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It is very easy and, to some extent, logical to connect your fatigue with lack of sleep.

You are up in the morning from a good eight hours of rest, and yet your day does not seem half as energetic as it should be. So, is ‘lack of sleep’ only to be blamed?

While most of us wish that was the only reason, here’s something to burst your bubble – the tiredness could be a sign of a deep-rooted problem that needs your attention ASAP.

While ‘enough sleep’ could be the go-to solution for your tiredness, sometimes it just does not do the trick.

Problems and solutions

  • Being a couch potato: That idea seems ridiculous, right? But hours of binge-watching your favourite series for days together while sitting on your comfortable couch could be a reason why you are feeling tired.

Binge-watching means no physical activity. Sometimes, even walking up to the kitchen to get a bottle of water seems like a tough task to complete. Lack of physical activity could be the reason why you are not getting the quality sleep you need and are waking up feeling tired and unable to figure out the problem.

Binge-watching means no physical activity. (Photo: Unsplash)© Provided by India Today

Solution: “It is important to keep your body moving. If a person is not exercising much and is not physically active, he may be bound to gain weight and muscle activity will also decrease. The metabolic profile of the body will change too. Therefore, the body will keep requiring more rest and will feel fatigued despite enough sleep,” Dr Mayank Saxena, additional director of pulmonology at Fortis Hospital, Noida, said.

Researchers at the University of Georgia discovered that a mere 10 minutes of low- or moderate-intensity exercise provided study participants with a noticeable increase in energy.

  • Anxiety: Anxiety can be exhausting. When you’re distressed, your body goes on high alert, releasing adrenaline. This heightened state can lead to tense muscles and an overactive brain, analysing various scenarios. This process consumes energy and often leaves you feeling fatigued.

“Stress, anxiety, psychiatric or psychological issues are contributory factors in these kinds of situations. A person whose mind is not rested, who is in the office, stressed, working a lot and does not have any time for himself, he can be dealing with mental or physical fatigue,” Dr Mayank Saxena said.

When you’re distressed, your body goes on high alert, releasing adrenaline. (Photo: Unsplash)© Provided by India Today

Solution: Scientists have established that socialising reduces the likelihood of mental health issues such as anxiety, stress and depression. Additionally, if you are with someone, it can lead to lower levels of stress hormones in the body.

A study conducted at Arizona State University revealed that university students who engaged in more social activities exhibited lower cortisol levels the following day and experienced improved sleep.

So, go out. Meet friends or make some new ones. Laugh out loud, gossip and spend good time with people who matter and by doing that you might help yourself in more ways than one.

  • Low vitamin levels: When your mother keeps nudging you to take your vitamins, she means the best for you in every possible way because, “Insufficient vitamins, particularly B12, can impact energy levels as they play a crucial role in red blood cell production,” Dr Akshay Budhraja, senior consultant and HOD, respiratory and sleep medicine, Aakash Healthcare, Delhi, said.

Red meat and shellfish are common sources of iron and Vitamin B, but people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet may be at a higher risk of deficiency. You could also be anaemic due to the lack of iron or vitamins (which means that not enough red blood cells are being produced).

Solution: For non-vegetarians, it is not really difficult to pile up Vitamin B12 (it is found in chicken, eggs and fish). While supplements and B12 injections are an option, vegetarians can complete their quota by consuming milk, cheese and yoghurt.

  • Unbalanced diet: “A balanced diet” – was a chapter that was taught to us during the very initial phase of our education and perhaps that’s the reason why this chapter seems to have been phased out of our minds.

What we eat not only affects or shapes our body, but it also influences our energy levels. During digestion, food is converted into glucose, which circulates through the bloodstream to nourish muscles and organs, including the brain.

Natural fluctuations in blood sugar levels can lead to feelings of sluggishness when they are low. Your diet composition, the timing of meals, and individual metabolic processes can contribute to the dynamic changes in blood sugar levels.

Solution: Finding out what your body needs and eating right is no rocket science. You just have to be sure that you are eating the right kinds of foods and in the right portions.

Try to consume a mix of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats and minimise the intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of unhealthy fats and sugars.

Finding out what your body needs and eating right is no rocket science. (Photo: Unsplash)© Provided by India Today
    • Sleep apnoea: You go to bed at 10 pm and wake up at 7 am and yet, you aren’t having enough sleep and wake up feeling fatigued? Perhaps, poor quality sleep is making you feel tired despite you completing your eight-hour sleep quota. So, what could be the reason for poor sleep?

A factor contributing to disrupted sleep could be sleep apnoea, a condition characterised by intermittent pauses in breathing during the night.

Solution: If you are diagnosed with sleep apnoea, it can be effectively treated using a device (CPAP machine) that delivers pressurised air into the nose or mouth throughout the night. This ensures the maintenance of open airways.

  • Blame hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism was found to be a common form of thyroid dysfunction affecting 10.9 per cent of the study population and one of the most common signs of the condition is tiredness.

If it is hypothyroidism, along with tiredness, you will also witness other symptoms like constipation, dry skin, puffy face, coarse hair and skin. It is important to get yourself checked for any abnormalities.

A man sleeps with a CPAP machine. (Photo: Unsplash)© Provided by India Today

Solution: If you have any of the three symptoms, you must visit a doctor and get your reports before starting medication. A balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle are crucial for keeping your thyroid hormones in check.

You need to take adequate minerals and vitamins and manage your stress through relaxation techniques.

Bottomline

Now, now, don’t lose your sleep over the fear of not having proper sleep and end up feeling tired even more; it’s a vicious cycle. Rather, being mindful and tracking your sleep quality will do the trick. Remember, if this is persistent, a visit to the doctor is a must.

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