Are you looking to eliminate daily fatigue? If you’ve ever fallen asleep while you’re at work, caught yourself napping during a conversation with your kid or felt too tired to do anything but sit on the couch when you’d like to be doing other things, then this article is for you.
Fatigue affects all of us at some time or another, but daily, routine fatigue isn’t normal. You shouldn’t have to walk through your days in a fog looking forward to bedtime. We’ve got some proven strategies to help you eliminate fatigue and get back into an active, enjoyable life.
1. Rule Out a Medical Condition
If you’re plagued with daily fatigue, the first step we suggest you take is a visit to your general practitioner. Order a full blood panel to start. Then, work with your doctor to rule out conditions like anemia, sleep apnea, diabetes, fibromyalgia, food intolerances, and hypertension. Our suggestions will not help you much if you’ve got an undiagnosed medical cause for your fatigue.
2. Review Your Sleep Habits
If you’re consistently experiencing daytime fatigue, and you don’t have an underlying medical condition, let’s examine your normal sleep habits. First, are you getting around eight, uninterrupted hours of sleep each night? If not, that could be the entire cause of your problem. Determine what time you need to wake each morning and set your bedtime so that you are getting no less than seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
What does your evening look like just before bedtime? Do you stay up working on your laptop until you can no longer keep your eyes open? Is your home brightly lit until you get under the covers? Stimulation right up until you retire for the night can lead to a poor night’s sleep. Start shutting off most of the lights in your home two hours before bed. This practice helps your body to produce the sleep hormone melatonin, which will lull you to sleep and help you stay asleep until morning.
If you do work on your laptop before bed or like to watch TV as you fall asleep, make sure you adjust the brightness on your devices. You can dim the screens or set them on nighttime mode. Also, make sure you aren’t sitting too close to the screen.
Finally, if there are pets or people in your bed that make your nights less than restful, consider relocating to the guest room to sleep. If your spouse snores, you can always make time for intimacy and pillow talk, then walk down the hall to get your full eight hours of solid, quality sleep.
3. Get Sunshine First Thing in the Morning
Make it a habit to get outside and wake up with the sun each morning. Take your coffee on the front porch, read emails on your balcony or sit out back while your dog plays in the yard. Spend a few minutes out in the morning sun to reset your body’s clock and start your day.
4. Limit Your Caffeine Intake
If you’ve struggled with fatigue for a while, you may be accustomed to grabbing a cup of coffee or an energy drink when you feel sluggish. Caffeine consumption can make things worse for you.
In his book, “Caffeine Blues: Wake Up to the Hidden Dangers of America’s #1 Drug,” Stephen Cherniske, M.S. wrote, “Caffeine does not provide you energy ― only chemical stimulation. The perceived ‘energy’ comes from the body’s struggle to adapt to increased blood levels of stress hormones. In most cases, this induced emergency state leads to well-defined side effects collectively known as caffeinism. Ironically, caffeinism is characterized by fatigue.”
If you enjoy a cup of strong tea or coffee in the morning, have a cup. But stick to one cup, along with a balanced breakfast. Don’t drink any caffeine afternoon. Don’t rely on caffeine as a pick-me-up or an energy boost. It won’t deliver lasting energy and will likely leave you with even more fatigue and malaise.
5. Begin the Day With Exercise
Exercise early in the morning can provide you residual energy all day long. Start with a brisk 20-minute walk. Then, in time, work your way up to 40 minutes of intense cardiovascular exercise first thing in the morning.
Athlete and fitness author Dan Ketchum explains that “your heart isn’t the only thing your body pumps during cardio. Strenuous cardiovascular exercise causes your body to pump out the body chemicals known as endorphins. If you’ve ever heard of the euphoric ‘runner’s high,’ that feeling is endorphins at work. The energy outlasts your run too ― bolstering energy levels throughout the day.
6. Consume Less Sugar
You may be reaching for high-sugar snacks to overcome fatigue. While it might give you an initial boost, it will eventually increase your fatigue. According to Natural Ways, a group that promotes holistic health and nutrition, “Refined carbohydrate consumption increases the level of the amino acid tryptophan, which is the building block of the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin is a proven tranquilizer.”
