Here's Why You're Feeling More Tired Than Ever Despite Not Leaving The House
When lockdown first kicked in, I tried to stay focussed on the positives - and one was the extra sleep I'd be getting while working from home.
Gone would be the early alarms and hour long journeys into the office. Instead, I'd be bagging an extra two hours of shut eye every night and my commute would simply involve moving from one room to another. I would be a ball of energy, surely.
But just one week into lockdown and I was in shock at just how tired I was. Most days I've snoozed my alarm and others I've felt too depleted to do any form of exercise other than a short lunchtime stroll.
Previously I had expectations of being up at 6.30am, ready to crack on with a HIIT class before starting work. I haven't done that once in all of four weeks.
Then there's the naps... I'm almost embarrassed to admit I've been having an hour shut eye most evenings at around 6pm, before going to bed properly at around 10.30pm.
You'd think I would have an interrupted sleep as a result - but in fact, I've sleeping more deeply than I have for a long time.
I would have been maybe a little bit concerned, if it wasn't for the fact that so many of my friends, family and colleagues are experiencing the same fatigue.
Wanting to get to the bottom of what was going on, I chatted to James Wilson - aka The Sleep Geek - who shed some light on why we're all so sleepy.
More Like ThisMore Like This
According to James, we're actually suffering from lethargy (basically a lack of energy) - which is very different to sleepiness. James explains there are many factors coming into play, including lack of sunlight and exercise, as well as a change in routine and increased stress and anxiety levels.
He told Tyla: "During lockdown, most of us aren't getting our usual levels of exercise. Added to that, when you're in an office, your brain is working in a different kind of way, you're up and down walking around, there's the social interaction, too.
"A lot of us aren't feeling as physically tired, meaning we'll be struggling to get to sleep at a time we would usually, which can leave us feeling more tired in the morning.
"Added to that, we're not getting exposed to certain things in the day such as daylight, which is so important. If you're really struggling, you could even get a light box. They mimic the sun and all you need to do is put them on when you're having breakfast or doing some work and it just helps lift your mood and energy levels."
James also explains that increased anxiety and stress can also be leading to us feeling more tired.
"Find good news sources and try not to have those anxiety-inducing conversations an hour before bed. There's lots of video calls and virtual quizzes going on at the moment, but try not to do these things before you're going to sleep.
"Instead, watch something funny, something trashy that gives you a bit of an escape."
Luckily, James thinks our energy levels will start to balance out over the next couple of weeks. He also advised being extra careful over alcohol consumption, too. "A lot of it is like we're on holiday and you do feel more lethargic on holiday because you're doing less.
"Alcohol is a sedative, not a sleep-inducer, so alcohol can affect your sleep too. I'm not saying don't drink, but just understand how it can affect your sleep."
Ultimately, James says it's the change in routine that's having the biggest affect on our energy levels.
"Any kind of change in behaviour can affect your sleep, we're all adjusting to a new normal and need time to adapt. However, be careful with napping," he says.
"At the moment, we feel more lethargic anyway because we're doing less, so it's easy to drift off in the afternoon or early evening. They can make you feel more alert but they can also affect your sleep at night."
Looks like I'll be skipping my evening nap tonight then...
Featured Image Credit: Pexels