We all deal with it at one time or another in our life: the feeling of chronic tiredness. Day in and day out we yawn, mope and complain of not enough sleep.
It is irritating and down-right unhealthy.
If you’re an athlete you may start to notice signs of fatigue especially after a big game or long practice. You may have trouble waking up, getting motivated and even feeling happy.
It could be that your job is particularly stressful and you are not sleeping well because of anxiety or over-use of stimulants.
What ever the cause of chronic fatigue, your first step is identify what’s causing the fatigue. Once you do that, then eliminate those things that are keeping you from relaxing and sleeping well. This short list should help you do just that.
1. Sleep at least eight hours.
Our bodies need adequate rest to recover from the day’s exertion of energy. Most people need eight hours. And if you put out more than normal that particular day, sleep longer.
2. Take naps.
Short naps during the afternoon are a great way to recover some energy to finish your day strong. Find a dark, comfortable place and sleep no longer than twenty minutes.
3. Don’t rely on caffeine or other stimulants.
An over-reliance on stimulants will lead to restless sleep at night, thus further making you tired. Two to three cups of coffee in the morning is about the most you should permit yourself
Throughout the day a great way to recover some mental and physical energy is to stop what you are doing, close your eyes and take ten deep breathes.
5. Eat right.
Loading up on vegetables like spinach, potatoes and carrots is a great way to feed your body the right kind of energy. Add whole grains to your diet, as well as fruits, seafood and eggs for energy.
6. Eliminate stress.
Stress is a reaction to stimuli that puts our body into a state of readiness for action. That heightened state is not meant to be maintained for an entire day, let alone a week or even months. Make a decision to reduce or eliminate the cause of that stress. It’s worth your life.
7. See a doctor.
Some people do not sleep well at night because they suffer from sleep apnea, which is a condition that stops a person from breathing throughout the night. And when they stop breathing, they wake up. The result: they never get a full night’s deep rest. If you think you suffer from sleep apnea, you can get tested. If you are eligible you’ll receive a CPAP machine.
Dr. Rick Lehman is a distinguished orthopedic surgeon in St. Louis, Missouri and an articular cartilage reconstruction pioneer He owns U. S. Sports Medicine in Kirkwood, MO, and LehmanHealth. Learn more about Dr. Rick.