“I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change or something”, said Bilbo Baggins to Gandalf. For a fantasy character, Bilbo does a pretty good job describing the burden that tiredness can have on a person. Can you relate?
Do you miss the energy required to fulfill all of your tasks and feel well during the day? Are you constantly sleepy even though you’ve had eight hours of sleep? If these things are troubling you, first you need to identify the origin of your fatigue, and then find an appropriate solution. In this post, we’ll share some helpful insight.
The Root of the Problem
When trying to identify the source of your tiredness, consider the following:
- The most obvious reason for fatigue is lack of sleep. This is particularly symptomatic when the sleep problem is chronic. Not sleeping enough means you are getting less than recommended hours for your age. For an average adult, this is about seven hours.
- Poor eating habits can cause loss of energy. This especially goes for foods containing high levels of sugar and fat. High-processed foods can also have a devastating effect on your general health and wellbeing.
- A sedentary lifestyle is known to many people who spend their days in their offices and sit or lay down when they arrive home to get some rest. However, this can only add to your fatigue.
- Stress is one of the most pressing medical issues of our age. It can contribute to the development of many diseases and affect overall life quality. Prolonged stress also leads to emotional and physical exhaustion, consequently causing headaches, lack of sleep, and anxiety.
- Sometimes, the cause of exhaustion lies in an underlying medical condition. Some of the most commonly identified health problems related to fatigue are anemia, depression, diabetes, heart disease, vitamin and mineral deficiency, underactive thyroid, and urinary tract infection.
Depending on the specific source of your exhaustion, different things can help you deal with it. However, certain lifestyle changes and decisions can be helpful for your quality of life and your energy levels in general.
Get a New Mattress
The mattress you sleep on is an essential factor in getting a good night’s rest. If you sleep on a bed that doesn’t suit your weight, sleeping habits, and body, it is highly likely that you will wake up tired day after day. A good mattress should help align your spine, neck, lower back, hips, and pelvis. There are mattresses specifically designed for side sleepers as well as for those who sleep on their backs or their stomachs. These mattresses factor in the important pressure points, support, thickness, and all the crucial elements that will help you sleep better.
Create a Sleep-Inducing Environment
You’ll also need to make sure your bedroom is free of all electronic devices, including your smartphone. Paint the room with soothing neutral colors, and you can include some plants, such as lavender, that have a calming effect. Block outside lights with blinds or drapes, maintain the right temperature, and use an air purifier or dehumidifier.
Improve Your Eating Habits
A healthy diet can boost your energy levels and keep them consistently high. Choose foods with high nutritional value, free of preservatives, sodium, additives, and trans fats. They include:
- fresh fruits and vegetables
- lean proteins from fish, chicken, and turkey meat
- whole grains
- complex carbs (beans, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, etc.)
- nuts and seeds
When and how much you eat is also important. It’s smarter to divide your meals into smaller portions and to avoid eating right before bedtime.
Drink Enough Water
Fatigue is often a symptom of dehydration, so you should act before it happens. When you feel thirsty, it’s possible that you are already dehydrated. While water alone doesn’t contain calories and produce energy, it is essential for metabolic processes. The optimal amount of water is about eight glasses during the day, but if you are working out and losing a lot of energy, you’ll need to increase that amount.
When you feel tired, the last thing you want to do is work out. However, physical activity releases endorphins and boosts energy levels, and there is plenty of proof for that. A study published in 2008 shows that regular physical activity can minimize the symptoms of exhaustion. Two hours of moderate-intensity exercise weekly can make a significant difference.
Deal with Stress
Dealing with stress is easier said than done, but there are some tactics that can help you. You can practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga, and deep breathing. Also, address any mental health issues that can cause low energy levels and stress.
With some self-love and dedication to your wellbeing, these active changes can help you get out of that rut of exhaustion. But if the problem persists, visit your physician. To be on the safe side, perform the necessary tests to discover whether some underlying health issues are causing chronic fatigue.