Fatigue & What Might Be Causing It
There’s quite a hype over smart watches, especially with the gift-giving season quickly approaching. The enthusiasm over easily accessible communication keeps the tech world in high-demand of keeping up with the need for instant gratification. One thing these gadgets are being used for is tracking sleep. If you’re anything like me, you don’t need a contraption to tell you how tired you might be after a night of tossing and turning! Just stumbling to the coffee pot is evidence enough. However, I am one of millions of Americans who own a fitness tracking device that monitors my sleep patterns, or lack thereof.
Fatigue can be borderline debilitating. It affects moods, productivity, eating habits, physical health and so much more. Attempting to find the underlying reason for sleepiness is like trying to find a needle in a haystack for so many people. It may not be as simple as diffusing some lavender oil or making the room darker, it could be something you’re doing that you never realized how much it impacts the body’s need for restful sleep. Let’s dig into some research from the experts.
Main Line Health has a very interesting blog about the common causes of fatigue and low energy. It’s easy to resort to a caffeinated beverage when the afternoon drag kicks in, but did you realize your body might be actually telling you it’s dehydrated? Coffee, soda and energy drinks only satisfy that instant gratification need mentioned earlier. Dehydration causes weakness and fatigue. Before jumping to one of those quick-fix drinks, ask yourself when you last poured a glass of water.
In addition to recording sleep patterns, the fitness tracking devices and/or smart watches can log dietary information. From caloric counts to meal planning, reviewing what might be fueling or not fueling your body is a crucial role in the pursuit of a good night’s sleep. If your go-to lunch is a quick run through the drive-through, be assured, you are not feeding your body what it needs. Your grocery list should include whole grains, produce, lean meats and complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, beans and oatmeal. Avoiding processed foods will help tackle that tired feeling when your body isn’t getting the nutrients it needs for peak function.
Here’s an interesting cause. You could be exercising too much…or too little.
Exploring the harmony between overdoing it and feeling tired, or not doing it at all and feeling tired is something to really try and balance. If you’re pushing too hard at the gym, the human body will feel fatigued, but not in a good way. Giving your body enough time to rest and recover is imperative to overall health. Contrarily, lack of physical exercise will wear you down. Regular exercise helps keep your body in tip top shape and also contributes to better sleep.
STRESS. In my own personal health, I have something I like to call Sunday Stress Syndrome. It’s a made-up diagnosis, of course, but I’m not the only one suffering from it. Winding down from a relaxing weekend and shifting back into a new workweek is a surefire way to keep me up counting the times the clock dings all hours of the night. Chronic stress is linked tightly to fatigue. Main Line Health’s Well Ahead Blog explains how chronic stress causes the body to enter a state of hyper-arousal, a heightened state of stress or anxiety as a result of a professional or personal event. In other words, if you have stress in your life, it will most likely aggravate your slumber.
Lastly, if all of these causes are not correlating to your fatigue, you may need to discuss your sleepiness with a doctor. There could be an underlying health condition causing sleep disturbances or overall physical fatigue. After all, whatever might be causing it, getting to the root is the first step to feeling more rested. Call us today!