On a scale of 1 to 10, how tired are you right now? How tired are you on average?
Do you find that you are “resting” your eyes at stoplights or falling asleep anytime you sit down? When is the last time you have been able to sit through a movie?
This kind of behavior is normal once in a while. Usually the culprit is a restless night or lack of sleep due to a late night homework project with the kids. What is not normal is feeling fatigue or chronically tired all of the time. It is the kind of tired that cannot be rectified with just an extra hour or two of sleep. It is that constant need to sleep but never being able to catch up. Fatigue is more than just being tired; you are missing out on the experiences of life because you are just. too. tired.
If you are experiencing fatigue and you do not know why, check to see if one of these might be the cause.
Depression, even mild depression, can increase fatigued feelings. Those with serious depression can often sleep more than 15 hours a day, but even those with the mild blues (feeling just blah about life and everything) can add an extra layer of fatigue. Combat that feeling by moving around! I know that seems like opposites, but people who exercise, even just 30 minutes a day, have instant mood boosts. If a simple exercise sesh is not enough, visit your doctor. A mild anti-depressant might be in order to get you back to yourself.
Bad diet/vitamin deficiency
Your body needs balance to work properly. Not having enough nutrients and vitamins is a surefire way to have your body start dragging. Low iron and Vitamin D levels are usually to blame for those experiencing fatigue. Not eating a well-balanced diet (which can supply those necessary vitamins) can also be the culprit. And if you are skipping meals you are just asking for trouble. Eat three good meals (with lots of veggies, fruit, protein and grains) with small snacks in between to keep you in tip-top shape. Also consider taking a multi-vitamin to help fill in the gaps where your diet is lacking. Just know that supplements are not a replacement for eating right. They work hand in hand.
Can’t start a day without your beloved cup of Diet Coke? How about your mid-afternoon cup of coffee? Sure, the caffeine gives you a bit of a jolt right after you drink it, but it is depriving you of many nutrients that you need. You see, caffeine is a diuretic. And through that you are losing many essential nutrients. And if you are not drinking enough water, you are also becoming dehydrated, another fatigue culprit. Drink at least 8 cups of plain water in addition to your caffeine fix to keep you hydrated. Plain water not doing it for you? Add a little flavoring if you must. Even better, toss in a lemon or lime wedge to give it a zip of flavor.