If you find yourself counting down the minutes to bedtime as soon as you wake, yawning your way through the working day and struggling to stay awake on the journey home, you are not alone. As many as one in five of us feel unusually tired at any one time.
If you feel constantly fatigued, you will know that carrying out even the simplest of tasks can be difficult. Your quality of life is diminished as you struggle to enjoy your usual activities, such as playing sports, reading a good book or spending time with loved ones. To resolve your problem, you first need to determine its cause. To help you, here are five energy-sappers that may be to blame:
1. Lack of sleep
It may seem obvious but lack of sleep can have a disastrous effect on your energy levels. The amount of sleep you require varies depending on age, lifestyle and health. Just because six hours of sleep has sufficed for you in the past doesn’t mean it will be all you need forever. If you suspect you are not getting enough sleep, try to change your routine by winding down and going to bed earlier or setting your morning alarm later. It may be useful to stop watching television, using computers, phones and tablet devices and finish any work you’ve taken home well in advance of bedtime to improve the quality of your sleep.
2. Poor diet
Not eating a balanced diet can lead to many problems, including tiredness. It is important to get the right quantities of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals if you are to feel at your best. Try to get at least five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and eat starches, such as potatoes, pasta and bread, for slow-release energy. Avoid quick fixes like caffeine and sugar as once the temporary energy boost has subsided, you will end up feeling even more tired. If you think you are not getting enough of a particular vitamin or mineral, you may want to visit your GP to arrange a blood test to find out if you are suffering from any deficiencies.
3. Exercising too much or too little
Excessive exercise can cause you to feel drained but so too can getting too little exercise. Assessing your activity levels relative to your diet can help you to determine if you are overdoing it or need to move about more. If you are just starting to exercise after a long period of time, build up your activity levels gradually to avoid exhaustion. It is recommended that healthy adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week.
4. Drinking too much
Too much alcohol can leave you feeling sluggish and struggling to focus the following day. If you regularly binge drink and often exceed 2-3 units per day if you’re a woman or 3-4 units a day if you’re a man, consider reducing your alcohol intake. Not only will this help you to boost your energy levels, but it will also improve your overall health. If you are concerned about how much you are drinking or are finding it difficult to cut down, you should seek the advice of your GP.
5. Health conditions
There are a number of health conditions that can leave you feeling worn out. If you find yourself tired, gaining weight, being sensitive to the cold, and depressed for no apparent reason, you may have an underactive thyroid. If you are lethargic, short of breath, pale and experiencing heart palpitations, you may be suffering from iron-deficiency anemia. The symptoms of type 2 diabetes also includes extreme tiredness, as well as needing to pass urine more frequently and losing weight unexpectedly. These conditions need to be diagnosed and treated by a GP, so if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you should book an appointment.
If you are experiencing pain from an illness or long-term condition, such as sciatica, joint pain or arthritis, you may find that your sleep is interrupted more regularly. To make life easier, you might want to consider investing in a orthopedic bed. Adjustable Beds provide a range of adjustable beds which utilize cutting-edge cyclo-therapy systems which can help to relieve a range of health conditions that can spoil your sleep and interfere with your energy levels.