Lacking energy? Do you get tired without even having time to get out of bed, in which you have spent eight, nine or even twelve hours before? You are not alone. At the end of winter, 70% of the inhabitants of megalopolises cannot fully work without a cup of coffee (and more than one). This can be interpreted as “winter fatigue.” But sometimes the causes of chronic lethargy can be subtle. Surely, one of them or several at once are present in this list.
Poor quality sleep. Going to bed early and getting up late the next morning is not a guarantee that you will be active and full of energy if your sleep quality is lame. The criterion for good sleep is not the number of hours spent under the covers, but the quality of the third, deepest phase of sleep. It depends on her how easy your ascent will be. It is known that sleep is divided into 4 phases: the first is light nap, the second is shallow, shallow sleep, the third is deep sleep, and the fourth is REM sleep, in which the brain sends you visions in the form of colored dreams.
All phases are important, but the most complete of them is the third phase, during which there is practically no brain activity, all processes in the body slow down, the body temperature drops, and the brain reboots. This cycle is repeated several times overnight. The longer the deep phases, the better we get enough sleep. An easy way to improve your deep sleep phase is to prepare for bed every night: turn off the TV for a couple of hours, turn off gadgets, ventilate the room and read a book.
Dehydration. Without sufficient fluid intake, blood pressure drops, blood thickens, slowing down the delivery of oxygen to the brain, which cannot but affect your activity. If you still feel tired after eight hours of sleep, it may be worth increasing your H2O intake.
Malfunction of the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid gland, which produces hormones to control sleepiness and hunger, is not active enough and your hormone levels are below normal. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism, along with fatigue and drowsiness: dry mouth, chilliness, dry skin, brittle nails, constipation. If atypical lethargy and other symptoms bother you, see your doctor. A blood test will help identify abnormalities in the thyroid gland and take action quickly.
Alcohol before bed. A glass of wine in the evening to unwind after a busy day can backfire – and take you to the first item on this list. Alcohol activates the nervous system and can impair the quality of sleep, making it difficult to enter deep sleep. Sleep cycles are disrupted, and you feel as if you spent the whole night on the dance floor, and not 8 hours in your bed. Avoid alcohol for a week, replacing it with herbal tea, and evaluate the result.
Apnea. Snoring, which we are not used to taking seriously, can cause chronic fatigue. Apnea sufferers wake up five to a hundred times a night because they stop breathing during sleep. It sounds scary, but suffocating from snoring is almost impossible, but the quality of sleep suffers greatly. The main catch: you do not remember waking up at night from suffocation, so it is difficult to tell if you suffer from apnea. Sleepiness, fatigue, and waking up with a headache are symptoms of sleep apnea. Talk to your doctor if this sounds familiar.
Lack of physical activity. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s a fact: the less you move, the more tired you feel. Writing a report or article in a stationary position for several hours, or sitting for a long time behind the wheel or on public transport is a direct path to overwork. On days like this, you feel much more tired than if you were clearing snow from the yard. Try adding at least half an hour of physical activity a day. Walk, swim, dance or do gymnastics at home with a YouTube coach. Physical activity will give you more energy in the off-season and cause a different type of fatigue, but more enjoyable.
Lack of magnesium, iron or vitamin B12. Magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining blood glucose levels, muscle health, and concentration, so a lack of magnesium can make you feel sluggish. Lack of iron is fraught with impaired oxygen delivery, and, consequently, apathy, drowsiness and shortness of breath. Lack of vitamin B12, which is necessary for active brain function, also affects vitality and performance. These micronutrients can be taken as a supplement or balanced with leafy vegetables, herbs, and plant protein (if you ditch the animal for some reason), nuts, seeds, soy, and legumes.