Fatigue: The What, The Why & The Fix
More and more adults complain that their energy levels are low, even after sleeping through the entire night. In fact, fatigue is so widespread in our society that it became of the most common complaints doctors receive form their patients.
Since people cannot fight through fatigue, this symptom ends up costing millions of dollars. Checking off all the things that need to get done at work and in your private life is next to impossible when you’re chronically tired. This ends up costing companies a lot of money. However, the personal cost of fatigue is much higher as it can oftentimes lead to burnout and depression.
What Exactly Is Fatigue & What Causes It?
Before we embark on a tiring journey through the causes of fatigue, we must first define it to make sure everybody’s on the same page. Fatigue is defined as extreme tiredness due to either exertion or illness.
This opens up two possibilities and thus, two different ways of tackling the nasty effects of fatigue. If it’s due to an illness, you must first discover what that illness is and cure it. However, most of the time, fatigue is caused by mental or physical exertion. After all, we live in an overworked society. Therefore, in this case, lifestyle changes are the fix.
Fight It Off With These Lifestyle Changes
Diet: The most common place to start when making lifestyle changes is nutrition. After all, according to health experts, that’s where illnesses start, and also where they end.
We eat food to keep ourselves alive and provide energy for our day-to-day activities. While any food gives us energy (in theory), in practice, some foods are better at it than others. Avoid eating cheap carbs and high-sugar foods such as sodas and pastries. Instead, opt for high-quality carbs such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and soybeans. Also, don’t be afraid to eat spinach, beans, and eggs. They are high in good nutrients such as iron, vitamins and healthy fats that will fuel your body the right way!
However, eating healthy foods is only half the battle when it comes to nutrition. Eating chaotically will not help your cause. Instead, eat three main meals a day (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), and add two little snacks in between.
Another highly important, albeit oftentimes ignored aspect, is hydration. Not drinking enough water can lower your blood pressure and put extra pressure on your kidneys. Basically, your body has a hard time getting rid of the toxins and, with a lowered blood pressure, you will feel dizzy and tired.
Exercise: What’s funny about exercise in the fight against fatigue is that too much of it or too less will get you feeling tired. This is why you have to find the balance. In other words, exercise with moderation and make sure you meet your needs from a nutritional standpoint. Calculate your daily caloric intake to make sure you eat enough to support physical activity. Eating too much will make you gain weight while eating too little will drain you of energy!
Another relevant aspect when it comes to exercise is consistency. Don’t work out whenever you remember. Set up a workout routine and stick to it! Consistency is key in all aspects of life.
Sleep: Last, but not least, is sleep. This is the most important area where change must happen if you want to fight off your fatigue. Of course, sometimes you cannot sleep it off. Like we said in the beginning, most people sleep through the night but wake up exhausted.
Waking up exhausted can happen for a number of reasons. The most obvious one is not getting enough sleep. It’s pointless to sleep through the night if you wake up at 6 AM and go to sleep at 2 AM. Adults need 7-8 full hours of sleep.
If you do get enough sleep, but still wake up exhausted, it’s either because you don’t eat healthily, or because you don’t wake up at the right time. You see, when we sleep our bodies go through 5 different stages. The fifth stage is the REM stage, where dreams happen. The closer to the REM cycle you are, the deeper you sleep. The trick to waking up fresh is to wake up during the more superficial stages, such as Stage 1 or 2. You can estimate when to set up your alarm clock by calculating the ideal time to wake up ( a full sleep cycle takes about 90 minutes). Or, you can download an app! The choice is yours.
Dealing with fatigue can be quite crippling, especially as an adult. Thankfully, fatigue can be fought off in a number of ways. We decided to elaborate on the three most important ones. Hopefully, this article will help you win the fight against fatigue. Remember, all you need to do is eat healthily, drink enough water, exercise and get enough sleep! In other words, live a healthy lifestyle.