Let us understand the definition of energy:
Food, which we eat in succession, day in and day out gives us energy. This energy helps us to keep our body healthy and perform our Activities of Daily Life [ADL].
When we eat big meal- i.e. breakfast, lunch, supper or dinner- the same is broken down by the digestive system. The liquid part in it, such as water, are absorbed through the stomach. The rest are absorbed through the small intestine.
The body has three sources of energy to use namely:
• Carbohydrates: which get converted to glucose -the body’s main source of energy.
• Proteins which get converted to amino acids for use in the body as energy source
• Fats which get converted to fatty acids for use in the body as energy source
Glucose is delivered to virtually every cell in the body by the bloodstream and is then burned with oxygen to produce energy[power] which we use for body to work. Blood serves as a Sky Train and deliver all energy sources and vitamins/ minerals to cells in every nook and corner of the body. Metabolically, Hormones control every step in this process; for example, the pancreas produce the hormone insulin, which helps to control blood sugar levels.
If you feel tired all the time, it is important to make a high-quality sleep — a top notch priority. But if you are reaching that eighthour threshold and still feel exhausted, your low energy level may be an indicator of an underlying problem which need to be examined with the help of your Physician.
We normally ask ourselves, a question. “Why am I so tired?” Despite a 7 to 8- hour sleep in succession, things are not normal on health front. Fear lurks at the back of our minds that- may be, may be -something is wrong, somewhere in my body.
Everyone knows that getting a good night’s sleep is important, though, few of us are not following it as day follows night. In this vying age of competition, we work extra hours for a better life and unknowingly- due to peer pressure- compromise on our health.
One of the biggest risk factors for feeling tired all the time is being a “carbophilic,” meaning someone who added grains, refined carbs and sugary foods. This same person also doesn’t acquire enough healthy fats, proteins, vegetables and essential nutrients that support ongoing body energy- the fuel. Let us ponder over it and do not commit hara kiri.
Apart from sound sleep there are numerous factors that contribute to this conundrum namely;
• Your diet,
• Hormonal balance,
• Exercise routine,
• The number of mental stressors in your life
• And of course,your genetics
More so, stimulants like coffee, energy drinks, and external lights — including those emitted by electronic devices — interfere with our circadian rhythm i.e. our natural sleep/wake cycle.
The net effect of all of these influences our hormone levels in one way or another. And many find it difficult to sleep at night. Moreover, daily stress, also leave us exhausted.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases USA, “If you have anemia, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, you may feel tired or weak. You may also experience other symptoms, such as shortness of breath, dizziness or headaches.
The good part of this riddle is there are plenty of lifestyle fine-tunes that we can put into use in order to fight fatigue and reclaim our energy or health back.
Let us find out the possible reasons for the Tiredness and Natural Remedies thereof:
Sedentary Lifestyle Sitting all the day, is very bad for our bodies and often causes stiffness, back pain and chronic headaches — plus fatigue, making you feel like you’re always tired! Your body is made to move, so when it doesn’t get regular activities, you can experience tiredness and weight gain.
Regular exercise, as per age bracket definitely help unbalancing of hormones and improvement in insulin resistance. This help you to get better sleep, all of which are important for fighting a lack of energy. Exercise, does wonders for the body by releasing endorphins, boosting your stamina and lifting your mood.
Benefits of being Active:
Exercise can actually help wake you up. After all, the daytime is meant for us to be active in our house and outdoors for at least 30 minutes a day … rather than cling to your office desk or be in the kitchen most of the time. One study conducted by the University of Georgia, for example, found that when adults who were initially sedentary began exercising lightly over the course of six weeks — just three days a week for about 20 minutes — they had more energy overall compared to when they first began. It helps many people regulate hormonal chemistry that allow them to sleep better at night and shun away terrible tiredness.
How to Get Moving:
• Brisk walking for 30 minutes for 5 days a week is enough to keep you energised
• Try a standing desk or one that adjusts for standing and sitting position when at work
• Plan regular outdoor activities or exercise right before or after work.
• Take 5-minute stretch breaks for every hour of work.
Blood Sugar Imbalance
Most people have blood sugar imbalances that can be fixed, but they aren’t even aware that this is a major contributing factor to their health problems and lack of energy. If you’re always tired, your blood sugar may be the culprit.If without effort you have lost weight to the extent of 2.5 kg or more or you have a burning sensation in the sole of your feet’s maybe, type 2 Diabetes is setting in. Time to see the Physician.Over time, imbalances in blood sugar can lead to serious diseases like type 2 diabetes, which is sadly taking the shape of an epidemic.In the U.S., presently, over 12 percent of the adult population is now considered diabetic according the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. As per Statistics Canada estimated diabetes prevalence is pegged at 3.4 million [ 9.3%] and estimated pre-diabetes prevalence [age20+] is 5.7 million [22.1%]. Time is ripe for us to wage a war against it at community level. City level and State level.
