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Fatigue? -Can be prevented with small healthy habits

Practical tutorials from Dr. Stuart Farrimond's latest book "The Science of Living: 219 reasons to rethink your daily routine"

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A new book by Dr. Stuart Farrimond, a revered British family physician, makes an order in our day-to-day routine and recommends re-examining small habits to live a healthier and more efficient life – without unnecessary effort. The book helps us explore the science behind our daily living habits and make our day healthier, happier, and more productive. And most importantly – it will help you prevent fatigue.

How can I wake up faster in the morning? When should I drink my first coffee? Is it better to take a shower in the morning or the evening? We all ask ourselves dozens of questions that pertain to our lifestyle habits every day and often do not get a proven scientific answer.

Dr. Farrimond answered them, relying on the vast medical experience during his 20 years of work as a family physician and analyzing thousands of scientific studies.

This article summarizes the main habits discussed in the book that affect sleep quality and prevent fatigue.

Get up in the morning with fatigue
Get up in the morning with fatigue.

Why is it so hard for me to wake up in the morning?

If you have difficulty waking up and starting your day – you are not alone. 70% of people have difficulty functioning in the first one to two hours of the day, and this phenomenon is called Sleep Inertia. Our body secretes hormones that encourage sleep like melatonin during sleep, and it is difficult for the body to move quickly from rest to wakefulness. If you are lucky and woke up during a deep dream year (REM stage), you will feel energetic and ready for the new day that has come. But if you wake up in a phase of shallow and not deep sleep, chances are you will start your day when you have fatigue, lack energy, and have difficulty functioning, concentrating, and making decisions.

To speed up waking up in the morning, it is advisable to be exposed to as strong daylight as possible. Daylight encourages the dissipation of hormones that encourage nighttime sleep and awakens the body, so you should open a window wide or even go outside to a source of direct sunlight. In a few minutes, you will feel more alert. If you are ineffective at these two hours a day anyway, you should start the day with yoga exercises, stretching, or light activities such as walking. All of these will speed up your heart rate and increase blood flow to parts of the brain that are still asleep, and will even improve your mood.

Even if you feel particularly alert and energetic, it is not advisable to make significant decisions during these hours. Even if your brain seems to be working well, keep in mind that many studies have shown that one or two hours after waking up, your cognitive ability is not at its best. Your response time during these hours is extremely low, and the ability to make good decisions that you are happy with is 50% lower than the decisions you will make during the other hours of the day.

 

When to drink my first coffee?
When to drink my first coffee after a night’s sleep?

When to drink my first coffee?

Do you feel stress and mental strain in the morning? This may be because you drink strong coffee for the first hour after you wake up. Caffeine is a very potent stimulant. It speeds up thought, increases motivation, and improves mood, and it does so by temporarily blocking one of the hormones that encourage sleep and relaxation – adenosine. The problem is that currently, immediately after waking up, the energy and stress hormone cortisol is at its peak, and strong coffee adds mental stress, sometimes to the point of anxiety.

Suppose you want to enjoy the benefits of caffeine for awakening without experiencing an anxiety attack on the road. In that case, it is best to wait an hour after awakening until the level of the hormone cortisol drops. This way, you will enjoy the arousal that caffeine provides, preventing fatigue without feelings of stress and mental strain.

 

 

 

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When is the best time to take a shower or bath?

Most of us take a shower every day, but when should we do it? If you are among those who find it difficult to wake up in the morning, you should start the day with a shower. If you do this in a little cool water, you will raise the level of the hormone adrenaline fast. And if you add caffeine to it a little after the shower, you will expel fatigue and start your day full of energy. If cold water is out of the question, try at least finishing your morning shower with a few seconds of cold water (not the coldest). This step will give you instant energy and a good feeling. By the way, a study found that a little cold water at the end of the shower during the winter is a habit that reduces the risk of developing winter illnesses like flu and colds. If, on the other hand, you have difficulty falling asleep at night, you should take a shower in the evening – and this time in hot water.

