Why am I so tired?

By Kristy West
Receptionist at Life Ready Physio Camberwell

Are you struggling to get a full nights sleep? There are a multitude of contributing factors that can really impact your sleep cycle that you may have never thought about… Let’s talk about a few of them.

Inadequate diet
Poor dietary choices play a huge part in every day energy levels. Processed foods that are high in trans-fats, chemicals and preservatives put a lot of stress on the digestive system. When the body has to focus on processing toxins it uses up a lot of energy. Fueling your body with nourishing and wholesome foods that are high in good fats, fibre and essential nutrients will produce more energy and will therefore result in greater productivity.

Technology
Naturally, as the sun goes down, our body starts to prepare for sleep. When we overuse technology, the blue light that it omits interrupts the natural production of sleep hormones. Basically, we’re telling our eyes it’s daytime all the time unless we give ourselves a break before bed. Try giving technology a break for two hours before you lay down or at least switch your phone to the night setting to reduce the blue light.

Food intolerances
One of the main symptoms of a food intolerance alongside digestive complaints is fatigue. A massive stressor on the body is a food group that the body can’t adequately digest. If you suspect your fatigue may be related to your diet and you experience other symptoms of food intolerance such as an upset stomach, skin rashes, bloating, irritability or anxiety, contact a GP, naturopath, dietitian, or health professional of your choice.

Medical conditions
Untreated medical conditions can cause fatigue. Conditions such as thyroid problems, viral infections, depression, heart disease, urinary problems, anaemia or arthritis are some examples that may cause sleep disruption, and therefore fatigue. If you suspect that perhaps one of these conditions could be committing to your lack of sleep, make sure you seek help from a GP to get a diagnosis.

Stress
These days we are so busy our mind never gets the chance to rest. Losing sleep over worries or concerns is common. Taking time out to relax and unwind before bed is so important when it comes to falling asleep and staying that way all night. Yoga, mindful meditation or debriefing with a partner or friend is a wonderful way to let go of the day that has just been. Maybe consider taking some time out to get a massage. It’s a great way to destress the muscles which can often hold on to a lot of tension and toxins.

Chronic stimulant use
Coffee we’re looking at you… Overuse of stimulants such as tea and coffee can really impact the sleep cycle. Stimulants are not produced internally which throws a real spanner in the works when it comes to hormone regularity. Hormones are the make or break when it comes to regular, relaxing sleep so try and keep your tea and coffee at two per day, max. Try alternatives such as matcha or green tea to bridge the gap while your body adjusts.

Sleep disorders
Conditions such as narcolepsy, insomnia and sleep apnoea can all inhibit the ability to fall asleep or stay that way. If you feel as though there’s no causing factors for your sleep concerns it’s worth seeking some professional advice from a GP.