Symptoms of a blood sugar imbalance include:
• Feeling tired/ fatigued/exhaustion
• Food cravings
Causes of Blood Sugar Imbalance:
• Consuming poor diet (i.e. processed foods, foods with added sugars and simple carbohydrates)
• Result in type I & II diabetes
• pancreatic function of Beta Cells impaired
• Sedentary life style
Blood sugar levels become unbalanced when your diet is too high in various forms of sugar, which enter the bloodstream quickly and can cause mood swings due to extreme elevations in blood sugar. Sugary foods, especially processed ones that contain added sugar, put you on a “sugar high” followed by a “sugar crash/very low sugar level. Since sugar level is low in our cells, at this point, then feelings of tiredness are experienced by the body and brain put us in a sleepy mode and after a power- regain day time nap of 20 to 40 minutes, we are again hungry for food for another episode of eating and then sugar high and then sugar very low. This vicious circle goes on Stay active – and do not drink any liquid- for at least 30 minutes after a big meal. If your diet has complex carbohydrates, moderate protein and monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fat you will not feel sleepy and tired.”
Natural Remedies for Blood Sugar Imbalances:
To get blood sugar levels back under control, you’ll need to really reduce, or even to completely eliminate, all sources of added sugar/refined sugar from your diet. These include:
• All sugary beverages — which are some of the worst culprits — like all soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, and sweetened coffee or tea beverages. Use stevia for sweetness instead of table sugar.
• Packaged snacks like all cookies[ prepay wale biscuit, dear Punjabis], cakes, cereals and candy.
• Even natural sweeteners like raw honey and maple syrup, which can still affect blood sugar levels. Raw honey in moderation is ok. The processed honey we buy from big stores is as bad as sugar. Stevia is a best choice though, because it is made from a green leaf which is 60 times sweeter than table sugar with Zero calories.
• Also consider cutting back or eliminating grains, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat and wheat products (including “whole wheat”). These contain large amounts of carbohydrates that are broken down into sugar within a few minutes of consumption. All grains which have a protein named Gluten in them are not good. Why? Gluten make the carbohydrates in the grain break very easily and rush into blood stream and thereby increase blood sugar level. High Blood Sugar level, most of the time can cause intestinal inflammation that affects hormones like cortisol[ stress hormone] and leptin[ hunger control hormone], leaving you feeling weak and tired. To check your inflammation level, go for a test named CRP test.
• Conventional (nonorganic and pasteurized) cow’s milk and dairy products should also be eliminated. Stay away from dairy products that contain A1 casein, which is produced by conventional cows and found in most milk, yogurt and cheese that’s available in the grocery stores. When buying dairy, only purchase raw and organic kinds from pasture-raised animals. The milk we buy from stores is pasteurized and does not have all the nutrients in exact measure as pronounced on the product label, because pasteurizations kills most of it. Goat milk is better than Cow/buffalo milk.
You’ve probably learned that almost all of the causes of your feeling like you’re always tired can be fixed by changing your diet. That’s because your diet ultimately impacts your:
• Hormones, causing imbalances
• Neurotransmitter function, which make you prone to anxiety or depression
• Sleep cycles, making it hard to get enough restful REM 3 sleep
• Day to day mood
• Pessimistic outlook
• Motivational level
Causes of a Poor Diet Causing You to Be Tired:
• Processed food eating habits
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Other influences
• Giving exercise a low-priority
How to Correct a Poor Diet:
Instead of becoming a victim of “postlunch sub conscious coma,” try changing your diet to incorporate more of these energy-promoting foods:
• Eat Foods high in B vitamins, B vitamins are abundant mostly in protein-rich diets. Try having plenty of sources like grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish, cage-free organic eggs and poultry plus all kinds of green leafy vegetables.
• Foods high in calcium, magnesium, selenium and zinc, which can all help you to relieve stress and get better sleep — these include unpasteurized organic dairy products, avocados, wild-caught salmon, green vegetables, nuts and seeds.
• Healthy sources of fats, including omega-3 fatty acids — wild-caught fish, seeds, coconut and olive oil, avocados, and nuts can help stabilize hormones and your mood, so you sleep through the night better and fight depressing thoughts, stress, and thyroid issues (such as hypothyroidism) or adrenal disorders
Always try to limit or avoid the following:
• High-sugar foods: Consuming too much sugar can negatively impact your energy by giving you blood “sugar highs” followed by “lows.”
• Processed and refined flour: These “simple carbohydrate” foods act very similar to sugar in the body. They lead to fluctuations in blood sugar, mood swings, hormonal changes and food cravings. White bread and whole wheat bread have the same glycemic index.
