Constantly feeling tired? Four main reasons & solutions to change the way you feel! (science based)
Updated: Mar 23
Do you feel tired regularly? Is this something you are experiencing so often that it has become normal for you?
I hope not, because this is not normal and that is why I would encourage you to deeply look into it.
The 1st law of thermodynamics says that energy cannot be neither created or destroyed, it can be only transformed. For the human body it is a fine balance between energy supply and expenditure. In a perfect scenario there should be a smooth energy exchange between resources and its utilization to keep you going all day long without a crash.
And it is your job to find that balance!
So where are those energy crashes coming from in the first place?
Well everything we interact with internally or externally can be the energy source or energy depleter - regardless whether its physical contact (movement/no movement, food, drink) or spiritual connection/or lack of it, thought processing and emotions arising.
It is the way we approach everyday life, but also finding out what works for us and what does not from an energy perspective. Same stimuli can work differently on different people (for example rice can lead to different blood sugar levels in every one of us). To understand completely, ideally would be how our mind and body respond to each of them - combination of mindful work and/or body and mind tests.
But the way we feel is a good enough indicator to begin with!
(Disclaimer! Here, we will talk about the concept of energy in general, we will not talk about potential underlying health issues resulting in fatigue as this may vary from person to person. If that;s a long ongoing issue I would encourage you to check your thyroid function, as well as the adrenals.
By the way, when was the last time you visited your physician? I will highly recommend if the issue persists to raise some questions around it and do necessary tests if you prioritize your health).
1. Do you get ‘that’ sleep?
First is to check how you feel after waking up? It's great feedback whether you are good to go or there might be something out of balance. Are you well rested and maybe even get up before the alarm or need to hit that snooze button? Are you energized and ready for a day or still need a ‘cuppa’ to get you there? (What is good to point out is that when you try to replenish lost energy demand with several coffee cups each day in fact you “borrow” that energy from the future - which gradually may lead to total ‘burn out’ of your adrenals later on).
You see, it does not matter how much time you spend in bed. What does matter is whether you get those healthy sleep cycles. Every cycle lasts somewhere between 75-120 minutes and the number varies between 4 to 5 during one night. Each cycle has rhythmically occurred phases through which we transition smoothly and consist of both non-REM and REM (rapid eye movement - stage, when we have dreams) sleep that are distinct with brain frequency. It is natural that at the first stage of sleep the duration of non-REM takes over the REM, in the second half of sleep the opposite happens. They both have different purposes and healing properties for your body and mind. And all of them are extremely important!
For example, one of the stages of non-REM is a deep sleep which is characterized with slow delta brain waves. This is the most anabolic state, where the body heals itself and repairs, eg. the brain shrinks during this period which allows its glymphatic system (brain has got its own ‘waste’ system unlike the lymphatic system elsewhere) to clean it up and remove all toxins from within.
To restore those healthy sleep cycles, one of the major areas to put our attention is the balance between the most potent hormones when it comes to circadian rhythm alignment - cortisol (day hormone) and melatonin (night hormone), to make sure that they are secreted at the right time for them.
Brain is constantly looking for patterns. Our job is to make sure it receives the right signals about what time of the day it is and not to be confused. What I mean by that is, to expose yourself to natural sunlight in the morning and to limit artificial light exposure in the evening.
The first condition can be easily met by getting outside first thing in the morning for walking/exercising. Second can be achieved by setting up the curfew on your electronic devices before bedtime and/or wearing glasses which protect against blue light. There are smart settings which are widely available to use in respect to circadian rhythm, like ‘night shift’ on iPhone and 'twilight' on Android or flux which you can install for free on your PC/laptop (to download head to https://justgetflux.com/) - in both cases they will decrease the emission of the blue light when sun goes down.
Now it is time to restore this natural order. Especially with our busy life, sleep might be the only time you invest in your rest and rejuvenation. Do not underestimate its importance! Make sure you treat that part with the right approach. What I mean by that - make it as something very special for your body (like a reward for all your effort in the past day), and not something you only must do!
