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Monday 1st June 2020

Why am I so tired in the morning? Sleep expert reveals possible causes during lockdown

It's all down to stress, apparently…

Many Brits in lockdown are reporting feeling more tired than usual during the coronavirus pandemic.

People are struggling to get out of bed, while it sometimes feels like a huge effort to go outside for our hour of daily exercise.

We're feeling sluggish in the day and our usual 3pm sugar hit just isn't cutting it.

So why are we feeling so tired when we're basically doing very little all day?

Brits are feeling more tired during lockdown (Credit: Unsplash)

Despite not having to commute and being unable to visit the gym or enjoy nights out, reports of exhaustion have spread online.

"For someone who hasn't really been outside in almost 20 days, I sure am the most exhausted I've ever been in my entire life," said one Brit on Twitter.

Well, experts have pinpointed a few reasons.

Read more: Women should be eating 500 fewer calories a day in lockdown

The main cause of our tiredness during the pandemic is more than likely stress.

Jackie Rogers, a counsellor at the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy, told the Mirror it's perfectly normal to feel this way.

The tiredness is caused by stress, experts say (Credit: Unsplash)

She said: "We’re all having to adapt, there’s so many changes. It’s really important to be compassionate, you’re tired because you’re stressed, whether you feel it or not."

Jackie said our bodies are under stress because it’s not doing "normal" things.

There's no commuting, you're not going to work or doing the school run.

"Freeze and flop"

She also explained about the "freeze and flop" response, which works similar to the body's "fight or flight" reaction.

She said it's similar to when a rabbit freezes in the headlights, or when a sloth pretends to be dead.

And she said that you're exhausted because of the adrenalin your body is creating.

Read more: Kate Garraway's husband battling COVID-19 in intensive care

"So it could be the fact that when we’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s like we have this cut-off switch in our brain and you’ve put too many plugs in and the switch goes. It’s because your body is getting exhausted and creating that adrenaline," she said.

Jackie said our bodies are fighting even though we might not be doing anything.

There are things you can do to combat tiredness (Credit: Unsplash)

She said this is because, even though we may not feel stressed, there is "a lot of loss going around".

It’s really important to be compassionate, you’re tired because you’re stressed, whether you feel it or not.

She revealed: "There’s also a lot of loss going around, not just in terms of people dying. Everybody is experiencing a bereavement – a loss of freedom, routine and your normal day."

How to help yourself

To combat tiredness, experts recommend ensuring you get outside daily for an hour of exercise.

Even if it's just a gentle walk, Jackie says it's really important to get some fresh air as it'll stop you feeling lethargic.

She also recommends mindful breathing, where you breathe in for seven seconds and out for 11.

This is proven to calm the mind and ease anxiety.

And, as hard as it may seem, she suggests trying to look for the positives in our current situation.

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