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August 11, 2016

15 Comments

 In Australia, more than 1.5 million Australians take a trip to the doctor to ask about their fatigue levels. Of this figure, 35% wake up feeling tired and in need of rest.

While many believe that fatigue is just a result of tiredness, there are actually a number of underlying factors that can cause fatigue.

While a lack of sleep is often the main culprit, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, or diet can also be common contributors.

There are some very common issues that we can tackle in our lifestyle to help combat the fatigue that you may be feeling. Dr Ross Walker, an integrative cardiologist, gave us his best tips:

  1. Sleep: A lack of sleep may be one of the more common reasons as to why you are feeling fatigued. You’ve probably heard this advice a thousand times already, but there is a good reason why. Try and go to bed and wake up at the same time, and switch off all screens at least half an hour before sleeping. Go one step further and get all screens out of the bedroom, TV included. Most doctors will recommend around 6-8 hours per night of good quality sleep.
  2. Supplementation: A lot of doctors like to say that supplements give you expensive urine, however, I like to think that supplements give you expensive blood. You may consider taking a Ubiquinol supplement if you are feeling particularly fatigued. Ubiquinol is an antioxidant found naturally within the body, and depletes in levels as we age. Ubiquinol is vital to the production of energy within the body, and low and deficient levels may cause exhaustion after exercise, irritability, and mental fatigue.
  3. Your Exercise Routine: A lot of people tend to think that exercise causes fatigue, but it’s actually quite the opposite. There are plenty of studies that demonstrate exercise may provide a boost of energy. It may also assist in improving the working efficiency of your heart, lungs, and muscles.
  4. Your Diet: Are you consuming lots of sugary foods? Food literally serves as fuel for our body – which is why it’s so important that you are putting in the appropriate types and quantities. Ensure that you are steering clear of what I call ‘white death’ foods; sugar, white bread, pasta, and potatoes. As a rule of thumb, the more human interference and processing is a factor in food, the worse it will be for you.
  5. Your stress levels: Are you constantly feeling anxious and stressed out as a result of your busy lifestyle? We know that burning the candle at both ends may be detrimental to our health, but we still find ourselves doing it. Fatigue may actually be the result of stress over a long period of time.
  6. Your Daily Habits: Do you find yourself loading up on the caffeine to get you through the day? Perhaps you’re enjoying a few glasses of wine after dinner. It is recommended that if you are feeling fatigued you should cut out caffeine. The best way to do this is to gradually stop having caffeine drinks rather than going cold turkey. The same goes for alcohol, which actually makes you sleep less deeply after a glass or two.

Fatigue may be due to an underlying medical problem such as an iron deficiency, a thyroid problem, or a multitude of other conditions. So if there isn’t an obvious cause and solution to your fatigue such as the lifestyle factors above, always schedule in a check-up with your doctor.

Do you find yourself running out of energy often? Share with us in the comments!

References

  1. Better Health Channel, Victoria State Government, Sleep Basics- Fatigue https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/fatigue, (Accessed 25/07/16)
  2. Sleep Health Foundation, Australia’s Sleepiness Epidemic- Time to stop dying from lack of sleep, http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/media-centre/media-releases/130-time-to-stop-dying-from-lack-of-sleep-australia-s-sleepiness-epidemic.html, (Accessed 25/07/16)

Image source Shutterstock.

  • I find that too many carbohydrates or a heavy late meal can cause sluggishness and delay hood sleep.

    Reply

  • I don’t tend to be fatigued, but I do agree with all of the points mentioned. On the odd occasion I am fatigued rather than just tired, I can often pinpoint it to one of the above. Drinking lots of water also helps.

    Reply

  • These are some great reasons to check on.

    Reply

  • I think a lot of mothers can relate to this.

    Reply

  • great suggestions !

    Reply

  • Love your article even though I have never experienced most of your problems. I guess because I walk at least 3k everyday and don’t sit very much, I have no problem sleeping. But I loved ypur article

    Reply

  • Such an interesting article. I never considered so many causes of tiredness

    Reply

  • I know when I eat too much wheat I feel completely exhausted.

    Reply

  • I am under a lot of stress so always feel a bit tired even when I shouldn’t be

    Reply

  • Going to bed at the same time every night does not mean you will go to sleep at the same time. I only wish it did.


    • This may be true – it does vary for sure.

    Reply

  • Whenever I feel energy levels getting low, I rest and recover.

    Reply

  • I think it’s because of winter, these dark mornings… I have to wake up early (5:30) and waking up when it’s completely dark outside, is very tiring. In summer at 5:30 a.m. there’s full light outside, here in WA, and I feel a lot less tired when I wake up early. I sleep those 7-7 and a half hour every night. But in winter my body needs more sleep than in summer.
    Does it happen to anyone else?


    • My hubby and I suffer from sads :Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody.
      Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) – Mayo Clinic
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affective-disorder/…/con-20021047
      Summer is bright and so are our moods. More daylight hours to enjoy the beautiful out doors. :-)

    Reply

  • Thanks for your article,l usually have lots of energy unless l am very tired!

    Reply

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