What are the causes of fatigue and tiredness?

There are many reasons why people could be feeling tired or fatigued.

Not getting a goodnight sleep would be the most obvious one, and aside from staying up late, you could be struggling to get those zzz’s because you are stressed, you may be working too late which is keeping your mind active or you may also be over-training, which believe it or not can be a reason for disrupted sleep.

Furthermore, you may have experienced having an amazing nights sleep for the first time in days, only to find that the next morning you are still tired. The reason for that is you may be in a negative balance.

Look at it this way. If you keep taking from your body and you don’t give enough back to it, you are going to be in the ‘red zone’ and one good nights of sleep won’t necessarily fix the problem. Odds are that you will need to have a few early nights, or take a long weekend to rest in order to create balance again.

Other reasons why you may not be sleeping include; having caffeine too close to bedtime, waking to go to the bathroom , not creating a suitable environment in your bedroom. For example, is there airflow? Is it dark? What are the noise levels like? Is your pet sleeping on your bed and keeping you awake? Try to cease liquid intake an hour before bed and empty your bladder fully just before. This can help reduce the need to go the bathroom throughout the night.

You may also be doing too many activities in your room, which can be keeping your mind active. For example, never take your laptop to bed as your bed is not the place for you to be working and try not engage in social media on your phone before sleeping. Keep your bed as a sanctuary and only use it for sleep or sex

Finally, fatigue can be a result of a poor diet or other illnesses that you may be suffering from. Food sensitivities and intolerance are a common culprits of fatigue. Food intolerance may also cause diarrhoea, which in turn can prevent the nutrients that you are eating from being absorbed optimally which may lead to anemia.

Anemia is a result of iron deficiency, so it goes without saying that if you are anemic, odds are you will be struggling with fatigue. Vegans and vegetarians are also at great risk of iron deficiency. Other conditions include chronic fatigue syndrome, hormone imbalance, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnoea, depression and anxiety.

If you are feeling tired for an extended period of time and you are unsure why, I would recommend seeing a health care practitioner as you may be struggling with a deeper problem than you initial realized.

Dietary tips/foods that can help with fatigue

Food is fuel for your body, so the best way to ensure that you are energized and functioning optimally is to eat good wholefoods.

Try to steer clear of processed foods (packaged foods) as they tend to be full of preservatives, sodium, refined carbohydrates and sugars, and other compounds that may slow you down. By sticking to seasonal fresh foods, you will have more chance of benefiting from the nutrients that are often stripped from processed foods.

I would also suggest that you avoid caffeine, which may sounds ridiculous, but while that first sip of coffee will give you a jolt of energy, it will also soon send you crashing down. Avoiding caffeine can help stabilize your energy levels leaving you feeling much better all day long.

Lean meats and nuts are great for helping beat fatigue and fight hunger. Eat raw, unsalted nuts as they contain the most nutrients and therefore will provide the most energy and make sure that you drink plenty of water! Water and staying well hydrated can help boost your metabolism.

Are there supplements that assist with fatigue?

There are a few, however I would suggest that you consult your healthcare practitioner before putting yourself onto any supplement regimes, Some vitamin formulas are better than others and you also need to keep in mind that some vitamins may be counteracted by other medications that you may be taking.

If you decide to supplement, make sure you use high quality supplements and I would suggest looking into Vitamin D, Coenzyme Q10, Complex (activated) B Vitamins and Magnesium to beat fatigue.

Can certain types of exercise or meditation help with fatigue? 

If you re extremely tired, I would recommend to do light exercise such as yoga, walking or swimming as you don’t want to burn yourself out. Aerial yoga could be beneficial too as you spend time upside down and twisting which is a great detoxifier and a great way to shift your energy.

Meditation is also great for those who are experiencing stress-related tiredness and fatigue.