Why Am I Always So Tired?!
Studies conducted in the last 10 years showed that fatigue is one of women’s top five health concerns—and that as many as 45% of women have fatigue resulting from stress.
As women, we juggle work commitments, career, childcare, groceries, household chores—the list can seem endless. We need to take steps to ensure that we don’t become so overwhelmed by fatigue that it becomes dangerous to our health.
You need to ask yourself why you’re always tired—is it due to a lack of sleep, anxiety or some kind of imbalance?
The first thing to do is to make sure you don’t have a medical condition like anemia, a thyroid imbalance, or some deficiency that’s causing the fatigue. Once you address a potential health problem, it may be good to take a look at your daily routine to make sure you’re following a healthy schedule.
Are you getting enough sleep?
As a guide, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society says that people between the ages of 18 and 60 years need seven or more hours of sleep nightly.
What is your bedtime? Are you going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time each morning? Letting the body get accustomed to a routine will help you sleep.
These steps should help you get to sleep more quickly: Make sure that your bedroom is quiet, dark, uncluttered and a comfortable temperature. Too much light can reduce your quality of sleep. Cooler room temperatures are also better for sleeping than warmer temperatures.
When is your last caffeinated drink of the day? The stimulant effects of caffeine can last for hours so it’s ideal not to have caffeine after lunch time.
Smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol before bed can also affect sound sleep. Using your computer, smartphone and TV before bedtime is not ideal because the activity and quality of light from the monitors can affect your blood chemistry and shift your body function away from the sleep state.
What about the rest of your routine?
- Food: Are you eating healthy balanced meals? For your best night’s sleep, favor eating a diet that emphasizes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat proteins that are rich in B vitamins. B vitamins can help to regulate melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycles. Also eating either too much or too little can make you feel sluggish. Eating too late at night can also affect your ability to get to sleep easily.
- Exercise: Are you getting enough exercise? A study at the University of Georgia in Athens found that when sedentary individuals began to exercise regularly, their level of energy improved.
- Life itself: If our job, family, emotions or other aspects of our life have become overwhelming, they can really affect our energy level and our overall health. Prolonged stress can cause physical and emotional exhaustion.
Experts say that, both physically and emotionally, women are more vulnerable to stress than men and recover more slowly—and are twice as likely to suffer from anxiety. Clinical psychologist Dr. Joshua Klapow, host of The Web radio show, says, “We can feel fatigue and malaise strictly from being anxious.”
A sure way to reduce anxiety and stress
The Transcendental Meditation technique significantly reduces anxiety by shifting the nervous system into a calmer, more balanced, harmonious style of functioning that is the opposite of feeling stressed.
Veronica Butler, M.D., co-author of A Woman’s Best Medicine, says, “The Transcendental Meditation technique helps promote mental and emotional well-being. It has especially helped my patients with depression, anxiety, and insomnia.”
Regular twice-daily practice of the TM technique increases energy and reduces stress and fatigue. Two of the first benefits TM practitioners experience are better sleep and more energy.
The broad range of benefits of TM include:
- Deep rest (American Psychologist)
- 42% decrease in insomnia (Journal of Counseling and Development)
- Greater resistance to stress (Psychosomatic Medicine)
- 33% decrease in anxiety (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)
Nancy Lonsdorf M.D., graduate of Stanford University and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, is an author and nationally renowned specialist in women’s health issues. On TM and its reduction of fatigue, she writes:
“When we’re tired, we don’t think as clearly, are more distractible, and take longer to complete our tasks. We also may stay up too late trying to finish off what didn’t get done during the day. This ends up creating a vicious cycle of fatigue, lack of rest, too much activity, and more fatigue. Taking the TM course is the number one recommendation I make to all my patients.”
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