Do you ever have those days when you wish you could stay in bed all day?
Like the act of getting up and getting dressed into your uniform is like dragging yourself through quicksand?
But just what exactly makes us so physically exhausted that going to school feels like such a massive challenge?
Well, there’s a bunch of possible reasons you can feel tired from time to time, and we’ve explored some below.
Important! If you’re constantly tired, you should see your GP to check for things like iron deficiency or chronic fatigue.
When you’re young, your body is going through lots of changes like growth spurts, hormone surges and neural development. Your body uses up a lot of energy making those changes!
This is a pretty obvious one. Set a regular time to hit the hay, and stick to it. If that seems impossible with your workload, consider creating a schedule that breaks up your load into more manageable chunks that allows for more sleep.
Your body needs fuel to run well. When you fill it with bad stuff (e.g. junk food) you may get short bursts of energy, but they quickly wear off. The same goes for having too much coffee or caffeine and that includes energy drinks, coffee lollies, no sleep tablets and other stimulants. You run the risk of messing with your sleep and you’ll end up paying for it with heavy eyelids the next day. Try to hit the 2 fruit 5 veg recommended daily quota instead.
This can feel like a really tough one. If scrolling Instagram or TikTok is your before bed routine, it’s probably delaying those much needed Z’s. No matter how much you kid yourself that it’ll be another 5 minutes, it’s hard to switch off. And it’s not just before bed habits – researchers have found that more than 4 hours of screen time per day can delay your sleep by up to an hour. Yep, electronics can really mess with our internal body clocks.
If you’re feeling flat at school, you may have stretched yourself too thin (see what we did there?). When you do things outside of school like sports, clubs, your job, or looking after family members, you’re using up physical and mental energy. You need to make sure you’re giving yourself time to stop and reset.
One of the best ways to do this is to create a schedule for yourself and see everything that you have on. You may find that you need to cut things out of your schedule. Sometimes, that might not be possible though (for example looking after a family member). In those cases, there’s other ways to cope with external pressures.
Sensory overload is when your senses (think sight, sound, smell etc) are overwhelmed to the point where you can’t focus or it becomes physically draining.
This can be triggered by change. Maybe you’re in a new classroom or it’s been reorganised? Maybe you’ve got a new timetable, or new classes with people you haven’t met before that you’re still adjusting to?
It could be things that are ongoing. Maybe you get triggered by a lot of noise? Are the lights in the room too bright or flickering?
It’s important to speak up and communicate that you are feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to seek help, we all need a helping hand at times. Speak to your teacher – your education is in their best interest, and they can help accommodate in the way that they teach.
Help could mean:
Going to a chillout area at your school so you can refocus
Speak to your teacher about options to do quiet work in another room if the class feels too noisy
Adjusting the classroom setting
Taking the opportunity to burn some energy between classes to get some movement in – try sprinting to the oval and back before you go to class.
‘School is stressful’ is probably the understatement of the century. Feeling pressure from exams and assignments can be mentally and physically draining. It can mess with sleep and make it hard to focus on anything beyond the stuff that’s causing the stress.
Stress is complex. A little can be a good thing, but prolonged stress can be a problem. If you’re feeling like stress is affecting your ability to go to school other enjoy other things in your life, we’d recommend checking out these tips for understanding and working through stressful feelings.
More than tired…
For a lot of us, getting out of bed is a struggle, but do you find that even when you’re in bed you can’t sleep anyway? Or maybe you are getting decent sleep, but even when you wake up, you’re still feeling tired?
Do you feel like you’ve got no motivation, or you’re struggling to focus for no clear reason?
You may be experiencing feelings of depression or anxiety, if so, it’s important to reach out for help when you need it.
Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling – maybe that’s a teacher, a friend, parents or a school guidance counsellor. School is important, but so is your mental health, so be sure to speak up. You can also try looking at the support channels here to find a listening ear.