Are you anxious, irritable and stressed out? Maybe you aren’t getting enough sleep. Not putting in enough hours of sleep each night can have a very negative affect on your mood and your body. You might think four to five hours is fine for you, but if you get the proper amount of sleep you could conquer mountains instead of hills. Try to work seven to eight hours a night into your schedule and you will see results. You will find that your energy level is higher and you accomplish more than if you only slept for five hours.
Some great tips for a restful night:
• Have a consistent bedtime. Train yourself to go to bed at a certain hour. After a while your body’s clock will start working and know when it’s time to shut down.
• Make your room into your safe haven, your little sanctuary. Do not allow cell phones, laptops, televisions or any other electronic devices into the bedroom. These are extremely distracting while trying to fall asleep. If you create a harmonious atmosphere, you will most likely have quicker results. Also, try to keep the kids and your pets off of the bed while sleeping. These little guys can disturb your sleeping cycle throughout the night.
• Turn out the lights! Lights have an extreme effect on people who cannot fall asleep. Some people drape a cloth over their alarm clock or any other glowing lights to eliminate any hint of light. This helps relax their eyes and drift into a heavenly night’s rest.
• Cut back on the amount of caffeine you drink throughout the day. Better yet, try to cut out all caffeine from your daily routine. Once you haven’t had caffeine for a few days you will feel more energized and you wont need that cup first thing in the morning. If you love coffee and cannot imagine breaking up with it then try to stop drinking caffeinated coffee in the afternoon. Caffeine can stay in the system for different durations depending on the individual. For some, it wears off quickly, but others feel the affects for many more hours. Caffeine will keep you rolling around in bed, wide awake, if you drink it too late in the day. Keep it safe and don’t drink caffeine in the afternoon.
• Do not exercise at least four hours before going to bed. Exercise produces endorphins, which are neurotransmitters, a chemical that passes through the body to help block pain. It is also known to produce the feeling of pleasure and happiness. The endorphins produced from exercising cause the body to have more energy, resulting in the inability to go to bed.
• Stay far away from the refrigerator! Try not to eat anything three hours before going to bed. We cannot digest our food properly when in bed. Our bodies are at work breaking down the food, which might result in keeping you up all night. Also, if you stop eating after a certain hour, you might find you will lose some pounds. Americans are known to snack on junk food more in the evenings while watching TV or relaxing with the family.
• Try to minimize your stress level. I know, easier said than done. In my experience, I find going on a long walk, meditating or taking some time out of my schedule to spend with family is a great way to blow off some steam.
There are many sleeping disorders people unfortunately suffer from. A common disorder would be insomnia. This is when a person has trouble falling asleep or wakes up constantly throughout the night. Not only do they have problems falling asleep, but also they cannot stay asleep for long. A person with insomnia might wake up only a few hours after falling asleep. This causes the insomniac a constant feeling of fatigue.
A common cause of insomnia is stress at work or with your social life. Traumatic events can also result in insomnia. I would first recommend trying the tips listed above, and if those still don’t work then acupuncture and Chinese medicine might be the answer for you. Jeanie Bussell and Caroline Jung, the acupuncturists at the Tiffani Kim Institute, have helped my body unwind, allowing me to have a better nights sleep.
Another disorder that is growing at an extreme rate is sleep apnea. This disorder not only interrupts your sleeping pattern, but it can be life threatening. People with sleep apnea briefly stop breathing between 5 seconds to 1 minute during one episode. This can wake the person throughout the night, resulting in unfulfilled REM cycles. The reason it is a growing disorder is because the key source of sleep apnea is being overweight. Many people sleep with a CPAP device, which is a breathing tube latched onto the person’s face to help him/her breathe. Losing weight can solve the problem and save you from this sleeping disorder.
Now that we are on the subject of weight loss, I might add if you are not getting the sufficient amount of healthy daily nutrition you will definitely experience fatigue during the day. Stay away from refined sugars and processed food. These junk foods make your body work harder to break down this food. Work with your body and nourish it with healthy foods high in omega-3 fats, protein, vegetables and some yummy fruits. This will give you energy during the day and allow you to drift off to sleep faster than eating candy, chips and greasy foods. I say this in almost all my blog posts, but I need to re-emphasize how important it is to eat healthy and treat your body like temple and not a dump.
There are all different types of diseases that cause fatigue, which can be treated by going to your doctor and finding the right vitamins or prescription drugs to treat the problem. Hyperthyroidism, a disease of the thyroid gland, can be the cause of exhaustion. This is when too much or too little thyroid hormone is being produced for the body. The thyroid hormone controls how our body’s cells use energy (metabolism). A person with hyperthyroidism experiences fatigue and restlessness if not prescribed medication to balance the thyroid.
Anemia is another disease that causes fatigue. This is common mainly in women because of menstrual blood loss, which results in iron deficiency. An easy way to fix this problem is to take iron supplements daily. If pills are not your thing then you should eat more iron-rich foods, such as lean meats, beans, mollusks and dark greens like spinach and collards.
Other disease or deficiencies that cause fatigue and restless nights are potassium deficiency, fibromyalgia, diabetes, depression, cancers or heart disease. It is always important to mention when visiting your doctor that you are experiencing exhaustion and the inability to sleep. Your doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of fatigue and provide helpful solutions to fixing the problem.