Feeling burnt out? Some reasons you may be feeling fatigued & what to do about it
Feeling fatigue constantly over long periods of time can be problematic, and start impacting your health and also increases risks, such as dangerous driving.
By Bio Island Nutrition Team
Fatigue can be defined as feeling constantly tired and / or weak and this lack of energy can impact our daily lives and can prevent a person from fulfilling their usual task. Physical exhaustion can also lead to mental fatigue.
Symptoms you may notice if your suffering from fatigue include;
- Constant feeling of being tired or sleepy
- Frequent headaches
- Brain fog
- Light headedness or dizzy
- Decreased mood
- Lack of motivation
- Slower reaction times.
Although on their own they may not cause too much of an initial inconvenience but over time a combination can be problematic, such as dizziness and slower reaction times which can be dangerous while driving.
Fatigue is associated with many environmental and health conditions. Below are some common reasons you may be suffering from fatigue.
Lack of good quality sleep
After a good 7 – 9 hours’ sleep you should typically wake up feeling refreshed and energised. If you are having a restful and uninterrupted sleep it will allow your brain to go through the sleep cycles and give your body the chance to refuel itself.
It is also important to have good sleep hygiene. Having a bed time routine in place, limiting screen time prior to sleep and not eating just before bed will give you the best possible sleep environment.
Being a shift worker can lead to fatigue even if you’re getting an adequate number of hours. This has to do with our internal body clocks (circadian rhythm) response to light and darkness during a 24-hour period. There are strategies to retain your body clock such as wearing dark glasses while outside and when you do go to sleep using block out blinds to try to trick your clock into thinking its night time.
When you’re feeling fatigued the last thing you’re likely to be thinking about is exercising but regular exercise can help to improve your energy levels. Regular physical activity not only improves your fitness but it also improves insulin sensitivity as the pancreas releases insulin in response to your working muscles and it can burns off excess glucose stores that are in the liver. It’s important to get moving, even a walk can make a huge difference to your energy levels throughout the day.
As our energy comes directly from the foods we have we cannot talk about fatigue without mentioning diet. Healthy eating cultivates good overall health and can even help ward off some medical conditions. A nutrient deficient diet will not provide your body with enough fuel to function optimally. This can cause heartburn and insomnia. Without a continual supply of nutrients and sufficient calories needed to perform both physical and mental activities, your body can become more and more sluggish. Also, eating too close to bedtime can disrupt your sleep as your body tires to digest the food and move it into your small intestine.
If you suspect your fatigue is due to poor eating habits, changing your diet to include a wide variety of wholefoods may be all you need to optimise your health and ward off fatigue.
Alcohol and other drugs
Alcohol may initially cause you to feel drowsy but it disrupts the latter part of your sleep cycle, the REM sleep and as a result you will feel more tired the next day no matter how long you stay in bed. Other drugs like caffeine and cigarettes act as stimulants which can result in insomnia. Refraining from smoking and drinking can give you a better quality of sleep and feeling better in the morning as well as giving you a better quality of life long term.
Dehydration can cause your enzymatic processes in your body to slow down. It caused a reduction in blood volume which makes the heart work harder to pump blood throughout the body to deliver vital nutrients and the oxygen needed for basic functions. Without adequate hydration the oxygen and nutrients needed for our cells our body and mind become fatigued.
Adequate hydration also aids in the body’s ability to detox. Supporting detoxification organs like your liver, colon, kidneys and skin can help you maintain healthy energy levels.
Boring or repetitive tasks, working long hours or inadequate breaks can intensify your feeling of fatigue. The office environment also had a huge effect on fatigue. Exposure to rapid changes in temperature, sitting near vents or working in extreme conditions can enhance your fatigue levels.
If you feel that your fatigue is out of the ordinary and that you aren’t just simply missing out on the sleep you need make an appointment to see your doctor who can take a thorough case history to look for the possible causes.
This information does not take into account your personal situation and is general in nature. You should consider whether the information is appropriate for your needs and seek professional medical advice.
Always consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or if any concerns arise.