I highly recommend reading a great book “Sleep Smarter” written by Shawn Stevenson - one of the best fitness and nutrition experts, also known as ‘sleep guru’, where you can learn how to prepare a bed sanctuary and how to develop better habits for your greater sleep!
2. Do you move your body regularly and frequently?
Your genes expect you to move! Research reveals that sedative lifestyle is a new global pandemic. And this becomes a vicious circle as when we are tired we often sit.
We are designed to move. Even if you workout one hour per day and then do nothing afterwards, you are only by a fraction more active than the sedentary community. The key is to move around with regular intervals.
The movement generates energy (conversion from the resources stored in the body). It is easy to find this by yourself - when you feel energetically low, just do some squads or a couple of jumping jacks. It changes your state instantly (What I love to do is a cold exposure, so even in the winter while doing my morning routine my radiators are down and my window is wide open. After a couple of repetitions my body begins to sweat!!!)
Do what you love to exercise - whether indoor and outdoor. And hey, washing dishes and hoovering counts too! I assure it can be a lot of fun - what needs to be done it's only changing mindset from ‘must's’/‘should's’ routine and mind full of thoughts to be in the present moment and mindfulness exercise. Always check ‘where you are’ first, then allow the smile to expand (Let me know in the comments below what have you discovered?)
In today's sedentary world, walking should be seen as a medicine. You may ask why? It's been proven to lower cortisol levels and improve insulin sensitivity, hence its good amount should be obtained in everyone's daily prescription to become super healthy. There are a lot more benefits!
Get outside often and get fresh air. Expose yourself to natural sunlight whenever possible, starting from the very morning. On the top of that, get often grounded yourself - be in touch with the planet surface directly with your barefoot if walking/standing or just touch with a hand - absorb that earth’s abundant electrons which our body crave for. We are more in sync with nature than we think (the shoe lining makes this impossible)!
And believe me, there is always a solution to everything. Even if you work in an office, you can do tiny breaks with regular intervals and get this oxygen being pumped faster to your muscles and brain - something as simple as stretching or walking to fetch a cup of water (the further is the source the better for you).
Just to throw more ideas, when I work at home I use a standing desk. And when I watch something I make sure I do not sit too - I stand or stretch on the floor at the same time.
3. Do you deliver the right nutrition for you?
Without digging into diet personal restrictions, the safe bet is to eat more real food (the one your genes can recognise) mostly local and seasonal - not processed food-like products. What I mean by real food. Something which grows naturally and has its original shape or structure. The better you go if you consider organic options whenever possible or getting food straight from farmers which use natural fertilizers to enrich the soil where plants grow and animals are being pastured. When it comes to seafood - choose wild caught over the farmed options.
The general rule is to pay more attention to what you eat, ate before it ends up in the shelf store. This way we ensure that we absorb the right nutrients our body needs and that we minimize the risk of poisonous stuff that crops and soil are being sprayed with to enter our bloodstream later and causing cascades of inflammation.
Food is information. It all comes down to the question, what kind of programmer do you want to be for your bodily system, which directly relates with the way you feel and be energized with. We also need to shift from our mind’s temporary neediness and/or emotional eating towards the mindset of delivering to the body the right type of fuel for its optimized performance plus mindful eating.
