Tips for Battling Fatigue and Daytime Drowsiness

If you have insomnia, chances are you have battled fatigue and fought daytime drowsiness on many occasions. Lack of sleep wreaks havoc on the body, and we struggle to function properly during the day.

If you are looking for ways to combat these symptoms to make it through your busy day, try some of these suggestions. It might help you be a little more productive on days when you are really struggling.

Get up and move!

If you are really struggling to stay awake, you need to get up and move. Harvard Health Publications states that your body releases epinephrine and norepinephrine when you exercise. These hormones can help give you a much-needed energy boost. Exercise also helps circulate oxygen.1

Take a walk. If you are in the office and cannot take a break to get some exercise, do some light stretching at your desk. If you find yourself dragging at the end of the day, take up yoga or Tai Chi.

An end-of-the-day exercise routine might be just what you need to get you through the rest of the evening. Whatever type of exercise you choose, it is sure to give you a bit more pep throughout the day.

Minding your diet can help you stay awake

When you need a quick pick-me-up, have a snack. Fruits and nuts are a great choice for snacking. Harvard Health Publishing says different foods convert to energy faster than others. While snacks that contain sugar will give you a fast energy boost, that boost fades and can cause you to crash and feel even more tired.2

Energy boost

If you want a sustained boost, try whole grains and unsaturated fats. Whole-grain crackers are a great idea for quick snack breaks, but you are sure to find plenty of options at your grocery store.

Small meals

Stick to small meals throughout the day, and skip the traditional 3-meal schedule. Eating more frequently will provide what your body needs to create energy throughout the day. Limit foods high in carbohydrates and increase your fiber intake.


Drink more water, and be careful with caffeine. While caffeine can give you a quick energy boost, it can also worsen insomnia. Getting a fast surge of energy is hardly worth it if it keeps you awake and causes you to get less sleep.

Things to avoid to combat fatigue

Avoiding stress helps with a number of issues. While it is impossible to avoid all stress, try to find ways to decrease it, and better manage your stress levels.

Avoid overscheduling yourself. A heavy workload adds to your stress and increases fatigue. We live in a fast-paced world, but finding balance can help relieve fatigue caused by a busy schedule.

Alcohol and smoking are always on the list of things to avoid. Limiting your alcohol intake can certainly help combat fatigue. Alcohol has a sedative effect that makes it harder to stay awake. Nicotine, on the other hand, is a stimulant. This can keep you awake at night, and dependency can cause you to wake up during the night to satisfy cravings.

Winning the battle with fatigue

Of course, the best way to prevent fatigue is to get a good night’s sleep. For someone with insomnia, this is difficult. If you find yourself nodding off during the day, resist the temptation to nap. Grab a snack, take a walk, and see if it makes it a little easier to battle through the fatigue.

How do you deal with fatigue and daytime drowsiness? Tell us how you're doing and share any tips in the comments below!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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