Sleeping 7-9 hours per night is recommended to perform your best both physically and mentally every day. Although, several people meet and follow this suggestion, many still claim to be chronically fatigued. You may ask, why? Well, there are other key factors that come into play even if you are getting the recommended amount of sleep per night.
1. You aren't exercising enough. I hear it time and time again, "I'm too tired to work out". Yes, that may be the case every once in a while, but if you are consistently "too tired to work out", there is definitely more to it. Sitting at an office desk all day with minimal movement slows your body's blood flow, so by the time you get home from work, you feel sluggish and unmotivated to get moving. What you might not realize is that exercising has been proven to encourage a higher quality of sleep PLUS exercise energizes you. Ipso facto, you will no longer feel lethargic if you make exercise part of your daily routine.
2. You are overexercising. On the other end of the spectrum, you could be working out too much. Living an active lifestyle is encouraged, but if your workouts have too much volume, it is going to affect your day-to-day life. Completing long, intense workouts daily may actually slow your progress instead of help it, which is why incorporating rest days is so important!
3. You're not drinking enough water. Water allows your body to work effectively and efficiently. Even if you are the slightest bit dehydrated, you will feel it through your yawns. *Cue lack of energy.* To ensure you are drinking enough water, follow the guidelines suggested by NASM, which recommends approximately 125 oz for men and 91 oz for women. *Recommend water intake may vary depending on your lifestyle. (Read more about the benefits of drinking water.)
4. Hormonal imbalance. I am most certainly not a doctor, but I do know hormones have a high impact on how your body reacts to day-to-day activities. Stress, diet, and digestion are just a few things that can cause a hormonal imbalance. Now, before you start Google-ing and WedMD-ing symptoms of hormone imbalances, talk with your doctor if you are concerned.
5. Inconsistent sleeping patterns. Although you may get 7-9 hours of sleep at night, the time you go to bed varies. Your body and internal clock are going to be all sorts of confused if one night you go to bed at 9:30 PM and the next night you go to bed at 1:00AM. Consistency is KEY in every aspect of your life, including sleep. Proper planning of your nighttime routine will get you on track for a stable sleep schedule. If you have an iPhone, use the Bedtime feature on the Clock app to get you on schedule.