FATIGUE IS A PROBLEM EVERYONE EXPERIENCES

Whether you have had a long day at work, been busy driving the kids around, or have been pushing yourself hard with extracurricular activities, fatigue is bound to happen at some point. Fatigue can make everyday activities seem more difficult, reduce productivity and concentration, and even negatively impact your health and safety. For example, twice as many workplace accidents occur in the second half of the shift compared to the first half, and several major industrial accidents have been attributed to operator fatigue.

Disturbances to our Circadian Rhythm ( our body’s internal clock) are major contributors to fatigue and can be caused by shift work, long working hours, and travel

Clearly, the prevention of fatigue is an important public health concern. It’s also an important lifestyle factor to keep in mind when making efforts to improve your overall health and wellness. When people are tired, they tend to fall into poor health habits that make the problem worse. Eating more junk food, avoiding exercise, and increasing alcohol consumption are just a few examples of activities that contribute to low energy levels. Read on for more information on how to help keep you energy levels up and your Circadian Rhythm in check!

SLEEPING BETTER

f you aren’t sleeping well it will be difficult for your body to recuperate and for you to feel energized. Here are some tips to help you sleep better:
If you have trouble falling asleep, try eating a small snack containing complex carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. Examples include: Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and fruit, or whole grain toast with peanut butter.

Try exercising before work instead of after. Stress hormones are lowest in the evening, which allows you to fall asleep easier. Exercising later in the evening causes an increase in these hormones and will cause you to be more alert and awake. Squeezing in a workout before heading to work will result in a more natural daily hormone profile. Plus, you can take advantage of this post-workout energy rush to get your day started off on the right foot!

Limit alcoholic drinks before bed ( especially those high in sugar). You may find that alcohol helps you to fall asleep, but it interferes with the recuperative quality of sleep.

Try to use your bed only for sleep (and maybe one other thing). Your bedroom should be a place of relaxation, so limit clutter and control for light and noise. Avoid watching TV or staring at other screens (computers, tablets, smart phones), as the lights can interfere with your sleep cycle. If you need to look at a screen soon before bed, try using it at the dimmest setting possible.

INCREASE YOUR ENERGY

  • Drink water throughout the day to keep well hydrated. Dehydration can cause tiredness and poor concentration. Sip on a water bottle throughout the day and enjoy a glass of water with each meal and snack. Avoid juice and pop, as these drinks contain high levels of simple sugars, which can cause drastic peaks and valleys in your energy level.
  • Caffeinate cautiously. While caffeine is effective at improving alertness and wakefulness, it can also interfere with your ability to fall and stay asleep, especially if consumed later in the day. Try to only consume caffeine in the morning, and then switch to water and herbal teas (such as green tea) later in the day. If you need a caffeine fix in the afternoon, try to have your last cup at least 6 hours before going to bed
  • Eat at regular intervals throughout the day to keep your blood sugar and energy levels stable. Start with a balanced breakfast soon after waking, and then eat at least every 4-5 hours. At each meal, include a combination of complex carbohydrates and lean protein. If your meals are spaced far apart, be sure to include healthy snacks to keep hunger and fatigue at bay.
  • Go for complex carbohydrates rather than simple sugars. Complex carbs take longer to digest, thereby providing a more sustained and long-lasting energy source. Choose whole grains, fruits, and vegetables instead of candy bars, sweets, and baked goods.
  • Enjoy two energy breaks at work each day for 5-10 minutes each (brisk walk, walk the stairs, stretch, deep breathing, or a quick body workout). Squeeze one in mid-morning and mid-afternoon to break up your day and revitalize your mind. Some light activity will also stimulate circulation and keep energizing nutrients flowing through your body.

SUPPLEMENTS TO ENHANCE SLEEP AND INCREASE ENERGY

There are many supplements available that claim to help with sleep and energy. Many have not been well-studied and their usefulness in promoting sleep is not always clear. However, depending on your specific needs, particular vitamins, minerals, and other factors may help ensure your body is operating efficiently and using energy effectively. A healthy diet is the best means of acquiring all the nutrients your body needs for energy and restful sleep.

ENERGIZING PEANUT BUTTER SMOOTHIE RECIPE

  • 1/2 Banana (very ripe)
  • 1 tbsp oats
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1-2 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp vanilla or chocolate protein powder (optional)
  • 1 cup skim milk (or milk alternative, such as almond milk)

Place all ingredients in a small blender in order listed. Blend until smooth, adding more milk or water to get desired consistency.