Image by: Meg Wills
By London Foster
Do you spring out of bed, ready to take on the day? Or are you suddenly finding yourself slipping back under the covers as soon as you’ve had your morning cup of joe? Sleep is a beautiful thing, according to those calming ZzzzQuil Sleep Aid commercials, but are we getting enough? Hardly.
Insufficient sleep is a public health epidemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50-70 million Americans have a sleep or wakefulness disorder. This staggering number not only affects slumber, but can affect motor skills, thought processes and has even has been linked to weight management.
It’s no secret that getting the adequate amount of sleep can prevent illnesses and mood swings, but getting the right amount of sleep can be a matter of life and death. Literally.
People today work longer hours and have a lot on their plates that contribute to their sleep issues. At least 1 in 5 people feel tired at any given time and 1 and 10 people feel chronically fatigued. This stems from minor habits, such as going to bed too late, to more prevalent issues such as a busy schedule.
While healthy sleep habits can easily be acquired, women tend to often be more tired than men. Things like childcare, household chores and work commitment has created an epidemic of tired people.
Although there could be more serious underlying issues that you may want to check with your doctor about, here are 5 reasons why you might be tired and how to cope with the issue of getting enough rest.
#1) Getting Enough Sleep?
At least a third if us have bouts of insomnia, according to NHS, the world’s largest health organization. Night owls usually suffer more from issues of being tired than their counterparts who go to bed at earlier scheduled times.
Needless to say, studies have shown that the older one get’s, the less sleep that is required. You may only need about 5-10 hours.of sleep while babies need at least 16 hours. Teenagers need about 9 hours. The older you get, the more energized you might seem after only a few hours.
#2) Are You Eating Right?
It’s true that you are what you eat. Starting the day out with donuts and sugar laden coffee will spike your blood sugar and lead to a crash later in the day. Not only that, but these items hold no true nutritious value to sufficiently sustain you throughout the day.
Starting the morning with complex carbohydrates and proteins, such as an egg and whole wheat toast will not only keep you satisfied, but leads to a steady flow of energy throughout the day.
#3) Anemia Might Be a Culprit
Anemia is one of the biggest reasons people feel run down. Anemia is caused when an insufficient amount of red blood cells are carried to organs and tissues.
According to NHS, this affects at least 1 in 20 men and post- menopausal women. Women who have regular periods are also affected, especially if they are heavy.
The most common form of anemia is iron- deficiency and can be remedied by eating iron rich foods such as mango’s, and other foods containing bran.
#4) Exercise Helps
Exercise has been linked to a number of cures for diseases, but did you know that it can counteract your fatigue? Weird! Why would anyone want to exercise when they are tired? Well, exercise, especially outdoors is a great way to boost mood and energy because of increase heart rate and feel good endorphins leading to a better state of mind and vigor.
Sounds counter intuitive. The last thing anyone wants to do is go for a run when they are feeling run down, but it works.
#5) Depression & Anxiety
If you feel sad and hopeless even when doing activities that you once enjoyed, this could be a sign of depression. Do not keep it to yourself, as a doctor or a therapist can lead you to the right direction.
Anxiety is quite different from depression, although they can be linked. Anxiety is defined as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. If worrying is causing you to lose sleep, try therapies such as a warm bath, meditative CD’s or any homeopathic therapy. If these do not work at home, then speak with a professional who will gladly lead you to the right step.
Sleep feels good, it’s good for the mind and body, as well. Who would want to miss out on that? Although there are stressors that can trigger a night of relaxation, taking the right steps can lead to a peaceful night’s rest and state of mind.
Tell us about you. Was there ever a time when you felt so tired you couldn’t function? Are there any tips, not mentioned above, that you have that helps you to get good through the day? Comments are appreciated.