Fatigue, also known as weariness, tiredness, exhaustion, or lethargy, is generally defined as a feeling of lack of energy. Fatigue is not the same as drowsiness, but the desire to sleep may accompany fatigue. Fatigue is common, as an estimated 20% of Americans claim to have fatigue intense enough to interfere with their having a normal life. Because there are both physical and emotional causes the trick is determining what is causing your fatigue. Perhaps the tips below will help you reduce your fatigue and feel more energized.
Schedule it. To help ensure sound sleep, establish a consistent bedtime routine like taking a hot bath or shower, reading a book or listening to music, or drinking a warm, decaffeinated beverage – anything to help you relax. But remember, you don’t want to get too much sleep, either, as that, too, can leave you feeling fatigued.
Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Keeping negative emotions inside will wear you down, so vent! Sharing the day’s frustrations can lighten your load and even help you sleep better. To help alleviate the occurrence of negative emotions, use your free time in restful and enjoyable ways.
Exercise during the day. It may sound counterintuitive but study results show that regular exercise increases energy and reduces fatigue.Do something that you enjoy and will therefore do on a consistent basis.
Shed some baggage. Excess weight requires more energy to carry. If you’re carrying around a few extra pounds, lose the weight slowly with better nutrition and some exercise.
Skip the nightcaps. If you can’t or don’t want to stop, try cutting back – especially before bedtime. A nightcap does not lead to a restful night’s sleep. Caffeine should also be avoided for about four hours before going to bed. And cigarettes… well, they’re never a good idea.
Eat a balanced diet. A well balanced diet helps to fight fatigue. You don’t have to make huge sacrifices, at least not initially. To start, cut out large or spicy meals late in the evening and try to eat a bit healthier during the day by substituting fruits or vegetables for other snacks and watching your portion sizes.
Get regular check-ups. Conditions like blood pressure can drain much of our bodies’ natural resources, robbing energy in an attempt to combat disease, forcing our bodies to run less efficiently. Get regular check-ups and stick with your physician’s recommended treatment plan.
Review your medications. While some medications can interfere with your sleep patterns, alternatives are often available. Review your current medications with your physician and ask about alternatives.
Get help! If your fatigue persists and you feel powerless to overcome it, don’t be too proud to ask for help – there’s nothing wrong with seeking professional treatment. Fatigue that comes on suddenly, is not relieved by adequate sleep or is accompanied by unexplained symptoms should immediately be brought to the attention of your health professional.
Sources: Wellness Councils of America (www.welcoa.org),www.emedicinehealth.com
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Posted on: 2009-03-07
Last Modified on: 2009-03-07
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