Have you ever woken up more tired than you were when you went to bed? Exhaustion is plaguing our nation, and many of us have no clue why.
In our culture, where overworking and over-stretching oneself is lauded, it is surprising how many people complain about their fatigue on a daily basis. Is no one getting enough sleep? There are multiple forces at play that are causing us to be exhausted. Here are some possible reasons you could be suffering from chronic exhaustion.
Your diet is inflammatory.
When you’re eating a diet full of processed foods, or even foods you have sensitivities to, you are making things harder for your body. Inflammatory foods create more free radicals in the body, which actually do damage and make it more difficult for the cells to produce energy. Ditch the sugary, processed foods and start eating more greens and berries.
Your diet is imbalanced.
If you aren’t getting enough nutrients—protein, iron, vitamins, greens—you might begin to feel a little sluggish. Anemia is the perfect example of fatigue induced by a deficit of iron in the body. You need a variety of foods in your diet. Subsisting, for instance, on protein bars is not balanced nutrition. Try smoothies or juices to fit a large amount of whole food nutrients into a small, tasty package.
You have depression or anxiety.
Anxiety and depression can cause hormonal havoc for all those feel-good hormones like dopamine and endorphins. Many people are well aware that depression can manifest as a lack of motivation or energy to do things. Meanwhile, suffering from a lot of stress or anxiety can lead to poor quality sleep, which means you’re getting enough sleep in terms of hours, but it’s not restful sleep. It is important to consult a professional if these are your concern.
You’re constantly stressed on some level.
This is a big one. If you are always on the go and never take time for quiet mindfulness, you are probably going to wipe yourself out to the point where not even a good night of sleep feels like enough to reduce your exhaustion. And coffee can only serve as an exhaustion band-aid for so long. Eventually, even the strongest cold brew won’t be enough to perk you up. It’s called adrenal fatigue. It is caused by chronic stress, overexercising, poor diet, too little sleep—essentially just general neglect of the body’s balance. It is believed to afflict a massive percentage of our population. Your adrenal glands are responsible for releasing around 50 different hormones, so problems with your adrenals can cause imbalance throughout the body. If you are concerned, contact a trusted professional to help you adjust your diet, lifestyle and stress levels so that you can allow your body to recuperate.
Your gut critters are displeased.
Believe it or not, an imbalance in your microbiome can actually cause you to be inexplicably tired. And why not? They exert control over our weight, our moods and our fitness. For instance, an overgrowth of yeast in the gut (from a sugary diet) can oftentimes result in brain fog and general fatigue.
You’re not moving enough.
If you live a sedentary lifestyle—you work at a desk, you watch a lot of television, you rarely exercise—you may actually begin to feel more tired. Energy creates energy, so if you aren’t feeding your body any energy through movement then your body will pay you back with tiredness and sluggishness. Do yourself a favor and take a brisk walk outside every morning.
Of course, there is always the possibility you may have some other underlying condition, so it’s best to check in with your doctor if you have any concerns. Being exhausted, or even just a little fatigued, day after day is not normal. It is a sign that something is off in your body. Take extra care, eat well, meditate, ditch caffeine. Give your body what it needs to become balanced and energized again.