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Sleepy? You May Need More Than Just Rest

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(credit: CBS) Natalie Nyhus
Natalie Nyhus joined the WCCO-TV team in January of 2011. She anchors...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Lack of sleep can negatively affect your concentration and health. Adults should get seven to eight hours of sleep every night.

Many people who get that much rest still feel sleepy. But your fatigue could be from something other than sleep. According to webMD, caffeine could be making you sleepy.

Caffeine can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses, but research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people.

According to the Mayo Clinic, two to four cups of coffee per day is considered a moderate amount. If you are drinking more than that, gradually cut back, but don’t stop suddenly. That can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.

Your fatigue can also be a sign of dehydration. Whether you’re working out or working a desk job, your body needs water to work well and keep cool.

If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. So drink water throughout the day so your urine is light colored.

Have at least two cups of water an hour or more before a planned physical activity. Then, sip throughout your workout and afterwards drink another two cups.

Some people think they’re sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it.

The result: you’re sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed.

The fix is to lose weight if you’re overweight, quit smoking, and sleep with a C-PAP device to help keep airway passages open at night.

If none of these things are a problem for you, a fast fix for mild fatigue that isn’t linked to any medical condition is exercise. Research suggests healthy but tired adults can get a significant energy boost from a modest workout program.

In one study, participants rode a stationary bike for 20 minutes at a mild pace. Doing this just three times a week was enough to fight fatigue.

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