The human body is a wonderful entity: it’s our security system that lets us know when something is not quite right, and sometimes gives us subtle (or not-so-subtle) hints that something is out of balance. Some signs that our bodies are feeling low are more obvious than others – breakouts, weight gain etc – while others are not. Fatigue may be seen as a common complaint, but could actually be caused by a different underlying health problem.
Tiredness is an extremely common complaint and is something that everyone meets on a daily basis, but feeling constantly lethargic and weary is not normal. Fatigue can be described as a severe lack of energy or motivation (both physically and mentally) due to a number of reasons.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrom (CFS) can be a severely debilitating illness that causes extreme tiredness. We’re not talking about “the kids woke me up a 6am on a Saturday” kind of tired, but the kind of tiredness that causes you to fall asleep unannounced on public transport, and even hinders your ability to hold a job. Currently, there is no main treatment for CFS, but making these small lifestyle changes could be the key to regaining your energy levels. Besides, it’s good to make healthy changes that will benefit both your body and mind.
It’s recommended that you we away from any mobile or tech device up to one-hour before we go to sleep. Now realistically we’re all guilty of lying in bed with our phones, but using tech before bed stimulates your brain; which is the opposite of what you want before you go to sleep. Mark Rosekind, PhD, former director of the Fatigue Countermeasures Program at the NASA Ames Research Center blames cognitive stimulation for our lack of sleep, post-Facebook stalking:
“One of the most simple but important reasons technology affects our sleep is cognitive stimulation. As you stay up later on a consistent basis, you re-adjust your internal clock, and delayed sleep phase syndrome sets in,” says Rosekind. If you really must have a late-night scroll, turn down the brightness on your screen and reduce your time.
While some people boast that they can survive a day in work on less than 6 hours; they’re lying. It has been proven that adults who get less than 7 hours of sleep have poorer concentration levels, and are more likely to have mood swings. It’s recommended that healthy adults should be getting between 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
It’s easy to say that we look after our brains as much as our bodies – but how much time do you actually put aside for your mental wellbeing? Balancing life, work, and play can become overwhelming and leave you feeling deflated. Deemed as ‘a gym for your mind’, Headspace is a fantastic free app that encourages light meditation and helps you switch off. Did we mention it’s free?
It’s a common misconception that fatty foods are extremely bad. Everything is bad if done over-moderately. However having healthy fats in your diet such as avocado, nuts, and even fatty bacon (if cooked correctly) are all excellent benefactors to higher energy levels. Just remember; moderation.
It’s always a good idea to visit your GP and request a simple and pain-free blood test. Your fatigue could be linked to something that is easily fixed such as a lack of red blood cells (anemia), or an imbalance in your thyroid.