Tired of being tired? Here are 6 reasons why you’re feeling so lethargic, and useful ways to help overcome your symptoms.
Is there a spring equivalent to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), except for tiredness? Because if there is, we have it. Maybe it’s a mid-April thing – it’s a long month and the summer is still a leap away yet, or maybe it’s mercury in retrograde. We’re young and supposed to be energetic, so where has this mythical energy gone?
We stay in to wake up fresh and rejuvenated the next morning (staying in is the new going out anyway), we try to eat the right foods, stay hydrated, and think positively, but really we’re often exhausted by life. What’s more, we shy away from seeking help for tiredness unless it manifests itself into a physical state and become ill. In truth, there is no quick-fix when dealing with exhaustion, fatigue, or burnout, but here are six legitimate medical reasons why you could be feeling exhausted and useful ways to alleviate your symptoms.
You’re lacking in exercise
We have an abundance of knowledge about the dangers of sitting all day, and although it can sometimes be unavoidable, the fact of the matter is; it’s terrible for our bodies. The solution? Move more throughout the day. More movement leads to more energy, focus and productivity. Try standing instead of sitting too. Ikea has a range of low-cost height-adjustable office desks that you can suggest to your boss at your next meeting.
You exercise too much
Your run x5 times a week on top of the two spinning classes and weight training could be zapping all of your energy resources. According to Dr. Robin Berzin of Man Repeller, overexercising leaves you feeling depleted, dehydrated and deflated and in need of sugar. “This contributes to adrenal fatigue, which results from spending too much time in “fight or flight” mode where cortisol and adrenaline are high”, she says. “Your body never has a chance to recover”. It’s all about the balance, remember.
Your thyroid is out of whack
What’s a thyroid you ask? Your thyroid is a butterfly-shaped organ at the base of your neck that controls the body’s metabolism digestion, weight, energy and mood. in other words, it’s a very important part of your body and needs to be minded. The most common reasons we see thyroid dysfunction are “nutrient deficiencies, gluten sensitivity and inflammation resulting from a high-carb/high-sugar diet”, says Dr Berzin. A simple blood test by your GP to measure your bodies T4 levels (the hormone produced by the thyroid) will tell you whether you could have an underactive or overactive thyroid.
You’re not getting enough vitamin D
When you live in a country where it rains for the dominant part of the year it’s no surprise that 1-in-8 Irish people are lacking in vitamin D; which is crucial for bone health, calcium absorption, and helps regulates the immune system. You can find vitamin D in fatty foods like cod-liver oil and your body makes it when you are exposed to sunlight. Unfortunately, the latter is not a great option (Ireland=rain etc). If you’re consistently feeling poorly (recurring colds, sinus infections etc) try investing in vitamin D supplement with a good strength. But always visit your doctor beforehand.
You could be depressed
Are you always too ‘busy’ and ‘tired’? Do you find yourself making excuses to avoid friends and family? If you feel irritable, anxious and down most of the time, you could be suffering from low-grade depression. Eating sugary or high-processed foods can also make your body and mind feel this way so try to limit your intake if possible. If you’re struggling with work, approach your boss and come up with a solution to decrease the load and make life easier. Remember, it’s okay not to be okay. For support and information, you can visit Aware.ie.
You’re not catching enough Z’s
When was the last time you actually went to bed early?(no, we don’t mean lie in bed on your phone). When was the last time you woke up feeling refreshed and rejuvinated? Ideally, adults should be hitting three to four full REM cycles per night to feel rested. One complete REM cycle takes 90 to 110 minutes to complete. To help get your body ready for a good nights sleep try having a hot shower before bed: a warm shower helps to prolong the pre-sleep cooling process, leading to a better time in the land of nod. Most recently, scientists have discovered a link between sleep and happiness, so you shouldn’t need any more convincing to get a good nights sleep.