Energy and Fatigue

Energy and Fatigue

Too much stress, too many medications, or sleep apnea can leave us drained of energy. Relief comes in the form of better diet, exercise,  counseling or help with nighttime breathing.

More than a third of us don’t get the recommended seven to nine hours of slumber nightly. On top of that, our fast-paced lifestyle leaves us little time for relaxation. Along with a lack of sleep and overwork, fatigue causes range from illness, anemia, thyroid disease, and heart failure. Taking certain medicines—including antidepressants, blood pressure medicines, and anti-anxiety drugs—can also contribute to fatigue.

When no specific medical condition seems to be causing fatigue, the cause could be a disorder called chronic fatigue syndrome. People with this condition have consistent fatigue that doesn’t go away, along with vague complaints such as muscle aches, headaches, and memory loss. Disrupted sleep, a sore throat, and joint or muscle pain are other chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. Everyone experiences chronic fatigue syndrome in a different way; therefore, treatment is tailored to the individual.

Eating the wrong foods can also be draining. Highly processed, sugary foods burn up in the body quickly, leaving little energy remaining. A high-energy diet includes slower-burning, nutrient-dense foods such as peanut butter, lean chicken breast, and green, leafy vegetables. Getting enough calories and eating smaller meals throughout the day (rather than three large meals) are other strategies for increasing energy.

Diet is just one of many natural energy boosters. Exercise is another. Taking a brisk 15-minute walk daily can reinvigorate and recharge you. Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation increase energy by erasing anxiety and stress. Some people find that a 20-minute “power nap” during the day reinvigorates them. Just be careful not to nap for too long or too close to bedtime, because you could disrupt your nighttime sleep.

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