Those who are taking their daily dietary habits lightly, by eating unmindfully, they -beyond an iota of doubt-are playing with their health and subconsciously escalate themselves to the terminal station of diabolical diseases – where there is no possible way to be back on the tails of normalcy.Kindly work on your eating habits, dear reader
• Excessive caffeine: Too much caffeine can cause anxiety and hinder your ability to sleep well, even if you stop drinking it in the afternoon. Caffeine can remain in your system for up to six hours, so if you are going to have some, curb your intake by around noon each day. Prefer green tea or oolong tea
• Too much alcohol: Alcohol may help you to fall asleep, but it also interferes with REM sleep (rapid eye movement sleep), which is the deepest sleep state that’s needed to feel rested the following day. It can also increase anxiety and make it hard for the body to manage stress.
Poor Quality Sleep (Not Enough or Not Consistent)
Poor quality sleep always makes you feel tired the following day. Most adults need between 7 to 9 hours of sleep consistently, each and every night, to feel their best, according to the National Sleep Foundation. If anyone likes to be in sleeping mode for over 9 years, it can be an iron deficiency. Check with your Doctor. Only 10 per cent people in the world feel fresh after a consistent sleep of 6 hours. Only; others need more
Poor Sleep Causes are, poor/junk diet, continuous stress, staying up late, drinking alcohol over the limit, mood or hormone imbalance,chronic paintrauma or abuse, adrenal fatigue, GERD/acid reflux/digestive disorders. This list is suggestive. It is important to actively pursue healthy sleeping habits. Sleep deprivation studies repeatedly confirm a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance, and motor function,” state researchers from the Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine. A power nap during the day for 20 to 30 minutes do rejuvenate the body. Those suffering from sleep apnea think that they actually get good sleep.
To avoid tiredness, check your hydration level per diem. To avoid dehydration, I drink only two drinks i.e. clean Tap water [ courtesy BC Hydro] and Coconut water. All energy drinks or sodas and colas are good for bad health. Health experts categorise it as Junk food, though manufacturers and venders call it part of a happy meal. What a hoax?
To confirm whether or not you have sleep apnea, a sleep study test called the polysomnogram need to be performed. Those suffering from narcolepsy[a chronic neurological disorder that makes it difficult for the brain to control sleep-wake cycles need to see their doctor. This disorder adversely affects the quality of life, as symptoms include extreme drowsiness and falling asleep unwillingly during an activity like work or school and feel tired most of the time.
Natural Ways to Get to Sleep Fast:
• Practice relaxation techniques that help you to unwind and fall asleep, such as journaling or reading.
• Take an Epsom salt [Lavender flavor] bath to soothe muscles and ease your mind. Make your you sit for at least 12 minutes in the stored tub water with this salt
• Take magnesium supplements in the range of 300–400 milligrams, which promote relaxation and relieve muscle pain.
• Use essential oils such as lavender or frankincense.
• Avoid sugary and carb-heavy meals before bed which can give you a “sugar high,” keeping you up. If you are hungry before bedtime consume one small apple and one tablespoon of peanut butter. Those who have an allergy from peanut can use almond butter. Stay away from Indian sweets Laddoos, Jalebis, Gulabjamun, Rasgulla, Burfi at this time. Also, do not eat watermelon and pine apple at this time as they are high glycemic food.
• Turn off all electronics two hours or more before bed to avoid blue-light exposure, which can disturb the release of melatonin [sleep hormones] levels and make it hard for your mind to become sleepy.
Anemia is one of the main reason for tiredness. Anemia is a condition where a person has a lower than normal level of red blood cells. Anemia is related to a low supply of oxygen reaching cells and tissues throughout the body. Some of Anemia symptoms are: feeling tired all the time, despite how much you sleep,aching muscles, being unable to concentrate,digestive issues, yellowing of skin, heart problems, chloasma and melasma. spleen dysfunction
Causes of Anemia are:
Anemia occurs when there’s a problem with red blood cells making hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body, especially to the brain where it’s much needed. It’s connected to insufficient iron levels within the blood, in addition to low vitamin B12 and folate levels.Anemia can also be caused by a loss of blood or a diet that’s too low in those essential nutrients and, thus, hinder the body’s ability to make enough hemoglobin.
Natural Remedies for Anemia:
Anemia symptoms can be greatly reduced by improving your diet and including plenty of foods that are rich in iron, vitamin B12 and folate.
Liver (from beef, chicken etc.) that’s extremely high in iron and B vitamins. Blackstrap molasses, which a healthy natural sweetener high in iron. Foods high in vitamin C that help in iron absorption, such as citrus fruits and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower. Drink homemade orange/ lemon juice only made in a Nutri-Bullet type of juicer with fiber of orange in the in juice. Green leafy vegetables that have a significant amount of iron and folate, though iron therein being non-heme is not absorbed well like heme in non- veg options in our body
Prof. Surinder Kochhar (Shaun)
LPN, FCN, M.Com, CAIIB, DIM A freelance writer with 36 Years Exp. A Health Coach of University of Victoria