FATIGUE

Fatigue is weariness and a lack of energy. It also causes a lack of motivation.

Sufferers of the condition feel tired all the time – in both body and mind. Fatigue should not be confused with drowsiness which is an overwhelming feeling that you need to sleep. Many people go to bed at night exhausted and get up the next morning still tired with another full day stretching before them. Although fatigue can be an acceptable and legitimate response to physical exertion, emotional stress, boredom, or lack of sleep, if it persists despite your efforts to adjust these causes, you should consult your doctor. Habitual tiredness over an extended period of time is a cause for concern.

Fatigue sufferers experience a slowdown in their reflexes. They also find it begins to interfere with their daily life as well. Given these facts, it is not surprising that fatigue is a well known risk factor in on the job and car accidents.

You might wonder how your body gains energy. When you eat, the food is digested in your stomach and your intestines. Digestion reduces your meal into substances that the body can use for its day to day functions. Water and glucose are absorbed through the stomach. The additional substances that feed your body are processed by your small intestine.

By far, your body’s main energy source is glucose. Like gas in your car, glucose fuels your daily functions. Your cells absorb glucose and oxygen from your blood and burn them to make energy or store the glucose for future use.

If you are like most people, you often feel drowsy or sleepy after lunch. This is commonly called the afternoon energy slump and typically occurs around 3-4 in the afternoon. After you eat, your body produces more insulin to process the glucose manufactured from the food you digested. This is the body’s way of reducing sugar in the blood, but in the process it also takes sugar from your brain and causes it to feel fatigued. Your brain’s circadian rhythm plays a part in this. The circadian rhythm is your internal biological clock. It regulates a few processes, but mainly the sleep-wake cycle over roughly a 24 hour period.

You can’t ever do away with the afternoon slump, but there are things that you can do to lessen its effect. You should get plenty of exercise. You should adjust your lifestyle so that you get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. If you are fit and well rested, you are less likely to feel extremely drowsy in the afternoon.

You should take a look at what kinds of foods you are having for lunch on a regular basis. Some changes may be in order. When broken down by digestion, carbohydrates and protein provide plenty of glucose to fuel you body and raise your energy level. Protein also contains an amino acid called tyrosine. This acid helps your brain process certain neurotransmitter chemicals which keep it alert and attentive. When your mind is busy it is harder to feel sleepy. You should try moving around more in the afternoon. You can try to schedule any trips away from your desk for this time of day. You could even do some stretching exercises at your desk. These improve your blood flow which will boost your energy level.

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