Fatigue is a complex term. It can mean a serious condition, such as combat fatigue, a stress-related disorder caused by military action. Or it can mean merely feeling a little tired all day. It might be somewhere in between these two extremes: a dull tiredness that you can’t shake, leaving you unfocused and unhappy. So, how do you fight fatigue? Sleep Realm explores.
Causes of Fatigue
Fatigue is slightly different from just feeling tired. Tiredness is solved by more sleep or better sleep, whereas fatigue may have another cause altogether. These issues may include:
- Undiagnosed medical condition
- Unresolved stress
- Side effect of medication
If none of these factors seem likely, but you still feel sleepy all the time, there could be simple ways to fix this.
Why Do I Get Sleepy After Eating?
Why do I get tired after I eat? It’s such a common question, but it’s relatively normal to feel tired after eating. Sleepiness after eating is caused by your body beginning to digest the food you’ve just eaten and the release of chemicals such as serotonin.
If you have a beer or a glass of wine with a big meal, you’re even more likely to feel drowsy because of the sedative effects of the alcohol
We all know what fatigue feels like, but do you notice how it affects you throughout the day? You might find yourself:
- Slurring your words or unable to find the right word
- Unable to focus
- Very hungry or not wanting to eat at all
- Irritable or stressed out
- Unable to involve yourself in physical activities
- Disinterested in activities you normally love
Some of these are symptoms of a lack of sleep, but other factors affect your energy levels, too. Here are ten ways to fight fatigue and get your energy back up where it needs to be.
1) Check Your Food Intake
Constantly eating hard to digest foods or highly processed foods can increase your fatigue levels. Try a banana for a fatigue beating energy boost, or trail mix with almonds and chia seeds. Don’t forget that feeling tired after eating is perfectly normal, so any fatigue after eating might just be something you can power through.
2) Cut Back on Caffeine
Caffeine is great for keeping you awake, right? Well, sort of. The thing is, if you’re having that post-lunch drowsiness, a cup of coffee could leave you feeling worse later on. Caffeine withdrawal can make you feel unfocused, unhappy, and even jittery. Cut back by at least one cup of coffee a day and notice the benefits.
3) Drink Lots of Water
Hydration is one of the biggest keys to high energy levels. Every system in your body needs water to function, and if those systems don’t get it, your energy levels drop to rock bottom. Aim for a minimum of eight glasses of water a day spread throughout the day.
4) Take a Break
If you’ve got too much to do, do less. That might sound counterproductive, but you will come back feeling refreshed and more ready to work when you take a break. Fatigue can be a sign of demotivation and vice versa, so walk away from your project, grab a glass of water, and do something fun for ten minutes.
5) Look After Your Eyes
Eye strain, particularly from staring at computer screens, leaves us rubbing our eyes and feeling tired. Try not to rub them too much, stay hydrated, and consider eye drops or a cooling eye mask.
6) Don’t Dwell on Fatigue
If you keep telling yourself, “I’m so tired,” the chances are you will continue to feel even more tired as you make yourself gradually more stressed out about it. Instead, focus on the task at hand, or do something different that you love for ten minutes. Anything to get your mind off it and power on through.
7) Deal with Stress
Stressful situations make us feel tired. Our body floods with the stress hormone cortisol, and it can leave us feeling very fatigued. Be sure to deal with stressful situations as soon as you can to remove them from your life. If you struggle with this, get help – we all need it from time to time.
Physical activity improves your overall health and wellbeing, as well as fighting fatigue. Get out for a walk in your local area, go to the gym, or invest in some home exercise equipment or accessories.
9) Take Up Something New
If you constantly feel tired and are sleeping and eating fine, it could simply be that you are mentally exhausted with your current routine. Boredom can feel very similar to sleepiness and can lead to a kind of low-grade stress that’s difficult to deal with. Take up a new hobby, or go back to one you used to enjoy. This might be playing the guitar, taking a walk in nature, or listening to a favorite podcast.
10) See a Doctor
If you sleep well, eat well, and are generally stress-free, then fatigue or constant low energy could be a sign of a medical issue. See your doctor and talk through with them what the problem might be.
Fighting fatigue can be simple if you listen to your body and fill it with nutritious food and plenty of water. Take care of yourself, deal with stressful situations head-on so they don’t fester, and, as always, try and get a good night’s sleep.
Why do I get sleepy after I eat? Why do I feel like I need a nap before the end of the day? From feeling tired after eating lunch to a general sense of exhaustion all day, fatigue can ruin your day. Fight it with these ten tips, including staying hydrated, avoiding or dealing with stress, and cutting back on the caffeine.