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Why Am I So Tired?

Why Am I So Tired?
18 Feb 13

Why Am I So Tired?

Are you always asking yourself, “Why do I feel so tired?” You are not alone! A recent study by the Center for Disease Control states that 70 percent of Americans confirm they are not getting enough rest. There is no reason to think the data would be any different for Canadians. According to The National Sleep Foundation, adults need anywhere from 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night. For most of us, this just isn’t happening.

If you notice that your energy level is low, that every step you take requires effort and your brain is set in a cloudy haze, then it may be time for a check-up. If your doctor rules out sleep apnea, depression, diabetes or stress, then further investigation will be necessary. Some of the causes of fatigue that are often overlooked include low thyroid, heart trouble, and lack of iron (anemia) or liver problems. It is important that you talk to your doctor should you have any concerns and if your fatigue borders on extreme.

However, for many, lifestyle plays an important role in sleep behaviour. If you have unhealthy eating habits, drink too much caffeine, use alcohol frequently and participate in substance abuse, these lifestyle choices can often lead to fatigue. Also, believe it or not, sometimes not being active enough can cause sleep problems. If you don’t exercise or engage in any physical activity, then your body is basically in a slump.

If it’s determined that bad habits are the probable cause of your lack of energy, then concentrate on the following:

1. Eat Healthy

Choose foods that create a balanced and healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and lean protein. It’s true that most people feel less tired if they eat a variety of healthy foods. It also means that by reducing your intake of foods that are high in fat and sugar, you will lose weight if you are overweight. Obesity plays a big role in causing fatigue. Caffeine should be avoided several hours before bedtime and certainly, limit alcohol intake if this is determined to be an issue.

2. Exercise

Many doctors will recommend their sleep-deprived patients to get up and get moving. This can be difficult to do when you are tired! But exercise encourages energy so try to get at least 40 minutes of exercise four days a week. If this seems overwhelming, start with a ten minute walk every day and work up to longer sessions. Combine this with a healthier diet and within a few months you will likely notice an increased energy level combined with a good night’s sleep. A win-win situation!

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