One of the common issues a worker can experience is having morning fatigue. You wake in the morning, and you feel so tired from getting up from the bed. No matter how you motivate yourself to go to work, your physical strength and mental state seem not to be cooperating. Waking up feeling so tired should be taken seriously. This may be caused by some underlying factors that may affect your overall well-being and work performance when taken for granted.
What is Morning Fatigue?
Tiredness can be commonly experienced after doing an activity or performing tasks. However, when this tiredness seems to be constant and is limiting yourself from doing other things, this can be considered fatigue already. WebMD describes fatigue as the following:
"Fatigue is a lingering tiredness that is constant and limiting. With fatigue, you have unexplained, persistent, and relapsing exhaustion. It's similar to how you feel when you have the flu or have missed a lot of sleep. If you have chronic fatigue or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID), you may wake in the morning feeling as though you've not slept. Or you may be unable to function at work or be productive at home. You may be too exhausted even to manage your daily affairs."
You can be experiencing morning fatigue when you are feeling sluggish and lack energy after waking up. This is even if you have enough hours of sleep the night before. When you force yourself to go to work with a day starting with morning fatigue, you will likely have a poor performance in the workplace.
What are the Common Causes of Morning Fatigue?
Several factors can cause morning fatigue. WebMD listed some possible causes of morning fatigue, including:
- Liver diseases
- Chronic kidney diseases
- Lung diseases
Also, Medical News Today shared an article discussing sleep inertia as a cause of morning fatigue. The article mentioned:
"The term sleep inertia refers to the normal cognitive and sensory-motor impairments that occur immediately after waking. Sleep inertia occurs when a person wakes suddenly from deep, or slow-wave, sleep. As a result, certain parts of their brain are not fully awake. The brain stem, which controls basic functions, activates immediately after waking."
Symptoms that characterize sleep inertia include difficulty concentrating, poor decision-making, disorientation, drowsiness, and difficulty in doing fine motor activities.
Another online article published in NHS UK mentioned several medical reasons for feeling tired and fatigue. Included in these medical conditions are sleep apnea, coeliac disease, diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, anxiety, and restless legs.
Tips on How to Overcome Morning Fatigue and be Efficient at Work
When you're feeling tired and lazy, the way you perform at work can be greatly affected. You may lose focus, fail to meet deadlines, and, worse, make poor decisions at work. To avoid those adverse effects, the following tips should be considered:
#1 Drink a glass of water after waking up
Some medical experts believe that fatigue can be a common symptom of dehydration. It can cause sleepiness, mood disruptions, and changes in cognitive abilities. Make sure to drink a glass of water to freshen up your body system before doing any activity for the day.
#2 Do some stretchings or perform some yoga poses
It feels good when we stretch when we wake up. This is because during our sleep at night, the body muscles are literally paralyzed. This state is known as 'atonia.' Doing some stretchings or performing yoga can reactivate those muscles and then produce energy-stimulating hormones, endorphins. Doing yoga for 25 minutes can help boost brain functions and stimulate energy levels.
#3 Don't forget to eat breakfast to ignite your energy
Nutritionists and other medical experts advised people to have breakfast since it is the most important meal of the day. If you skip breakfast, you can be prone to acquiring health problems. Skipping breakfast affects your level of energy, as well as the ability to focus and pay attention the whole day.
Remember that the food you take in your body is the fuel that makes it function properly. Thus, you should provide your body with the calories it needs so that you can supercharge at the start of the day.
#6 Work in an ergonomic workstation
There are times the reason you feel so tired the next morning is that you've worked so hard the whole day before. Plus, you've been in an uncomfortable working station. This is why it is good to keep your workplace safe and ergonomically set up. Use standing desks and other ergonomic accessories to make sure you will avoid a sedentary work lifestyle. As you may know, sitting for long hours can cause several posture-related issues and mild to fatal health conditions. When you work in a poorly set up workstation, you may experience back pain and strain. It won't be excellent if these conditions extend until night or the day after. There are times that even if you have already slept to rest tired muscles and mind, you still feel exhausted the day later.
#7 Limit your caffeine intake
A lot of us can't let a day pass without sipping a hot cup of coffee. This is because coffee can help stimulate energy for us to stay focused on our activities. Coffee is not bad for your health, as long as it is taken moderately. In fact, coffee is packed with various health benefits. However, consuming too much coffee in the morning can indirectly cause increased fatigue later in the day. Medical experts advised people to reduce the amount of coffee intake in the morning. Limit it to four cups a day. As advised by the Mayo Clinic,
"Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola, or two "energy shot" drinks."
Mayo Clinic also mentioned that drinking too much coffee can lead to various side effects, including insomnia, headache, irritability, nervousness, fast heartbeat, frequent urination, and muscle tremors.
#8 Cut sugar intake until lunch
Your breakfast should be composed of healthy food choices. Avoid including sugary items such as pastries and sweetened beverages because they can contribute to a sudden spike or drop in your sugar level. Such a condition may leave you feeling drained and fatigued. Make sure to check as well the nutrition facts and labels to learn about its sugar content. As much as possible, keep healthy whole foods such as carrots, oranges, and apples for snacks.
#9 Go outside to activate your brain
Do you know that sunlight can help increase your body's serotonin level? An active serotonin level can result in improved sleep and a more energized body. This is why it is advisable to go out and enjoy the sunlight to help you feel more active. You can take a walk or do your morning exercise outdoors.
#10 Learn to manage or handle stress
Stress can impact your work performance negatively. However, when you let yourself become overwhelmed with stress, then drastic effects can happen. Stress can also drain your mental and emotional being, and it makes the way you start your morning a bit difficult because you feel tired and less motivated.
Stress can be due to problems of different kinds. Accept that problems can't be fixed overnight. Instead, we should strive to identify the source of the problem and do something about it.
#11 Practice good sleep and waking patterns
Your bedtime habits and waking routine can both have a profound effect on how you perform at work the whole day. Create good sleeping habits such as turning off screens an hour before going to bed and having a comfortable sleeping environment. Learn about the right way of maintaining your circadian rhythm, which refers to the internal biological clock that functions for a person to feel sleepy.
#12 Motivate yourself
No one is more responsible than yourself when it comes to creating life's success. The way you start your morning can mark how the entire day will go. When you're experiencing morning fatigue, you will not be able to work well the whole day. Make sure to motivate yourself. How can you do that? Make sure to give yourself something to look forward to. Such a mindset can boost your energy and excitement. You can definitely work more efficiently when you are happy and motivated.
We can be tired physically and mentally due to daily activities and stress around us. When your tiredness becomes chronic and affects your work performance, then that is the time to take action. If you're experiencing morning fatigue, then make sure to follow the tips mentioned above and achieve more success at work.