Tired of Being Tired?
By Well & Being Staff
There may be a variety of reasons for feeling fatigued, a lack energy and motivation, a sense that you just don’t have the drive and stamina you used to have. Sometimes there is an underlying medical cause – low thyroid function, depression, heart disease, metabolic disease, insomnia or other sleep disorders. When the condition becomes more profound and chronic it may meet the criteria for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Certainly, underlying medical conditions must be treated or ruled out. But what if there is no underlying “medical condition”?
Some Steps to Take
First and foremost, you need restful sleep. Try a warm bath with lavender oil – or a cup of Chamomile tea in the evening to help promote better sleep. Make your bedroom conducive to restorative sleep. Keep the room dark enough and quiet enough – this may entail wearing an eye cover or using ear plugs. Keep electronic distractions out of the room – no cell phones, ticking or luminous clocks, televisions or lap tops.
Look at your diet – are you drinking caffeine through out the day to keep you going? This will impact your ability to sleep well at night. Address the sleep and lose the need for caffeine whether it be coffee or energy drinks. Are there foods that sap your energy? We sometimes feel that a boost of sugar will translate to a burst of energy when in actuality we feel more depleted after the sugar is metabolized. Too many simple carbohydrates – from sugary drinks and snacks or foods made with refined white flour such as bread, bagels, crackers and pasta can leave us drained. Avoid eating large meals in favor of smaller meals with a few healthy snacks through out the day. Try to combine a whole grain or vegetable source carbohydrate with a lean protein and a healthy fat for your snack – such as carrot or celery sticks dipped in almond butter. There may be food intolerances that are translating to poor absorption of nutrients. Eliminate suspected foods and see if there is improvement. Imbalances in the beneficial flora in the gut (the good bacteria) may be contributing to poor nutrient availability. A good probiotic may be in order.
Are there specific nutrients which are low that may require supplementation such as B vitamins, iron or vitamin D? There may be an imbalance in hormone levels such as estrogen, testosterone or DHEA that may be useful to replete.
Regular exercise will also help improve energy. If fatigue is profound, you may need to start out slow and build up as your energy improves. A brisk morning walk is a great way to invigorate the mind and body.
Look at stress in your life, what tools do you have for managing stress? Chronic stress can deplete the adrenal glands leading to persistent fatigue. Exercise, regular massage, yoga and spending time with loved ones all help lower stress levels. Learning a few relaxation techniques such as breath work or meditation may help you feel you’ve got a better handle on things leading to a rebound in energy levels.
Please discuss the addition of herbal therapy or dietary supplements with a knowledgeable health care provider.