Over two million Americans complain of being fatigued each day, not to mention the four Million who have been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. With the chronic tiredness often comes lack of focus, feelings of being overwhelmed, flu-like symptoms, pain, memory loss, chronic aches and pains, unrestful sleep, short temper and even depression.
While many people accept their tiredness as part and parcel of their daily lives, it needs not be the standard way of life. Yes, we are more over-worked and stressed out than ever, but the following 8 lifestyle changes can make all the difference.
If you eat lunches that are high in carbohydrates but low in protein, you may find yourself feeling tired in the afternoon. That's because carbohydrates increase the brain's production of calming chemical serotonin. Research suggests that protein, by limiting serotonin production, can boost carbohydrates-induced sleepiness. You may not need to decrease overall carbohydrates or increase your protein consumption (carbs should make up the bulk of a healthy diet, and most of us consume plenty of protein). Instead, try to make sure your meals contains a balance of carbohydrates and protein. This should help you avoid those mid-afternoon slumps.
Do not snooze – till – noon weekends
Some clever work drone may have once said, "I'll catch up on all of my sleep the first year I'm dead." But most of us opt for Saturday mornings. Bad move, for we each have a biological clock that determinates when we are sleepy and when we are alert. When you wake up every morning at seven but sleep until noon on the weekends, you can upset your biological clock and end up feeling even more fatigued.
If partially has to do with the body's release of cortisol, a hormone associated with alertness, which begins for seven – o'clock risers between three and four in the morning and peaks at about eleven. When you lie in bed past this time, you suppress the level of cortisol. This can dump your brain into that weekend twilight zone. Catch up on weekends by going to bed early, not sleeping late. To keep your biological clock happy, it is best to wake up every morning at about the same time.
Compartmentalize your time
One of the main reasons people feel overworked, stressed out and unhappy is because they do not prioritize their time. They often feel a greater obligation to their job than to their family, themselves, or to friends. And this is draining physically, spiritually, and emotionally and can lead to an unpleasing home life. The key to maintaining harmony and prevent burnout is to set time each day for work, family, social occasions and for your own quiet time. All of these areas need to be met to maintain a whole life that is full of love, happiness and energy.
Drink more water
Once you feel thirsty, you're already begun to lose a significant amount of fluid, according to sports nutritionist Kristine Clare. As your fluid level decrease, you'll start to notice a decline in physical performance. It makes sense. A lack of water can cause a decrease in blood volume, and that can bring on fatigue. Drink eight to ten glasses of water a day, or more if you exercise heavily.
Drug side effects
Sure, you know that certain antihistamines, cold medications and cough syrups can make you drowsy. But you may not have known that the list of potential energy sappers features many other familiar drugs that can cause drowsiness in some people. These include certain blood – pressure medications and even some diuretics. If you feel tired or run – down, ask your doctor or pharmacist if the medication you're taking may be the cause, and what alternatives may be available.
The pressure of a deadline can leave you wiped out for the afternoon. Fear makes you tende your muscles, which leads to fatigue, just as if you were out chopping wood. Fear can also make you hold your breath, depriving you of oxygen. This, too, can lead to fatigue.
Next time you're in the hot seat, close your eyes and envision yourself in a tranquil setting. Concentrate in breathing deeply and slowly. Whenever possible, you schedule some discomforting event in the morning so you do not spend the other day worrying about it.
If you're having a hard time focusing, you're probably twisting your body into awkward position, leading forward into the computer screen or hunching over your desk. Vision problems also hamper concentration, which can cause fatigue. Have your vision checked, and take a five – minute break from your computer or paper work every hour. Use the time to do other tasks, such as making phone calls.
Surrounding yourself with nothing but somber colors can make you both fatigued and depressed. Add warm colors to your environment such as yellow, orange and especially red. These are the colors of fire. After eons of association, we are programmed to respond to them. If you want a quick cure for fatigue, focus on something red. A few items placed nearby should do the trick. But do not overdo it. Your environment can become too stimulating, ant that, too, can be exhausting.