If you're tired all the time, it could be that you're not getting enough sleep, or it could be that you're suffering from fatigue. Fatigue symptoms include inability to handle stress, decreased energy, and lack of motivation. But it doesn't have to be chronic. Understanding the causes of fatigue can lead to some quick and easy solutions. Here are some simple ways to fix your fatigue.
Sleep and Exercise at the Right Times
Feeling tired all the time isn't necessarily about how much sleep you're getting, it can also be about when you're sleeping--as well as being active. The average adult needs 7-9 hours of sleep per night, but that's sometimes easier said than done. Being in bed by 10 p.m. and rising at 6 a.m. will follow your natural circadian rhythm, whereby your adrenal glands are at their highest output in the morning and their lowest output at midnight. Exercising in the morning rather than the evening will prevent your adrenal glands from kicking into high gear late in the day when they should be winding down instead.
Swap Protein for Sugar
You may be feeling fatigued because of the food you're eating. Food has a direct effect on your blood sugar levels, which in turn affect your body's insulin production. Short-term spikes in blood sugar can contribute to a feeling of exhaustion, and consistent blood sugar spikes over a period of several years can even contribute to diabetes and obesity. Aim to eat 90-120 grams of protein per day, spread evenly among meals and small snacks. Getting 30 grams of protein with breakfast, such as in a protein shake, egg white omelet, or turkey sausage is a great start to your day. Then, make sure you're eating protein lunch and dinner (a chicken breast or hamburger patty are each about 30 grams of protein). Consistent protein intake will also help stave off sugar cravings! If you feel tired in the middle of the day, sugar is actually one of the worst things you can eat. It messes with your blood sugar levels and gives you a sense of “false energy” that will only cause you to crash and burn.
Watch Your Coffee Intake
You probably don't want to hear this, but coffee may be making you more tired. Caffeine aggravates the adrenal glands, forcing them to work overtime even when they've already reached their limit. If you can wait until after your protein-packed breakfast before drinking that first cup of coffee, you may feel less tired during the day. That's because, by eating first, you will have replenished your body's natural energy resources and the coffee won't be so hard on your system. Drinking tea instead, especially green tea, will allow for a more gradual caffeine lift. Avoid all caffeine after 2 or 3 p.m.
Try Vitamin B
If you're always exhausted, Vitamin B12 might be able to help. This nutrient is found naturally in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, but you may want to consider taking it in pill form, such as in a B complex vitamin. Taken with breakfast or lunch, you may find that B12 keeps your energy level high throughout the day. Two groups of people who are often deficient in Vitamin B are vegetarians and women taking hormonal birth control. Who knew?
Seek Medical Care
If you still feel tired after implementing some of the above suggestions, your fatigue could be the sign of a medical condition such as gluten sensitivity, anemia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, mononucleosis, diabetes, hypoglycemia, or hypothyroidism. Consult your doctor for more information.
What do you do to combat fatigue in a healthy way? Share with us in the comments section below!
Please note that these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Please check with your doctor before trying any of these remedies. These remedies are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.