In our modern world, schedules are busier than ever, and exhaustion is a common complaint. While periods of tiredness are normal, continual fatigue could be an indicator of something other than a hectic lifestyle. Discover five reasons you may be suffering from fatigue and a few tips for restoring energy.
Diet can make a big difference when it comes to energy levels. A latte and a doughnut get the day off to a lively start, but the sugary buzz only lasts for a few hours, and then fatigue sets in.
According to Dr. Oz, people should trade simple carbs for protein in the morning. A protein shake or a veggie omelet provides steady energy until lunchtime. High fiber/high protein snacks also help maintain energy levels throughout the day. For tasty options, try power bars, whole wheat crackers and tuna, veggies and hummus, or a handful of mixed nuts.
2. Poor Sleep
Seven to eight hours of restorative sleep helps people wake refreshed. Over time, less sleep can lead to chronic fatigue. Tips for better sleep include reducing or eliminate caffeine consumption, getting a full eight hours of sleep, avoiding television or computers for at least 30 minutes before bedtime, and setting the nighttime thermostat to around 68 degrees.
3. Lack of Exercise
While it may seem counter-intuitive to exercise when tired, studies show it may be just the ticket for boosting energy. Researchers from the University of Georgia tested the effects of exercise on a group of 36 subjects with persistent fatigue who did not exercise regularly.
After six weeks at intervals of 20 minutes, three times per week, groups who performed low-intensity or moderate-intensity exercise showed an equal increase in energy levels of 20% as compared to the control group. Interestingly, the low-intensity group reported 65% less fatigue and the moderate-intensity group reported 49% less fatigue than the control group.
Red blood cells deliver oxygen from the lungs to other body cells and tissues. People who have anemia don't have enough red blood cells, which can leave people feeling tired. Anemia can be caused by blood loss, chronic disease, or an iron or vitamin deficiency. It is common among women of childbearing age due to menstruation or a need for extra iron while pregnant or breast feeding. A simple blood test can determine whether anemia is an issue and iron supplementation is needed. Foods high in iron include red meat, pork, poultry, beans, and leafy green vegetables.
5. Thyroid Problems
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck. It produces a hormone that helps regulate metabolism. Production of too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism) makes metabolism speed up and too little thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) makes it slow down.
Hyperthyroidism can cause muscle fatigue and weakness, weight loss, flushing, lighter menstruation, and thirst and is most common among women in their 20s and 30s. Hypothyroidism can cause general fatigue, concentration problems, weight gain, heavier menstruation, and cold body temperature and is most common among women over the age of 50. People concerned about thyroid problems can have a simple blood test to confirm diagnosis and get treatment.
While a busy lifestyle creates intervals of fatigue, chronic tiredness may an indication of another problem. After medical issues are ruled out, people experiencing persistent fatigue can try changing their diet, getting better sleep, or exercising more often.