Fatigue can be the result of many different diagnosis and effects everyone differently, some people only experience minimal fatigue that makes them feel tired but otherwise functional where other people feel it as a whole body experience that makes it almost impossible to enjoy day-to-day life.
Although occurring naturally as we get older, like any ill-health indication, fatigue can be the symptom of an illness or side effect of a treatment or medication. For instance, fatigue is a commonly experienced side effect for patients receiving different types of radiation therapy including proton beam therapy to treat cancers and other non-cancerous conditions. Patients receiving treatment should talk to their care team regarding symptoms of fatigue and how to manage it through additional therapies or further medications.
For naturally occurring fatigue, we’ve provided some healthy ways to help mitigate the feelings of tiredness and take back your day.
Drink Lots of Water
Water is the lifeforce that powers us and helps our natural processes to function seamlessly and while we can get water from our foods and it makes up the base of many popular drinks (coffee, tea, soft drinks) there is nothing more hydrating than a glass of clean water. The human body has an incredible ability to go without food, sunlight and nutrition for as long as three weeks in certain situations. However, going without water for only three days can cause your body to start shutting down.
Dehydration happens when your body is desperate for water and this lack of water can start to cause damage to internal organs, it also effects your ability to concentrate, react and interferes with physical performance. Drinking water can help with focus and helps to keep you feeling fresh and alert, boosting your energy levels more than an energy drink or strong coffee.
There’s nothing more demotivating than sitting and wasting the day away on the sofa. One of the best ways to boost your energy levels is to get active, whether you do some exercise, have a short run or even just a short walk around the block. Physical activity has been shown to boost your energy levels and regular exercise makes up a fundamental part of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. The type of activity you do is down to your ability, if a run could potentially lead to injury consider taking part in a yoga session instead. Yoga has been shown to improve your thinking ability, build your confidence and increase your energy levels.
Get Plenty of Sleep
We like to convince ourselves that we can function on fewer hours sleep than is recommended but for every hour less sleep we get, we add more fuel to the fatigue fire. Getting a good night’s sleep is the best start we can give ourselves to our day and good sleep habits encourage a healthy lifestyle throughout everything we do, with more energy to get active and prepare nutritious meals.
Our sleep is governed by sleep cycles and learning about your sleep cycle can help you get a better night’s rest and wake up at the right time – not when you are deep asleep but when you are naturally starting to wake. Typically, a sleep cycle lasts for 90 minutes and is the time it takes for your brain to go from a light sleep to a deep sleep and back. Sleep cycles can be tracked using dedicated apps for smart phones and sleep-tracking devices, normally by placing your phone or device on the mattress which then picks up your movements during the night and provides a visual graph representing your sleep quality.
Fatigue may be common but that doesn’t make it enjoyable and often when we are feeling fatigued, we just want to be able to get back to our day-to-day activities. Look after your body with a healthy diet and exercise and make sure to get plenty of rest to give yourself the best chance at fighting fatigue. If you notice that even though your lifestyle is healthy, you are still experiencing fatigue, it might be time to book an appointment with your GP or Doctor.