- 1. Lack of Sleep
One of the most obvious causes of daytime fatigue is lack of sleep. This is especially true for adults in their forties and fifties. At these ages we experience multiple stress induced factors that cause difficulty with sleeping. This can include additional work-related responsibilities, care of teens or aging parents, as well as biological fluctuations such as decreases in magnesium levels (more on that below).
For women specifically, menopause can also be a contributing factor to sleep deprivation. Hot flashes and the hormone that helps you to sleep, progesterone, can result in poor sleep or insomnia at night.
- 2. Lack of Exercise
It is well-documented that people who exercise regularly get better sleep. If you are not actively exercising you may have decreases in your mood and fitness levels. Getting on a more routine exercise regime may help to spark some energy during the week.
- 3. Vitamin and Mineral Deficiency
Aging or our diets can result in deficiencies in our vitamin and mineral supply. Magnesium, for example, is needed for energy production in our bones and muscles and many Americans get less than half of what is required from their diets. Vitamin D recommended from natural sources only such as the sun and ocean fish - also gives us energy. Deficient levels of this vitamin can cause low energy and even depression. A healthy dose of Omega-3, available in fish oils, is necessary for every cell in the body to function properly. Look for foods or supplements to help you get these three vitamins and minerals into your body on a regular or as recommended basis.
- 4. Poor Diet
Are you guilty of eating junk food, fast food or TV dinners? If so, you could be consuming foods that suck away your energy. These types of foods are often high in trans fats, saturated fats, are processed and have added sugars. Instead of deflating your energy with poor food choices, eat foods that are good sources of protein like fish, nuts, seeds and beans. Healthy servings of fruits and vegetables are also recommended.
Main Causes of Fatigue
The main causes of fatigue are the ones we mentioned above - outside from more serious medical problems. Often they can be obvious and can be attributed to inactivity, lack of sleep or unhealthy eating habits. Alcohol use or abuse, caffeine use, medications, cough medicines and cold remedies may also be to blame and round out the list of lifestyle factors.
On the psychological side, fatigue may be centered on a mental health-related problem such as anxiety, depression, grief, stress or a combination of the above. Although there are many reasons that cause fatigue, many of them do in fact relate to lifestyle choices and can be resolved with some simple changes in how we eat, sleep or exercise. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you see a doctor about your fatigue if it has persisted for two or more weeks despite your best efforts to get more rest, reduce stress, choose a healthy diet and exercise more.
Daniel E. Lofaso writes health and fitness articles on behalf of Big Als Family Fitness, a Long Island gym.