Feel tired all the time? You’re not alone. If you’re between 22 and 37 years old, you’re twice as likely to experience constant exhaustion than you would have 20 years ago.
As millennials know too well, society loves to nickname entire generations — and we’ve been dubbed the tired one. Why are we more tired than our parents were at our age? And what can we do about it? We decided to ask — and answer — the top reasons for being tired all of the time.
1. Stress and anxiety.
Anxiety makes you tired, and we’re more anxious than ever before. Millennials are the most anxious generation, while Baby Boomers are the least. Exploring the reasons would be another article in and of itself, but social media certainly contributes, as does world news and financial stress. (We’re earning less than our parents did at this age, too.)
Solutions: Journaling is a great exercise to uncover when you feel anxious and why. Try to stay away from those situations — for example, spending less time with friends who stress you out or moving closer to work to shorten your commute. CBD helps relieve anxiety, and so does meditation. Apps like Insight Timer have guided meditations specifically for anxiety.
2. Sleep deprivation.
One in three adults today don't get enough sleep — defined as at least seven hours a night — which contributes to anxiety as well as fatigue.
Solutions: Exercise is often the last thing you want to do when you’re tired, but just 20 minutes can boost your energy and help you sleep. If you hate the gym, don’t force yourself to go. Play tennis or go for a walk with friends instead. Plus, spending time in the sun helps with fatigue. Taking CBD before bed can also help improve your sleep and wake cycles. When you go to sleep, keep your bedroom quiet, cold, and completely dark.
Solutions: Track and limit your screen time, which you can do right in your phone settings. Put away all technology at least two hours before bed, and if you do look at screens after dark, wear glasses that reduce your exposure to blue light. Put your phone on airplane mode while you sleep, or consider getting an alarm clock so you can turn it off altogether.
4. Our “always on” culture.
While millennials spend less time in the workplace than our parents, we don’t leave work at the office. Studies show that millennials feel more pressure to be available thanks to technology. It also doesn’t help that society glamorizes side hustles and working around the clock.
Solutions: Set boundaries around your work hours and turn off Slack or email notifications when you leave the office. You can also set your phone to automatically enter “do not disturb” mode at a certain time every night.
5. Sitting too much.
Solutions: It’s recommended that you stand for four hours in an eight-hour workday. That sounds like a lot, but it is possible! Try a standing desk and set reminders to get up every 30 minutes. (That’s easy if you’re drinking enough water, which will force you to take regular bathroom breaks — a bonus because dehydration also contributes to fatigue.) Try standing during meetings or even walking and talking.
6. Our diet.
In response to these stressors, we often resort to behaviors that can make us even more tired, such as drinking alcohol and caffeine, vegging out in front of the TV, and eating poorly.
“A typical millennial diet … is high in refined carbohydrates and low in fiber, which leads to blood sugar highs and lows,” registered dietitian and nutritionist Marissa Meshulam tells Healthline. “When your blood sugar is out of whack, you become more tired. Additionally, these diets are low in vitamins and minerals, which can lead to deficiencies and subsequently chronic fatigue.”
Solutions: To balance your blood sugar, Meshulam recommends getting enough protein, fiber, and fat in your diet. Adding more fruits and vegetables will boost your vitamin and mineral content. Unprocessed, organic foods also help with chronic fatigue. (Don’t worry, you can find organic CBD products, too). Here are more diet tips to help prevent fatigue.
If you have considered these factors and are still overly tired, you might have an underlying issue such as anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, or a food intolerance. If you have a low-grade fever, shortness of breath, or loss of appetite, consider making an appointment with your doctor. There may be naturopath or homeopathic solutions that can help.
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