Are you feeling worn out lately? Technological advances in today’s society may make life easier in many ways, but they can increase the demand for instant results as well. They also provide tempting distractions that keep you from going to bed at a reasonable hour. However, feeling tired from a busy day and feeling drained on a consistent basis are two different issues. Chronic fatigue can be serious in some situations, so it’s important to investigate why you’re tired so often.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue?
There are plenty of reasons you might not be feeling your best. The list is long and varied, but these causes tend to be some of the most common.
Your body converts the food you eat into energy for your cells so they can perform every essential function. When you aren’t getting enough food (or at least enough nutritious food), your energy reserves are depleted, so your body tries to conserve energy the best way it can. This can slow down a variety of important processes, leaving you feeling lethargic at best.
Lack of Sleep
Many people underestimate just how much sleep they truly need to stay healthy, focused, and energized throughout the day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that all adults get a minimum of seven hours every single night. Many people may need as many as ten or more. If you aren’t meeting this goal on a routine basis, there’s a good chance you’re feeling tired most of the time.
Underlying Health Conditions
Some disease processes can cause chronic fatigue because the body is constantly battling an issue or is dealing with a group of cells that aren’t functioning as they should. Dozens of health conditions can cause fatigue, including certain cancers, kidney problems, dysautonomia, and other nervous system issues. If lifestyle changes and healthy habits aren’t enough to bring the energy back into your life it may be time to see a doctor and rule out an underlying health condition.
How Can You Combat Fatigue?
For many people, restoring your energy levels comes down to making smarter everyday choices that promote a healthy and robust body. It may take some time to feel back to normal overall, but these steps can quickly combat fatigue.
Change Your Eating Habits
To ensure your body has ample and consistent energy, you need to consider three things when planning your meals:
- Eat nutrient-dense foods.
- Eat enough food.
- Eat frequently throughout the day.
All food gives you some amount of energy, but things that are easily digested and broken down won’t last long. Sugars and simple carbohydrates can give you a quick burst but will soon leave you feeling depleted. Instead, eat more whole grains, lean protein, healthy fats, and fresh fruits and vegetables. These all contain nutrients that keep you satiated while better energizing your cells.
Eating in smaller amounts more frequently is a great approach for people who experience fatigue. This allows your body to have a more consistent supply of energy throughout the day. Even so, make sure you’re eating enough to fuel your body, and try not to go more than three hours between meals or snacks.
If your muscles are weak, just getting through the day can be exhausting. You may not feel like it, but exercising can help you increase endurance and enjoy a burst of endorphins, leaving you much more energized overall. Aim to get 150 minutes of vigorous activity every week to help keep fatigue at bay.
Your body needs rest, and plenty of it. Take steps to get the sleep you need by setting a regular bedtime and sticking to it. Give yourself time to unwind and prepare for bed by engaging in calming activities, such as meditating, stretching, reading, or bathing.
Everyone feels more tired than usual every so often. These simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference. However, if your fatigue persists, gets worse, or is accompanied by other new symptoms, such as pain or trouble breathing, see your doctor right away. Some conditions require treatment before energy levels can improve.