Why Am I So Tired?
Ever have one of those days where it feels like you’re moving in slo-mo and you’re too tired to do much of anything? Sometimes the reason is obvious – unusual physical exertion, or a late night out. Other times it may be an ailment or chronic condition we’re living with. And sometimes the culprit can be found in our daily lifestyle choices. Here are some ways you may be able to increase your energy:
Keep up an exercise routine. If we’re less active, that leads to lower energy, which then leads to even less activity. If you haven’t been active in a while, talk to your doctor about a plan of physical activity that fits your needs, age, and current health status.
Stay hydrated. The effect of dehydration on our energy can be surprising. If you’re not drinking 8 glasses of water per day, you may start feeling sluggish. Current recommendations are about 3 liters (about 13 cups) per day for men and about 2 liters (about 9 cups) per day for women. However, people with some health conditions may need to limit their water intake. Be sure to check with your doctor.
Eat with energy in mind. It’s often better to eat frequent, smaller meals and snacks to keep our blood sugar stable. Certain foods can make us feel sluggish in the short term, and sap our energy over time. Avoid processed foods. Instead, choose plenty of veggies, lean meats and whole grains.
Get enough sleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, report this to your doctor. Even if you’re sleeping all night, you might be suffering from disorders such as apnea or sleep cycle disruptions. Fortunately, these can be treated.
Limit your alcohol intake. Yes, a glass of wine or a cocktail can relax us—but if we drink too much, we get too relaxed! Alcohol also disrupts our sleep, and might give us an energy-sapping hangover “the morning after.”
Report feelings of depression. Depression may be a temporary response to life situations. But in many cases, it’s a disease that can make us feel lethargic. Depression can be treated, so don’t wait to report symptoms to your doctor.
Address the stress. Stress increases our body’s level of cortisol, a hormone that over time can lead to fatigue and loss of strength. Talk to your doctor if you’re feeling stressed out. Counseling and techniques such as mindfulness and yoga can help reduce your stress.
Take a break. Sometimes our daily life can exhaust us! If you are caring for an older or disabled loved one, or if your job is stressful, or if you’re just in a rut, take a break. It’s important to carve out some “me time” to recharge your batteries. Talk to family, friends and professionals about helping you do that.
The information in this article is not intended to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Talk to your doctor if you are feeling fatigued or less energetic than usual.