Tired

The day hasn’t even started and yet, you’ve already clocked out. Physically, emotionally, mentally, you are exhausted with the pace. “I already planned a nap for tomorrow,” you remind yourself as you reach for yet another cup of coffee. And suddenly, you can’t remember what it feels like to not be tired.

Children run around the playgrounds as if they had Red Bull in their cereal. Just watching them siphons what energy you have left. “How can they still be running?” you wonder as you rock designer bags underneath your eyes, make friends with every employee at Starbucks, and win an argument with your alarm clock about the crucial difference between 7:00 and 7:05 a.m. You question whether this inherent fatigue can simply be cured by getting enough sleep, or if it’s only a symptom of a bigger problem.

This got me wondering, are Millennials the “Tired Generation?”

Not Enough Time
Father Time won’t be adding any more sand to our hourglass, so we might as well stop saying: “There’s not enough time in the day.” Because while you might not have enough time to accomplish everything on your to-do list, we need to remember that we do have 24 hours to work with. That’s 1,440 minutes or 86,400 seconds every single day. Surely, we can find the time to get proper rest. Most of us are guilty, at one point or another, of putting off a term paper until the night before its due, or thinking that staying up to watch one more episode of “Lost” would be worth the struggle you’ll feel during your work meeting tomorrow. We are busy, things need to get done, but if scheduled right, we can find those recommended 7.5 hours of ZZZ time.

If you struggle with productivity throughout the day, try one of these apps to help you on track: 5 Productivity Apps for the Easily Distracted. Procrastination isn’t the source of all evil, but Overcoming the Procrastination Monster can help you get more done so you aren’t pulling all-nighters regularly.

We’re stressed
A new study finds that Millennials are more stressed out than any other generation that has been studied before. The American Psychological Association reveals people between the ages of 18-33 are overwhelmed with anxieties. Over 50 percent reported being kept up all night to “overwhelming worries” in the last night.

Finals, affording grad school, finding a decent job, moving, marriage, starting a family – all of these are just some of the worries that clog our brains as we toss and turn in the midnight hour. Even when you want to sleep, your brain won’t stop talking to itself.

Can’t quite convince yourself that sleep is necessary for your body? Read up on how not getting enough sleep each night affects not only your cognitive performance today but your long-term health 20 years from now: The Problems With Sleep Deprivation.

Bad Habits
Some of the main reasons twenty-something’s are suffering fatigue stems from some nasty daily habits. Reaching for the caffeine and sugar, the same things you think will give you that boost of energy, ultimately backfire. When your blood-sugar levels fluctuate rapidly, this causes “the crash” feeling. A balanced diet is shown to help you become less tired and healthier overall. Exercise is important too. You may think that this would just make you more tired than you already are, but that is not necessarily the case. The energy you produce when exercising breeds more energy. The trick is planning how to use that energy accordingly. It is important to give your body time to wind down before bed and try to make a weekly workout schedule to stick to.

If you are finding yourself struggling to fall asleep, or even stay asleep throughout the night, perhaps one of these methods will work for you: The Top 10 Ways to Fall (And Stay) Asleep.

A few lifestyle tweaks might be all it takes for Millennials to get the pep back in their step. Everyone loves a catnap and down comforters will make your bed a pretty appealing place to be, but we want to make the most of that daylight we have. So stop pressing snooze, put down the seventh cup of coffee, and be proactive about giving yourself more energy and healthy night’s rest.