A very common phenomenon

Many people complain about lack of sleep right at the beginning of the day. They wake up with an unwillingness to leave the warm comfort of their bed since they feel that they could do with a couple of hours of more sleep and by the end of the day they are dragging their feet, waiting to reach home completely tired out and with no interest or enthusiasm left for anything ! Does this sound familiar and are you facing something similar in your life ? It is better to take control of your life right now and think of ways to reduce stress which otherwise might consume your whole life.

When you are fatigued all the time, you cannot concentrate, you cannot remember what you ate or did last week, forget last month and half the time are unable to remember any of your commitments. When fatigue builds up to a level where you are unable to communicate positively with your family, friends and colleagues. You need to take that as a warning signal and do something positive to overcome the feeling . All that is required is to get to the bottom of the problem and once you tackle the source of the problem it becomes easy to find a solution..However, there is no need to get stressed out since according to studies conducted by experts , Chronic Fatigue is quite a common feature and troubles one in four people in the world and in many cases it is very difficult to pin point the exact causes of exhaustion.

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Some of the apparent causes

Below are some of the likely cause that can cause chronic fatigue or exhaustion in individuals , although it may vary from person to person!

Stress and Anxiety – This is one of the major causes of fatigue since here the mental fatigue adds on to a grinding daily routine making the person completely grained out .

A certain amount of stress and anxiety is natural especially given the kind of lifestyles we lead these days , however it is in our interest to analyse see why this is happening since there are a number of reason behind everything and if the daily schedule is taxing and if it is a case where you are burning the candle on both sides then obviously you are going to feel it. Over anxiousness to perform better and also constant worry about the future is another cause for stress which can leave you drained. The final outcome is a feeling of extreme fatigue all day long. If worries keep you from relaxing, you will not get any rest that you rightfully need.

The only way to overcome stress and anxiety is by taking control of your life before it gets out hand. Take breaks in between your work schedules and don’t try to do everything today itself or not do anything at all at times . Learn to say ' No' when there is need to do so. Take time each day to relax and unwind through meditation, yoga or deep breathing exercise which helps you calm down. Keeping some time for personal leisure activity or a hobby also helps in relieving stress.

Depression or Intense Grief - Sometimes, fatigue or a general sense of disinterest can also be accompanied by sadness, loss of appetite, and loss of interest in any pleasurable activities and hobbies. When this happens our sleep gets interrupted and levels of concentration becomes very low.

According to researchers Clinical depression is the major cause in most of the cases of fatigue that doctors come across. One of reasons may also be grief over the death of a loved one, a divorce or the loss of a job - it could be due to any number of reasons. Once you are able to pin point the reason and come to terms with your loss or grief you will notice that you are also able to overcome fatigue and disinterest and get back to your normal routine and activities. Psychoanalysts are of the opinion that to overcome grief or sadness ,this one should try and join a support group. In many cases time itself becomes the healer. Medical experts advise some Anti depressant medication and talk therapy , which have all proved to be very helpful in finding a solution to the problem and normalising a person’s outlook.

Lack of Sleep - This according to me is one of the major causes of fatigue. When a person has to forego normal sleep hours for a long period of time he or she becomes disoriented and is constantly tired. Most people for some reason or the other do not get the required amount of sleep they need each night and even people who sleep a lot may not sleep well.

There is a condition called Sleep Apnea, when the airway in the throat sometimes collapses briefly but repeatedly causing the person to snore and gasp for breath, which causes the person to wake up unknowingly, many times at night and this apparently happens to more than 35% of the population world over . With age, it becomes even more harder to get uninterrupted sleep ,since their activity level too decreases . Health related problems too can interfere with sound sleep.

The only way to fight this is to sleep right . Taking care and avoiding over eating, reading for a long period of time , watching TV in bed are all activities that keep you awake. Make some pleasant changes like keeping the bedroom cool, dark and quiet and generally put in a positive frame of mind before sleep time. Setting the Alarm for the same time each day helps you establish a regular sleep schedule. Taking short naps during the day is ok but it is advisable to keep them really short and early in the day so that it does not interfere in your night sleep keeping you awake for a long time !

According to medical experts mild cases of Sleep Apnea can be helped by losing weight or sleeping on one side .Severe cases may require dental device or even may require a surgery when the situation is really bad and interfering in ones daily routine.

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Inactivity or Lethargy - This can become an ongoing cycle - a person feels tired so he or she skips exercise and when he or she does work out he or she feels even more tired because the person is out of shape. So, it is important to stick to your exercise routine which keeps you fit and mentally alert .

Boredom and not having enough to do can also make you feel sluggish and lethargic especially when people spend many hours in front of the TV or lying down and reading or using the computer for many hours at a stretch . This happens because you are not putting any demands on your body , which in turn tends to run on low activity levels and if this becomes habitual you may get fatigued easily.

To overcome lethargy, try to build 20 -30 minutes of moderate physical activity into your day depending on your convenience ,which you can gradually increase to up to an hour. Also make a sincere effort to be regular about this , which will definitely help. Going for a walk at a fixed time either early in the morning or in the evening is not strenuous and once this habit is formed one can see the difference in levels of stamina and energy. Once you are regular with your walks you begin to enjoy it and would not want to miss it .

Diet and Eating habits - Diet is very important and we need to eat a balanced meal drink enough fluids so that our body gets the fuel that it needs for energy. Try to have regular meal times and avoid drinking too many cups of coffee as a remedial measure to overcome fatigue , which can actually backfire especially if you consume it late in the day and when it interferes with your sleep. Alcohol too has the same effect as caffeine.

A fat free high fiber breakfast is ideal since it prepares our body for the day’s demands. Eating 4 or 5 small meals that is nutritious and balanced every 3 or 4 hours keeps our system in top condition. Any kind of high calorie or high fat and high sugar foods tend to make us sluggish . If you have a sweet tooth or have too many dinner parties to attend make sure that you don’t over indulge. It is also advisable to stick to 2 or at the most 3 cups of Coffee per day and 2 alcoholic drinks a day.

Medications and illness - This can happen to anyone especially when you have been sick and are recovering from a serious ailment. Certain medications too can cause fatigue because of their reactions, so also when a person is suffering from health problems like Diabetes, High Blood pressure , Anemia or Thyroid problems. The best course of action to take is to get yourself checked on a regular basis and follow the doctor’s advise on diet and medication.

Once you tackle the source of the problem it becomes easy to find a solution. Sometimes it helps to also to discuss our health problems in detail with close family members or our doctor who may be able to guide us and help us .

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Conclusions

Being tired all the time may be a sign of an underlying medical problem or something simple as not getting enough sleep. However, one should make sure that it does not become habitual . A simple change in one's lifestyle is often the solution to overcome fatigue. Unless there is a serious problem, a healthy person should be physically and mentally alert and feel active and fit all through the day !

( images from wikimedia)


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