By Jean Bowick
Some people have been tired for so long, they barely remember anything else. It’s easy to blame exhaustion on stress, long hours, raising kids – and just getting older. But the truth is, we weren’t made to be tired all the time. If you’re experiencing chronic, relentless, merciless fatigue, there’s a physiological reason for it – and likely more than one.
Put it to rest - This isn’t the weariness (and sore feet) you bring home at the end of a really long day. We’re talking about waking up tired, trudging through the day tired, struggling with work tired, and collapsing immediately on the sofa tired. When sleep is elusive and never enough.
Who suffers most - Chronic fatigue is more common in women than men for several reasons. “Studies show that women need more sleep than men, but they also experience more hormonal fluctuations than men that can disrupt sleep,” says sleep expert Dr. Neil Stanley. “On top of this, women tend to be the ones sacrificing their sleep for the good of the household.”
So severe night sweats, as it turns out (can I get an Amen, women over 50?) are not conducive to good sleep.
Also, many women try to treat exhaustion with giant cups of coffee, and stress with sugar, or large glasses of wine. However, these “self-help” remedies can actually worsen the problem. Too much caffeine not only impairs sleep, it can produce contrary results. (Think of the calming effect of stimulant medications on ADHD.) Sugar, including fermented sugar, is an energy drain and can negatively impact your (already challenged) hormonal stability.
Plan of attack - There are two main points of attacking chronic fatigue. The first is diet – that is, what kinds of foods you eat. (Good news! Fats are good in this fight.) The second is exercise. Expending energy makes more energy.
Get out of the fog - It seems contradictory, but cutting fat from your diet can sap your energy, and along with it, your ability to think clearly. Inadequate fat consumption also increases irritability and mood swings, and makes it (even) more difficult to lose weight… which doesn’t help your mood any either. Who wants that? Nobody nearby, that’s for sure.
Fats are friend - The key is to eat good fats. Almonds, eggs, avocados, coconut oil, and wild-caught salmon are all allies in your fight. Besides, says William Cole, Functional Nutrition Practitioner, 60 percent of your brain is fat, and 25 percent cholesterol, so you’ve got to feed it properly to think properly – and to quiet down when it’s time for bed.
“Low-fat diets aren't great for sleep,” adds Dr. Sohère Roked, holistic practitioner and author of The Tiredness Cure. “Hormones are made from fat, and if we don’t get enough good fat in our diet, certain hormones become imbalanced, which can contribute to tiredness.”
In addition, you need plenty of nutrients, specifically iron, vitamins B and D, and magnesium. Supplements and regular blood testing will help.
Wake up and work out - It seems illogical, but exercising does help. You probably feel like you’re expending three times your allotted energy already. But studies have shown that seemingly “healthy” adults who suffer from extreme tiredness experience great improvement in their energy levels after a few weeks.
Get your Y on - We know a great place to start! If you haven’t already joined your local YMCA, there’s no reason to wait. It’s time to rejuvenate! Enrolling online is easy, and it takes very little energy. Once you get your membership (and your body!) in motion, your results will increase exponentially.
#BeatFatigue #EatRight #ThinkClearly #FeelGood! #YStrongBham
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