Are you tired, having trouble falling asleep at night or waking up in the morning? Do you have salt and sugar cravings, and need caffeine to get through the day? We are going to go on a little adventure today, and get to the bottom of these symptoms you’re experiencing!
There is nothing more amazing than waking up naturally and just feeling awake! You’ve gotten a great night of sleep and you’re ready to be productive right when you wake up. How many times has that happened on vacation *raises hand* or on the weekends *raises hand again.*
Lately, ( with covid19 and the quarantine) things are different. We are all under stress in our day to day lives but things have gotten even more intense. I personally can’t even keep track of my days! Is it Monday? A week ago I dashed out of bed to sign into work on a Saturday!
We are all suffering from routine changes and extra stress factors right now but what about when the world is normal? You’re still experiencing fatigue, you’re still depending on coffee and other means to find energy.
These elements are affecting your Hormones and making you tired!
Imbalanced blood sugar - Our hormones depend on balanced blood sugar. For women, insulin is one of our body’s master hormones. Insulin increases when we overeat sugar and carbs (which is why some like the Keto diet). Too much extra glucose and insulin can result in it remaining in the bloodstream which can prevent ovulation. Which can result in your body not producing progesterone. Since progesterone is a calming, happy, hormone, too little of it means symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, fertility issues and you guessed it, fatigue. This is all a result of estrogen dominance.
Adrenal Fatigue - When’s the last time you tried to fall asleep but your heart was racing. Or you’re laying there feeling like you just drank a 100 cups of coffee? Your adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that are essential to your everyday life.
Adrenal fatigue is trigged by long term stress (like being quarantined from a virus and not being able to work or resume life). People describe the symptoms as feeling tired, "gray," and having fatigue that doesn’t get better with sleep. When under long term stress, your body’s immune system lets your adrenal glands release hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. This response is part of your fight or flight response. Which of course (think about running away from a lion) increases your blood pressure and heart rate.
Low Melatonin - Melatonin is a key hormone. It not only tells our bodies when to sleep, it also influences our immune system and our mood. Having low melatonin can often have the following symptoms:
- Feeling awake instead of sleepy after 10 pm
- Finding it hard to get to sleep
- Feeling tired during the day
- Higher susceptibility to colds and flu (lower immunity)
Why is this happening? There are a lot of reasons why melatonin might not be released, including the lack of sunlight and even the blue light from our computer screens!
Environmental Stressors - We’ve already talked about stress. Stress is powerful and it’s also part of our day to day. Reading posts on Facebook can cause us stress now days. Stress can hit us out of no where. It can also be a different type of stress, the type of stress that happens inside your body and that can be caused by environmental toxins left on food and birth control pills. That stress is hard on our energy reserves and can leave us feeling exhausted from the mental or physical fight.
We are coming to the end of adventure through Fatigue. Do you know which one might be stopping you from living your best life?
Let’s go over strategies for overcoming fatigue and boosting your energy!
- Get outside. I know with the quarantine that isn’t easy but even right now, I’m writing this blog sitting on the deck outside. If you can’t get outside, try basking in the light coming from your window like your favorite house cat likes to do. Heck, bask with your cat. You want to try to get 10-15 minutes of sunlight before noon to help promote melatonin production .
- F.lux! F.lux is a free program that helps block the blue light coming off your computer screen. It relaxes your eyes and has a more relaxing effect on your body. However, even more than that, it will help with the production of your melatonin. If possible, try to break away from the computer or your phone, two hours before bed. You’ll be doing your body a favor, even with the blue light gone, outside elements like the news, work, and peoples posts don’t need to be in your head, affecting your dreams.
- Stress management. I know this is hard. I know it’s easier said than done, especially lately. The key is finding what helps you, or at least helps reduce your stress levels. Whether that’s having a gratitude journal, doing yoga, meditation or making time to do the things you love. Letting yourself relax or take a moment outside of the stress will boost your energy.
- Snacks throughout the day! Snack on healthy foods every two hours if you’re prone to low energy slumps. It’s possible your blood sugar levels are dropping and snacking on nuts, berries, healthy trail mix, a smoothie, or even grabbing a protein bar can help. If you’re going to try this method, keep all your meals small so that you’re not overeating.
- Melatonin rich foods. If you’re having issues with low melatonin, goji berries, walnuts, almonds, pineapple, bananas and oranges all contain substantial amounts of melatonin and can help naturally raise your levels.
- Breakfast. There is nothing like starting your day with a meal and once you get used to it, it’s pretty hard to start your day without it. Our bodies are always in a form of survival mode (even if it is subtle) and it’s looking for food, if you’re hungry, your mind is thinking about it’s next meal. You want to make sure you’re filling your body with nutrition to promote and support the energy your body is craving.
- Raising energy level with Vitamins. S’moo is great for raising energy levels and people have found that it can take the place of coffee in the morning, it also helps balance your hormones which will naturally make you feel more awake. If you have a vitamin B deficiency, B6 can help boost progesterone production and counteract excess estrogen. Magnesium is a great vitamin to take if you need help sleeping and getting your energy back on track. It can also help reduce bloating and PMS symptoms. Probiotics are great for managing hormonal conditions that could be leading to your fatigue. It can help detox estrogen from your body and help you absorb the other nutrients you need. Vitamin D deficiency is a root cause for fatigue and low energy, besides getting vitamin D from the sun, you can also take it in supplements. I like to take vitamin D and magnesium together as I was advised by my doctor that they need one another in order to be properly absorbed by your body. However everyone needs different amounts. If you start talking Magnesium and Vitamin D and see an increase in bowl movement, scale back to find the right amount.
- Say no to coffee. Caffeine is a great pick-me-up but in reality, it raises cortisol levels and stresses the adrenals and depletes essential micronutrients… so really it’s not helping like you think it is. It’s a bandage that can leave you in a slump until your next fix.
- Exercise. You know what an advocate I am for exercise if you’ve read any of my blogs. I’m not talking about going to the gym or getting super fit. I’m just talking about moving around and how happy and awake it makes you feel. Even jumping jacks, like it or not, wake you up. Your heart is pumping and that flushes cortisol from your body. Research proves that exercises reduces fatigue. Even in quarantine you can run in place for a minute, do jumping jacks or even try to start learning a new dance like Shuffling. Not only will it reduce stress and depression, it will make you feel good and have more energy. If you have downstairs neighbors… they can handle a little jumping for a 60 seconds a day.
This content is strictly the opinion of S'moo and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither S'moo nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.