Top Lifestyle Factors Making You Feel Tired
Fatigue is one of the most common complaints I’ve had from patients in practice, and the cause of fatigue is almost always due to lifestyle. Understanding the top lifestyle contributors of fatigue is helpful to start feeling better sooner.
Everyone can feel fatigued from time to time, but there may be certain patterns of fatigue caused by factors that you may not even be aware of.
Below lists the top factors that could be contributing to your fatigue:
Believe it or not, not being active can make you feel more sluggish. When you exercise and move more, this releases hormones in your body that increase alertness, making you feel more energized.
I recommend exercising first thing in the morning so that you can start your day alert and ready to tackle any task with full energy.
Lack of sunlight
If you work in an office without any windows, this is definitely a risk factor to not only feel tired, but also to feel a little depressed. Adequate sunlight helps to boost neurotransmitters and hormones in the body that make you feel good and alert.
You probably can’t change the layout of your office, but you can change how much time you get outside. Take your lunch outside and/or go for a walk at lunch time. Not only will it make you feel more energized, it will also help you to digest your food by the walk.
Being even just a little dehydrated can make you feel tired. This is because the majority of muscles and various tissues are comprised mostly of water, and need adequate water levels to function optimally. When your body senses you are low in water, it may start to slow down in an effort to conserve water.
Keep a water bottle on you at all time, aim to drink a glass or two of water before meals.
Eating carbs in the morning
Eating carbohydrates can make you feel sleepy for a few different reasons. Carbohydrates make you feel good because they boost serotonin, the major feel good hormone. This hormone can also make you feel a little too relaxed, and even sleepy. Another reason for sleepiness after carbs is due to the release of insulin right after eating them and the decrease in blood sugar that happens an hour or so later. Both of these factors lead to sleepiness and feelings of low energy.
Stick to protein and fat in the morning, and reserve your carbs for the evening. Carbs make you sleepy which is why they are great for dinner. If you must have carbs in the morning, go for slower digesting carbs such as oatmeal – sorry but definitely no donuts, bagels, or croissants.
Lack of stimulation is going to make you feel lethargic, and well, bored. This can happen most notably at work when your job isn’t challenging enough and you are just going through the motions, or if you don’t have enough to do.
Pay attention to days and times you are feeling fatigued and/or bored, and think of ways you can stimulate yourself more. This could mean talking to friend or coworker, or tackling more difficult tasks.
Above are very common lifestyle causes for increased fatigue. Look through this list and think about if one or more of the above could be contributing to your symptoms.
About the author: Sarah-Kate Rems is an Ivy-league trained Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner licensed in California with an expertise in preventative healthcare. She considers nutrition and exercise to be the basis of well-being and is a strong advocate for daily physical activity and maintaining a healthy diet. Sarah-Kate is also a co-founder of The Mindful Tech Lab
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