Few key points to pay attention to when comes down to energy levels and where you might consider for extra supplementation:
Vitamin C - the lack of it leads to extreme fatigue, abnormal sleep cycles which are related to low sleep quality. It also helps body to burn fat for energy
Omega 3’s Fatty Acids - essential for cellular energy, large component of brain cells membrane (those the most precious EPA/DHA can be found mainly in sources from the sea, if you are vegan look for good algae oil option)
Magnesium - the number 1 mineral which we are deficient with in today's world. Is essential for ATP (adenosine triphosphate - energy molecule) production inside our cells from food. Apart from that it is needed for over further 300 bodily processes including - regulating blood pressure, balances stress hormones, helps to repair DNA/RNA, reduces inflammation, releases tension and pain (consider topical sprays over tablets or use magnesium salt when taking a bath - better absorption through your skin and no side effects if overdose)
4. Do you stay hydrated?
Water - the main compound of the human body. On average, 60% of the human body is made from water. That fluid needs to be constantly exchanged as all internal processes are happening in the water medium. Moreover, cell dehydration can damage the DNA. Drop of 5% of your normal amount of fluids in the body is enough to cause damage to cells, headache and extreme fatigue.
So what is water responsible for:
Structure of the DNA
Facilitating mitochondrial processes (cell’s power plant)
Building your blood, nutrition and oxygen pathways to deliver the energy
Building glymphatic fluid in the brain and lymphatic fluid elsewhere i body for detoxification
Pathways for neurotransmitters
Regulating body temperature
The point to remember is that during the night, our body does numbers of processes to repair and heal itself. We need that water first thing in the morning more than anything else, to replace all those processed fluids and flush them out of the system. Majority of us start the day dangerously dehydrated, no wonder they are far away from feeling great.
The good thing to do is something what Shawn Stevenson calls ‘inner bath’. Somewhere between 0,5 - 0.75 liter of water, you can combine with electrolytes, lemon and MSM (sulfur, facilitating the process of cleansing and absorbing nutrients in the cells) will be a good start of the day.
For your daily water intake the absolute minimum is stated in the formula ‘half of your body weight measured in pounds converted in ounces’ (for example if I weigh 79kg is equivalent to 174lbs, divided by 2 equals 87 ounces - that is 2,6 liter of water as my daily baseline). Then if I am more active, do the workout or go to the sauna I need to add in the top of that!
No need to mention that again the quality matters. The best would be the source directly from the well. Consider good filters (like reverse osmosis) and avoid water from plastic bottles. Remember what you put into your mouth it will become you!
In addition there is an interesting concept made by Dr Steven Gundry in his book ‘Energy Paradox' on the main cause of our energy depletion. It all started from researchers who were combining lifestyles between hunter-gatherers (similar to how our ancestors lived before the crops era, here based on Hadza living in northern Tanzania) and Westerners for daily energy expenditure (1). Imagine now a population living in savannah-woodlands, hunting and looking for food, constantly in motion with those desk workers in the west. Quite shockingly, the researchers have found that daily energy expenditure between the two groups was the same?!
How come that sedentary lifestyle requires so much energy? Dr Gundry's theory leads to inflammation - the cascade of fire in our bodies burns a lot of fuel! And today more than ever inflammation has become a massive issue. What causes it? There are lots of triggers, like ‘leaky gut’, oxidative stress, toxicity just to name a few. This can be easily dealt with the right knowledge and appropriate choices we make in life. This topic will be covered in the future.
For now, those four points in the article it's already a great antidote to this matter. In addition if you have not done so please subscribe to my page to receive free content on how to ‘Get More Energy Naturally’, where you will learn how to do this by implementing a few basic principles!
Sleep is not just sleep - it's healthy cycles designed to heal and rebuild you!
Movement is not just the movement - its stimuli to your bones and tissues which need to be challenged regularly to keep you going in a good condition through your entire life (if you do not use it, you lose it - literally!)
Food is not just food - it's not only what builds you as ‘hardware’ but also your ‘software’ - it’s the information that turns on different programs in your body directly relating to the way you feel!
Water is not just water - it is mainly who you are!
Remember - The quality matters! Your life journey depends highly on how smartly you use energy sources. So always make the best choices for you!!!
‘Sleep Smarter’ by Shawn Stevenson
‘Energy Paradox’ by Steven Gundry
‘The Model Health Show’ podcast by Shawn Stevenson