Fighting daytime fatigue  

Express News Service

Do you wake up feeling unrested? Is your morning incomplete until you have downed that cup of tea or coffee? Do you feel sluggish, sleepy, or exhausted throughout the day? You may be experiencing daytime fatigue, a feeling of constant tiredness that affects your energy levels, concentration and motivation. But before you reach out for a quick-fix or supplement, consider this: your lifestyle may be the one to blame.

Daytime fatigue, if left unaddressed, can affect not only your physical health, but also your daily functioning and mental health. Some telltale signs include low energy levels, weakness, reduced productivity, irritability, memory issues, unexplained aches and pains, and feeling isolated. While the reasons could be many, here are some possible lifestyle aspects to look into. 

Quality sleep: It’s not how long, but how well you sleep. Deep sleep enhances your ability to make ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the source of cellular energy, and a single night of sleep deprivation can impact it. Adopt fixed sleep schedules five days a week to align with your circadian rhythm. Before hitting the bed, take a warm bath, have pleasant conversations with loved ones, read, and do some breathing exercises such as yoga nidra. Create the perfect, pitch-dark environment, and invest in good-quality mattresses and pillows.

Chronic stress: High cortisol levels increase inflammation and may lead to fatigue. Take time to unwind by engaging in a hobby, walking amid nature, working out or meditating. Give yourself a break when you need to recharge your batteries. 

Eating right: You are what you eat. Is your diet nutrient-dense with whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds? Or does it comprise ultra-processed and sugary foods that drain energy? Is it balanced in terms of healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins? Low levels of Vitamin B12 and D too can also lead to exhaustion.

Meal timings have an equal role to play here. When you eat too close to bedtime, your body does not get enough time to break down the food, which may make you feel heavy and sluggish the following day. 

Consuming stimulants: Those multiple cups of coffee or caffeinated beverages may feel like they are energising you, but they only create temporary neuro-excitement and lead to energy crashes later in the day. Cut back on them. 

Water intake: Even the slightest drop in hydration levels will throw your system out of whack. You lose water as you sweat, poop, pee, and go about your day. Replenish this by drinking adequate water. Dehydration impacts your energy levels, disrupts sleep, and reduces the efficiency of workouts too. 

Watch your weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of sleep apnea and other health risks. While reaching a healthy weight is the goal, how you do it is equally important. If you exercise too late or are overtraining, you may wake up feeling tired. Workouts should make you feel energetic 
rather than drain you out. This said, your one-hour workout is useless if you are sedentary for the rest of the day. Keep moving through the day to sleep better at night.

Health risks: Type 2 diabetes, thyroid-related issues, sleep apnea, insomnia, kidney issues, heart and lung conditions, and so on can also lead to frequent fatigue. Address this at its root under your healthcare expert’s guidance. Thoughts before you sleep: The last thoughts on your mind will decide how you wake up the following morning. When you are depressed, anxious, or don’t want to face the next day, you wake up tired. Before bedtime, visualise a positive day to wake up feeling energised. 

Coutinho practises in the field of Holistic Nutrition – Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine, Founder of Luke Coutinho Holistic Healing Systems

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