There are lots of things that can contribute to low energy. What you may not even realise is that some of your common habits could be the worst offenders.

Here are the top nine things that sap your energy:

  1. Using your smartphone before bed

    The glow of iPads, smartphones and other electronic devices before bedtime could be messing with our sleep patterns and even affecting our long-term health. A study, carried out by researchers at Penn State University, found that those who used the electronic devices had reduced levels of melatonin, a hormone that tends to increase in the evening to induce sleepiness. This group took longer to get to sleep and spent less time in the deep rapid-eye movement sleep.

  2. Mild dehydration

    Even slight dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume that makes the blood thicker and more difficult to pump. That can slow blood flow to your brain and body and make you tired. So drink more water, more often.

  3. The clutter on your desk

    A study from Princeton University recently found that a cluttered workspace not only negatively impacts productivity, but also causes you to expend mental energy and focus while increasing stress and exhaustion. Who thought a quick tidy can make us feel energised.

  4. Your evening nightcap

    While we may feel that drinking alcohol before bed has a relaxing effect, it can actually disrupt sleep. To avoid this, experts recommend cutting off alcohol intake three to four hours before bed. See point two for a better alternative.

  5. The setting on your thermostat

    Studies have found that in general, the optimal temperature for sleep is quite cool, around 15°C  to 20°C. For some, temperatures that fall too far below or above this range can lead to restlessness.

  6. An inconsistent bedtime routine

    A study into adult health found that we should go to bed and get up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Those who go to bed and wake at roughly the same times each day are ‘significantly more alert’ than those who go to bed at vastly different times each day.

  7. Too much fat in your diet

    A study from 2009 found that the more fat a person ate, the more trouble they had sleeping. Cutting out saturated fat and eating moderate amounts of unsaturated fats reduces your weight, the risk of heart disease and cholesterol levels – plus it can can make you sleep better.

  8. Lack of iron

    Iron helps carry oxygen to the brain and cells, so an iron deficiency can leave you feeling tired and weak.  Look to add foods high in iron like beef, dark green vegetables, and tofu to your diet for more energy. 

  9. Skipping exercise

    Skipping exercise when you’re tired is a vicious cycle. The more tired you feel, the more likely you are to skip exercise, which will make you feel even more tired. Regular exercise pumps oxygen and nutrients to your body and brain tissues, and even a light exercise session like taking a walk has been found to increase energy and focus.

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