I was chatting to a friend of mine about how much I was enjoying the new show “Big Little Lies” and asked her if she’d seen it. She sighed, explaining that she was so exhausted at night that by the time she has finished work, cooked dinner, cleared away, put the kids to bed and caught up on FB/twitter, she starts watching a TV show or film and usually falls asleep within minutes. She was too tired to get through 1 season of anything!
I hear this so often when I talk to my clients. I don’t think I can remember one woman who has said she is happy with her energy levels!
And when I ask if it bothers them, they usually say yes of course, but isn’t that just a part of getting older and being busy?
NO! Your body is designed to produce plenty of energy to get you through your day without feeling tired. It could be your hormones and your lifestyle that is slowing you down.
Lack of sleep is of course the number 1 reason for feeling tired, so make sure that you rule that out as the obvious culprit first!
So what are the big hormone energy drainers?
- Stress – your stress hormone cortisol helps you deal with daily stresses like a demanding job, tricky relationships, traffic, kids, emotional issues and more. Cortisol is good in the right amounts but when it is produced constantly to deal with stress, it can have a negative effect on your energy, sleep, mood, brain function, digestion – and your waistline!
- Low thyroid hormones – if you don’t have enough thyroid hormones, your metabolism is going to be sluggish, making you feel pretty exhausted and foggy. Other symptoms include hair loss, feeling cold, weight gain, dry skin, depression, anxiety and poor concentration.
- Blood sugar – too many carbs, sugar and/or stimulants like coffee and alcohol can imbalance your blood sugar, giving you huge energy dips that leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish. Low blood sugar during the night can also wake you up at 3 or 4am making you tired and grumpy the next day.
- Peri-menopause – fluctuating oestrogen and progesterone during the peri-menopausal years (35-55) can leave you feeling tired too. If you’re waking up at night sweating or you’re low in progesterone, your sleep can be affected.
In addition to hormones, there are a number of factors that can cause fatigue that you need to rule out. These include;
- Toxins – if you are exposed to too many chemicals, they can damage your mitochondria – the little batteries in your cells that make energy.
- Nutrient deficiencies – if you’re lacking certain nutrients needed to make energy, you’re going to feel tired. These include iron, b12, B6, magnesium, zinc and a host of others!
- Gut health – how healthy is your gut? If you have any digestive issues (constipation, diarrhea, bloating, gas, reflux, pain) you may have an underlying infection, a food sensitivity or an imbalance in your gut flora. This can be a stress on the body and increase the demand on your energy reserves.
- Underlying health conditions – fatigue is sometimes a sign that the body is struggling with something more serious – it’s always advised to see your doctor to make sure that you’re checked out.
There are so many things you can do naturally to help increase your energy levels. Here are just 5 of them.
5 tips to stop feeling tired
- Breathe! Even if you don’t have a lot of time during your day, you can easily do 10 deep belly breaths every morning and every night – this can really help reduce your stress hormones and give you more energy.
- Have the right breakfast – include protein such as eggs, natural yoghurt, oats, nuts, seeds, as this will help stabilize your blood sugar til lunchtime so you don’t have a mid morning dip. Or make a quick protein shake with some almond milk and a good quality protein powder. Easy to take with you, filling and nutritious.
- Eat and cook with coconut oil – this is a good fat that won’t make you fat – it helps to increase your metabolism and give you energy. Its one of the most healthy oils to cook with. You can add it to smoothies for a great energy boost.
- Minimise your exposure to toxins – filter your water, eat organic, switch cleaning and laundry products to natural brands, and get rid of ‘fake smells’ like scented candles and air fresheners (see my blog on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals!).
- Eat energy producing nutrients – B vitamins, magnesium, iron, zinc, Vitamin C, vitamin E and selenium are all required nutrients. These can all be found in vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans/lentils, fish and meat. Get your iron levels tested at the doctor (ask for a Ferritin test) as you may need to supplement.
If you’re looking for specific foods to eat for energy, check out my blog on the 9 best foods to boost your energy.
And if you’re a woman over 40, I’d recommend you get your hormones checked out. Contact us for a Discovery Call to see how we can help.