Some simply write it off as a byproduct of the change of season, but I am determined to get to the bottom of why I am so dang tired. No matter the steps of my daily ritual and even on days that follow a full night’s sleep, I find myself crashing around 3 pm like clockwork. I try to combat the crash by limiting my morning coffee intake, and my diet is predominately on fleek. Something’s gotta give… I feel deflated and I know I am not the only one. While staring blankly into my screen prior to any creative juices flowing, I caught Tamu looking exactly how I was feeling and I joked, “writing about being tired is making me tired.”
Energy is not only physical, it is also mental, emotional, and spiritual. If any one of those is lacking, the consequence is that drained, tired feeling. To try to figure out this rut I am currently in, I have yet again turned to energy healing – its power was significant for me the last time, I could not stay away. I have come to find, on this spiritual journey, that I have a depletion of energy emotionally. My belief is that this drainage has trickled into my physical wellbeing, hence my actual physical being is exhausted. While I work on my emotional aspect, I wanted to share some physical factors that may attribute to this tiredness.
On the physical level, I can admit that my sleep may not be where it needs to be. I may sleep the right amount of hours, but the quality is a bit questionable. My mind races, I am stressed, and a bit on edge –contributing to overall poor sleep. Lack of sleep is an obvious reason for lower physical energy, but understanding the source of the low quality sleep is your starting point – and you’ll have to get more specific than “I was binge watching Netflix all night.”
If you are like me, you commit the horrid sin of sleeping next to your phone. Having that radiation and electromagnetic fields so close to you is a discussion for a different date. But, the other problem with having your phone so close to you is the temptation to look at it. Wake up in the middle of the night from a dream or that late night bathroom run? It is only natural (I mean I guess it is a horrible to say it is natural, but there is truth there) to take a peek at your phone – a scroll on Instagram, quick look at emails or even messaging with people in different time zones. These distractions keep your brain awake and make it harder for you to fall asleep, not to mention the blue light emitted from your phone. As Arianne Huffington says, “buy an alarm clock and leave your phone out of your bedroom.”
A contributing factor to my own lack of energy is an increase in carbohydrates since my son started solid foods, an element my body is not used to. Sheer laziness – trying to feed my son healthy options while at the same time trying to feed myself (leaving me choosing whatever is fastest – normally cookies or bread), and after having a hectic work month full of shows, presentations and events – have all led to my demise of falling back on the carb wagon. Carbohydrates, when broken down, allow sugar (glucose) to enter your bloodstream, and then insulin is released to help your cells absorb it. In simple carbs, your blood sugar tends to spike, which then leads you to plummet down, resulting in that crashing feeling. Integrating more whole foods and less sugar into your lunchtime meals can help reduce that mid-day crash.
Cortisol levels may play a serious part in your afternoon slumps. “Cortisol is the hormone that governs your blood sugar, blood pressure, digestion, hunger cravings, digestion, sleep/wake patterns, physical activity, and your capacity to cope with stress,” says author of The Hormone Reset Diet, Sara Gottfried, MD. If your cortisol levels are off – a normal flow of cortisol would be high in the morning, descend after lunch time, and be at its lowest in the evening – you may for instance feel a surge of energy when it is time to unwind, like getting into bed for sleep. Simple steps such as avoiding refined carbs and sugars, exercising in the morning, and supplements such as omega 3, rhodiola and vitamin C and B5 can strive towards finding a balance in your cortisol.
My physical exercise has also taken a hit with my recent crazy schedule. Now it is October, and my free time has ballooned every-so-slightly, so there are no excuses for not working out. But I have zero interest in getting into they gym due to my serious lack of energy. When I think about running on the treadmill for those killer minimal 10 minutes at Barry’s Bootcamp, I immediately feel woozy. The fact of the matter is that lack of exercise can affect your physical energy, leading you into an energy-deficient spiral. Quick, time-efficient workouts will jolt your energy to get you out that non-workout rut.
Iron deficiency can also influence your feeling of being wiped out. This mineral plays an important role in helping the body produce red blood cells, which are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout your bloodstream. Deficiencies are common, especially in women, and such factors as menstruation, pregnancy and poor gut health can intensify it. Try getting in those leafy greens, and if you find your diet is still not getting you where you need to be, consider supplements – but with the help of a specialist.
If you find that small lifestyle hacks are not working to get your energy boosted, talk to your doctor so they can take a look at your medical records and blood work. Have a look to see if there are any hormone irregularities that could be causing this slump.