The last thing you need when you’re tired is a 12-minute sugar high followed by a large dose of tranquilizer. Don’t eat a candy bar to overcome your afternoon slump. Resist the urge to stop by the drive-through for a soda on your way home from work.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
Water fights fatigue. Women’s Health published an entire article on why water is exactly what you need when you’re tired. “What’s the easiest, cheapest, and fastest cure when you’re dragging? Water. Fatigue is, after all, one of the first signs of dehydration. Even a small drop in your body’s water levels can hurt you.”
Start your day with at least 16 ounces of purified water. Then, refill your cup every hour or so. Make sure you drink plenty of water throughout your day. If you like to drink green tea in the morning, have a cup after your first 16 ounces of water.
8. Drop Extra Weight
If you’re carrying extra weight, you’ll definitely be tired. Regardless of other factors, you have an ideal weight for your frame and height. Stay within a few pounds of your ideal weight to ward off fatigue.
Implementing a few of the above suggestions, like morning exercise, proper sleep and lots of water will help you shed a few pounds. If you need to lose more than a few, talk with your health practitioner about the safest and most effective ways to drop the weight.
9. Balance Your Macronutrients
The macronutrients required to power the human body are fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. The macronutrients are not optional or suggested. They are necessary for the body to function properly. When your macronutrients are out of balance, you will experience illness and/or fatigue.
Functional medicine practitioner William Cole says, “One of the most common macronutrient deficiencies in the West is low-fat consumption. Since the latter part of the 20th century, fat has been cut out of the standard American diet, and that caloric deficit has been replaced with refined carbohydrates, specifically grains. When you’re in a sugar-burning mode, you get the inevitable sugar crash, leaving you with mood swings, irritability, weight-loss resistance, and fatigue.”
Make sure you’re getting a good balance of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins with every meal. Snack wisely as well. If you’re snacking on apples, dip them in nut butter, which adds fat and protein. Do your best to keep the macros balanced to avoid fatigue.
10. Snack on Energy-boosting Foods
Speaking of snacking, there are some excellent foods that naturally help boost your energy:
- Eggs are great for a quick boost. They are full of amino acids and B vitamins that will help you feel more alert. Boil and peel some eggs for easy snacking.
- Blueberries are also good for your energy levels. They are loaded with antioxidants that give the whole body a nice energy lift. Wash them and keep them portioned and ready to eat. You can also use frozen blueberries when they aren’t in season.
- Popcorn is high in fiber and carbohydrates. The carbs are great for a quick energy boost, and the fiber in popcorn will help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
We wrote another article about the best foods to boost your energy here.
11. Make Sure You’re Getting Your Micronutrients
Sometimes, if you’re low in a particular nutrient, it can cause fatigue. Some of the most common causes of fatigue are low iron, vitamin B or D deficiency or low magnesium levels. A blood test will help you identify any micronutrients that you’re lacking.
12. Diffuse Essential Oils
Peppermint and orange essential oils are excellent as an effective pick-me-up. Use a diffuser or put a few drops on the palms of your hands and rub them together. Cup your hands around your face and breathe in.
Don’t Settle for Fatigue
Fatigue can negatively affect your life on multiple levels. Dr. Cole says, “While fatigue is common, it’s certainly not biologically normal. This false assumption makes many people settle for feeling lousy and tired most of their lives.” Don’t settle for fatigue. Get to the bottom of the cause and start working toward eliminating daily fatigue and enjoying your life more.
Cole, W. (n.d.). 8 reasons you’re tired all the time and how to beat fatigue. Retrieved from: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-14265/8-reasons-youre-tired-all-the-time-how-to-beat-fatigue.html
Feeling tired? Drink water. (2007). Retrieved from: https://www.womenshealthmag. com/health/a19911386/how-to-get-more-energy/
Ketchum, D. (2018). Does cardio give you energy? Retrieved from: https://www.livestrong .com/article/467052-does-cardio-give-you-energy/
Overconsumption of sugar causes fatigue. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.naturalways.com/ sugar.htm