Despite routine sleep, a healthy diet and reasonably active lifestyle, you feel rundown and completely zapped of energy. When this happens, it can be challenging to figure out the source of your distress. Before you worry that your fatigue could be an indication of a bigger problem, examine your daily routine – some common habits can contribute to low energy levels.
- Dehydration. Hydration plays a significant role in harnessing energy. Your body is 60 percent water and uses water for nearly every physiological reaction. If you are even moderately dehydrated, your body cannot perform optimally. Try to consume at least 100 ounces of water per day (approximately 3 liters.) If you are physically active or drink beverages that cause dehydration, such as coffee and soda, drink additional glasses of water to make up for the dehydrating effects of these beverages.
- Bright displays. A healthy bedtime routine will have you winding down two to three hours before bedtime, but that’s tough. If you can only steal 30 minutes to an hour to still your mind – don’t flip channels on the TV, play games on your iPhone or watch a movie on your iPad – bright lights from these types of devices inhibit secretion of melatonin. Melatonin is vital to a full sleep cycle and without a sufficient amount, you won’t sleep well. (Note: alerts from your cell phone in the middle of night – emails, text messages and phone calls can be equally as disruptive and may be the reason your feel zapped of energy all day – even if you don’t consciously hear the tones. Turn your cell phone off before bed.)
- Pills, pills and more pills. Many medications have side-effects that can make you drowsy, like antidepressants and beta-blockers. If you have noticed a link between your medication and your energy level, talk to your doctor. Ask about altering the time of day you take your meds – a routine prior to bedtime may remedy the fatigue or you may seek an alternative medication.
- Training routine. Endurance training has been linked to increased production of cortisol, which can deplete energy levels and contribute to excessive fatigue. In studies, endurance activities of 30 minutes or more at a steady rate caused significant increases in cortisol production. Interval training or burst training keeps levels steady and avoids the ensuing negative effects of excess cortisol.
- Nutrient deficiency. It can be tough to get all the nutrients you need from your diet. Let’s face it, in modern-day, a wholesome balanced diet 100 percent is tough. Depletion of B-vitamins and minerals, like magnesium and iron can really tank your energy level. Make sure your eating a balanced diet as often as possible and supplementing essentials that might be missing.
- Stress. Stress is known for causing an insurmountable amount of stress on the body. Aside from tearing down your immune defenses, stress can also steal your energy. Mental stress that keeps your mind racing endlessly can inhibit sleep patterns, making you feel groggy and run-down all the time. Practice relaxation techniques for both the mind and body to ward off the effects of stress
- Laziness. When you have no energy, it can be difficult to summon the strength and desire to do anything, but activity promotes energy. If you are sleeping more than 9 hours a day or find yourself parked in front of the computer or TV whenever you are not sleeping – your lack of energy maybe be a reflection of you lazy lifestyle. Add some activities to your day that require some action – you may discover you have energy after all.