Why Am I SO Tired???Lisa Kilgour, Nutritionist
March 29, 2018
Are you feeling exhausted even after a proper night’s sleep? Or relying on coffee or energy drinks to get through the day…but even those don’t give you the needed boost? Feeling that you can just barely do what needs be done today? Just barely.
It’s not your regular, I’ve-had-a-long-day kind of tiredness. This is a kind of unrelenting tiredness that doesn’t want to go away.
Does this sound familiar? I bet it does because I regularly see people in my private practice with these symptoms.
Very VERY capable people are suddenly too exhausted and foggy-headed to do almost anything. And for some, a few weeks or months off work is the only solution. It’s a very tough prescription for my successful, driven, Type-A clients.
This can be particularly hard to deal with in our culture of “do do do” and “accomplishment is everything”. Our phones are always alerting us to one more thing we need to do and sleep is becoming more and more elusive.
There are a few underlying issues that can cause these symptoms, like; chronic stress, chronic fatigue syndrome (a very under-diagnosed problem), low thyroid issues, depression, and/or adrenal fatigue. Visit your doctor or your friendly-neighbourhood naturopathic doctor for a full evaluation and diagnosis.
In the meantime, there are a few things that can help right now. These are going to be simple and easy because your energy is low and you need to be very kind to your body right now. Just try one at a time…or two if you feel up to it.
I just need to stress one important thing – go slowly. You don’t need to deplete your energy further. Gentle kindness to our body can be very healing.
4 Small Steps to Bring Vitality back to your Body
- Sleep – As much as you can and whenever possible
Sleep is an important tool for healing and many of us are very sleep deprived. We can get a sleep debt and adding some extra zzzzz’s can really help1.
Adding 30 – 60 mins each night or adding an hour or two on the weekends can slowly repay your sleep debt. You may need to talk to your spouse or children about needing the extra sleep-time, just to make sure you’re undisturbed. A 30-min mid-day power nap can also help a lot.You also may be one of the 20% of us with mild to severe insomnia1, and being told “just sleep more” is wildly unhelpful. If this is you, sometimes some sleep hygiene or sleep-aids can help.Sleep hygiene involves a few habits to ensure that your body’s natural circadian rhythm takes over. It’s all about letting your body know that it’s night-time. Dim the lights a few hours before bed, stay away from bright screens (like TVs and laptops), and do something relaxing before bed (like an Epsom salt bath or reading a good book). Sleeping in a cool, dark room is also important.
Sleep aids can relax your body and can help stop the insomnia cycle. Botanica’s Valerian Sleeptime Compound has helped many of my clients get a restful night’s sleep.
- Lots & Lots of Nutrients
Your body gets very depleted when you’re under chronic stress or if you’re dealing with any chronic health problem, and lots and lots of nutrients can help your body recover.
Nutrients from fruits, veggies (especially steamed), whole grains, nuts, and seeds are super helpful. If you’re feeling too drained to cook, try adding freshly pressed juices (juiced yourself or picked up from your fave juice bar) and green drinks to your day. These are very easy ways to boost the nutrients in your body.
- Relaxing Movement or Meditation
Exercise is wonderful…unless you’re too exhausted to enjoy the benefits. If your normal exercise routine is draining your energy, then it’s time to adjust things a bit.A gentle yin yoga class, tai chi, chi gong, and mediation can be very rejuvenating and will help to relax your body. If you struggle with sleep, try a Yoga Nidra class. It’s guided meditation that brings you into a deeply relaxed state and can give you the same restorative power of an hour or two of sleep.
- Adaptogenic Herbal Blends
This family of herbs is incredibly helpful when we’re dealing with stress and exhaustion. They help your body adapt to our day-to-day stress and can be a key part of our recovery.
Adrenal Support Compound – this is a great calming blend for those who struggle to relax in the evening (which might also affect your sleep).Adrenal Support Liquid Capsule – this blend is more energizing and is perfect for those with very low energy.Licorice Liquid Extract – do you feel dizzy when you stand up quickly? Does your blood pressure tend to be low? If you answered yes to both questions, then a licorice tincture may be a good addition for you. It helps to boost your blood pressure a bit, which takes some strain off your adrenals and stress hormones.
If you’re feeling down-right exhausted but you don’t know what to do, try these techniques to help your body heal, so you can feel a normal burst of energy throughout the day. Your body will recover, it might just need a helping hand.