Schedule the shower for 90 minutes before bed. A warm shower in the dark will help the brain relax because it causes a drop in blood pressure and the release of hormones that reduce anxiety and encourage a positive feeling like serotonin. By the way, you should stay with the hot water because a cold shower at night causes the opposite effect. Therefore it is advisable to avoid it.

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And if you are wondering why not enjoy a cold shower in the morning and a hot bath in the evening, the answer is: two showers a day is too much for your skin. The skin is covered with a thin layer of subcutaneous fat, and this layer protects it from moisture loss. Two showers a day can leave your skin dry and dehydrated.

Fatigue -Shell I fall asleep in the afternoon?
Fatigue -Shell, I fall asleep in the afternoon?

Is it worth resting at noon to prevent fatigue?

Although most people will not do it because of multiple chores, lunch break has many benefits. Studies have found that lunch rest is refreshing and contributes to function and concentration. The ideal time for this is between 13:00 and 15:00. It is not recommended to rest after 16:00 because the night’s sleep may be impaired by this time. If you are exhausted or have had a bad night’s sleep and have difficulty concentrating, a lunch break will help you get back to function. The ideal duration for an effective lunch rest is 10 – 20 minutes which includes closing the eyes.

How to help myself fall asleep faster?

25% of the world’s population struggles every night with the difficulty of falling asleep. Despite the fatigue they feel. This is because of the many thoughts that run through our heads and evoke the evolutionary mechanism of Fight or Flight. All worrying thoughts recharge the body with adrenaline that prevents us from falling asleep. And if you have already fallen asleep, sleep will be disturbed because of the thoughts. In such a situation, it is recommended to concentrate on breathing until falling asleep. Temperature and lighting are also crucial for good sleep. Many studies have found that people tend to fall asleep a few hours after dark when the temperature has dropped.

If you find it difficult to fall asleep, try to expose yourself to maximum light during the day, but already in the late afternoon, reduce the lighting in the house a bit. It will signal to your body that in a few hours, you are going to sleep. One of the most effective methods for good sleep is to adopt a sleep routine based on regular hours. I.e., wake up and go to bed at the same time every day, including weekends. Such a habit regulates the biological clock and leads to regular, deep, and efficient sleep.

How to snore less?

No one is aware that he is snoring until someone informs him about it. Although snoring is considered “masculine,” about a quarter of women snore. Most snorers begin to snore during the deepest phase of sleep when the body becomes very loose. The tissue in the pharynx (the uvula) that interferes with air passage also becomes loose, thus creating the snoring noise. Studies show that snoring at night causes fatigue during the day. Snoring is more common in people who are overweight or with an anatomical structure of larger-than-normal uvula tissue. In extreme cases of snoring, it is common to undergo surgery to remove part of the uvula. Before that, it is worth taking the following steps:

  • Avoid alcohol or sedatives. They increase muscle laxity and therefore snoring.
  • Do not sleep on your back but only on your side.
  • If necessary, reduce weight. Weight loss will reduce the pressure on your airways.

Exercises to strengthen the muscles in the pharynx help prevent snoring. Therefore, it is recommended to perform the two simple exercises attached every day:

  • Exercise 1: Attach the tip of the tongue to the front teeth and slide the tongue towards the pharynx. Try to get as deep as possible to activate the pharyngeal muscle. Do this 20 times.
  • Exercise 2: Attach the tip of the tongue to the lower teeth and push the base of the tongue (inner part) down. If you touch the throat, you will feel the activation of the muscle. Do this 20 times.

It is highly recommended to read the book of Dr. Stuart Farrimond, The Science of Living: 219 reasons to rethink your daily routine. The examples we have given in this article will help you prevent fatigue.
The book has dozens of other examples of daily habits that we can re-examine to live a better and healthier life.

“A thoroughly enjoyable read. Engaging and insightful. I would recommend to both adults and children interested in science. This is a must read. Hard to put down.”

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