Fatigue and chronic tiredness can be the result of several different lifestyle factors, including a poor diet, high stress levels, low-quality sleep and lack of exercise. Making a few small changes to your lifestyle can make a big difference to your energy levels, as well as your physical and mental health. Here are five self-help tips to fight fatigue.
Balance Your Blood Sugar Levels
Regular spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels, which are often caused by excess sugar intake, eating large meals or skipping meals, can lead to chronic tiredness, irritability and insomnia. Having small, regular meals and eating a balanced diet will help to keep your blood sugar within normal levels. Try to eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, fiber-rich vegetables and high-quality protein, such as chicken, fish and lean meat.
Increase Your Fluid Intake
Dehydration is a common cause of fatigue and tiredness. Even mild dehydration can cause a slump in energy levels and cognitive function. While many nutritionists recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, research has shown that the amount of fluids needed depends on a range of different factors, including diet, exercise, weight and salt intake. Sipping fluids regularly throughout the day, rather than drinking large quantities in a short period of time, is the best way to stay hydrated.
Take Regular Exercise
While it may be difficult to exercise when you feel tired and fatigued, regular exercise has been shown to increase energy levels, balance blood sugar levels and reduce stress hormones. Walking, cycling, swimming, yoga and resistance training can all improve your general health and help to reduce fatigue. If extreme tiredness makes it difficult to exercise, try starting with a walk around the block or some gentle stretching, and build your stamina over a few weeks.
Learn to Relax
Stress is one of the most common causes of unexplained tiredness and chronic fatigue. Learning to relax and release tension from your body produces a wide range of benefits for physical and mental health. Meditation, visualisation and relaxation exercises are all effective ways to relieve stress. Taking a relaxing bath, stroking a pet, listening to calming music and chatting with friends and family can also reduce stress levels.
Improve Sleep Quality
Poor-quality sleep can leave you feeling tired, irritable and emotionally drained. Lack of sleep can also leave you more prone to infection and illness, as the body is unable to repair itself effectively without adequate sleep. Removing distractions from the bedroom, such as televisions, computers and other devices, helps to create a calming environment. In addition, having a bedtime routine enables your body and mind to prepare for sleep.
Fatigue and chronic tiredness can be caused by several different lifestyle factors. Balancing blood sugar levels, increasing fluid intake, taking regular exercise, learning to relax and improving sleep quality can all help to beat fatigue and increase energy levels. Chronic fatigue can also be caused by an underlying health problem, so it's important to seek medical advice if self-help measures do not work to resolve the problem.