If you are dragging your anchor, getting lethargic after eating, or overall just feeling fatigued throughout the day, there may be a few simple reasons. Before you grab a coffee or sugary drink (which can actually have the opposite effect), let’s look at other reasons for energy lulls, and how to respond with healthy, natural choices to help boost your energy back up.
You might be experiencing low energy because:
1. Lack of exercise.
No one wants to hear it, but it’s the truth. A lack of regular exercise or sedentary lifestyle, like sitting at a desk all day only to go to the couch in the evening and then the bed at night, will leave your body running inefficiently, darken your mood and decrease circulation.
Prescriptions and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals we take without thinking about it can cause obvious levels of fatigue. Antihistamines (allergy meds), cough medicine, and even blood pressure meds can drop your energy levels.
3. Lack of sleep
It’s a no-brainer that getting enough sleep the night before will fuel you through the next day, but there are also chronic sleep disorders that will tap your energy and leave you perpetually sluggish. For example, insomnia will wreak havoc with your attention span, as will sleep apnea, and restless leg syndrome.
4. Iron deficiency.
If you don’t have enough iron in your body, it can make you sleepy and even make you anemic. Even though still more common in women than men, an iron-deficiency can affect anyone who practices in a vegetarian diet, frequently donates blood, or has low levels of B12 in their diet. Symptoms are extreme fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, headaches, and dizziness. Consider getting a test and taking a supplement if you are low on iron.
Depression is a legitimate psychological and medical condition that affects millions of Americans every year. It can have physical manifestations, whereby emotional responses affect the body’s biorhythms. Therefore, depression can leave someone feeling woefully unmotivated, tired, and disoriented.
6. Too much caffeine.
Coffee or energy drinks create a toxic cycle that won’t address the root problem if you have a chronic problem with staying awake and alert– that artificial spike will cause a crash and make it worse.
7. Too much alcohol.
Regular drinking and consuming alcohol in excess – especially at night before bed – might put you out initially, but as the sugar metabolizes, you might even wake back up. At the very least, you’ll get fitful sleep and your body will be overly tired, dehydrated, and headachy the next morning.
8. Too much junk.
Eating too much or just the wrong kinds of foods – like too much sugar, fat, and processed food, will drag you down by the end of the day.
So how can you naturally boost your energy levels?
- Carry a water bottle
- Carry along healthy snacks
- Get up, stretch and move regularly
- Keep a mental health journal
- Take a break from caffeine consumption
- Take a multivitamin
Keep in mind ongoing fatigue can also be an early symptom of more serious health issues, so consult your doctor as you make the necessary adjustments to your health and lifestyle. It’s really a bunch of little things we can do for ourselves that will keep us awake and ready throughout the day.