dangerous (slow reflexes, hallucinations), and are often accented by a dangerously short temper. In the interest of preserving your health – and, indeed, that of those that come within punching distance – we have compiled some tried and tested life-hacks to keep fatigue at bay.
LAY OFF STIMULANTS
It may sound counterintuitive, but relying on stimulants to help you make it through the day isn’t the wisest idea when you’re running on empty. Jump-starting the body with caffeine or, indeed, the diabetic nightmare that is Red Bull will only ensure you crash – messily, possibly perilously – a matter of hours after consumption.
Energy is a cellular function that depends on the vitamins and minerals you have in your diet, and not on the amount of refined carbs you can scarf down in the blink of an eye. Ergo, when cells are fuelled in the correct way – ie, on a varied Low-GI diet – you feel energised and ready to take on the world. If your diet is poor, they’re likely to go out of business and leave you feeling lethargic and groggy.
A good-quality supplement will stand you in good stead.B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that the body cannot store for rainy days, so you’ll need to incorporate it into your pill-popping regime or, better yet, get it in injection form. Alternatively, The Nue Co.’s Energy Food + Prebiotic covers all bases with an organic blend of naturally uplifting maca, beetroot and goji berries. Brown rice protein delivers a steady supply of energy throughout the day while prebiotic inulin stabilises blood sugar levels so you don’t crash and burn after lunch.
Another alternative, if you’re dedicated to hitting the gym still, is a protein from P-FIT – P-FIT offer the highest quality grass fed whey protein you can buy, in which Taking the right amount, at the right time, can re-energise, recharge and help shape your body: helping you look and feel better than ever.
HIDE THE SIGNS
If the eyes are the windows to the soul, then your soul is desperately sleep-deprived and agitated. The skin that surrounds your peepers is so delicate and thin that even the slightest hiccup in your sleeping schedule will show up in the form of puffiness or, worse yet, dark circles.
Puffiness is a sign of fluid retention in the tissue, a condition that is exacerbated by a diet rich in salt and alcohol. The fluid can be drained by placing two freezer-fresh metal spoons on your eyes (or far more easily with the rollerball product listed below). Dark circles, on the other hand, are usually caused by dilated blood vessels that become visible beneath translucent skin.
In terms of curative solutions, an anti-fatigue eye treatment is the one specialist unguent that should be in your grooming routine. The cool Anti-Fatigue Eye Gel by Clinique For Men will help drain excess fluid while revitalising the senses.
Energise and refresh your complexion with Grüum’s energising gösta facial tonic – this little bottle could be the answer to many of your skin nightmares, reducing unwanted shine and preventing clogged pores. gösta’s natural ingredients are kind to your face, with a light and zesty citrus scent.
LEARN THE ART OF POWER NAPPING
Afternoon siestas make perfect sense. A little power nap has been shown to improve logical reasoning, reflexes, mood, memory and learning. Crucially, naps also sort out tiredness more effectively than a long, deep snooze. Much like interval training, the trick to power napping lies in the duration and frequency of the naps. Sleep scientists concur that an efficient snooze should be somewhere been 10 and 30 minutes; anything more will cause you to feel even more sluggish than you were to before, a condition called “sleep inertia”.
The power nap was made socially acceptable after a Nasa study in 1995 that analysed the impact of siestas on 747 pilots. An average rest time of 25.8 minutes “demonstrated vigilance performance improvements from 16 per cent in median reaction time to 34 per cent in lapses compared to the No-Rest Group.” So, if HR haven’t installed sleep pods in your office yet, get on their case.
Our top tip is give yourself 30 mins to lie-down, set your alarm, if you’re really tired you’ll be asleep in 4 to 5 minutes and when you awake 25-26 minutes later you won’t feel groggy and tired, just refreshed!
So…whilst we don’t recommend burning the candle at both ends for a sustained period, if you are, hopefully the above will help you!