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I'm so Tired!

"I'm just too tired, maybe tomorrow." How many times have you said that? Most likely, if you're like most of us, tomorrow never comes.

Just what is making us so tired and what can we do about it? Well, if it makes you feel better know that you are not alone. Fatigue is said to be the most common complaint heard in the doctor's office. Your body is sending you a message; we just need to figure out what it is saying.

Before we continue, let's make some basic assumptions. Let's assume you are at least in your bed long enough to get a good night's sleep. Let's assume your bed is comfortable; your mattress and pillows the correct firmness for you. Let's also assume that your bedroom is a quiet, calm place.

Given all of those things, your fatigue is probably stemming from something while you are awake and not your nighttime sleep patterns. Answer these questions and see if any of them make you a candidate for fatigue.

Do you have a source of recreation?

The old adage "All work and no play makes you a dull person" has never been truer. Too much concentration on any one aspect of your life is likely to cause stress and stress causes fatigue. By the same token, if your life is one big game, all recreation and no serious side, the recreation takes on the all-consuming qualities of work and can affect you just as adversely.

As with most things, balance is the answer. Your recreation source can be an outlet for the tensions of work and liven up your spirits throughout the day.

Do you have ample sunlight throughout your day?

There is no doubt that light deprivation affects the moods of most, if not all, people. Dark, gloomy days produce dark, gloomy moods. And gloomy moods are sluggish moods. It is hard to feel energy and get motivated if you're feeling sluggish.

Even in the cold weather, when we are surrounded by snow, there is still plenty of sunshine out there. It is important to keep yourself surrounded by natural light whenever possible, even if it means just going out of the office or the house for a few minutes throughout the day to soak up some of the rays.

Do you have exposure to bright lights at night?

There is a big difference between sunlight during the day and neon lights at night. Don't expect to be surrounded by neon or even fluorescent every night and then go home and rest peacefully.

Quiet time before bed should include dim lights and soothing atmosphere. This will help your body re-adjust itself from the day into the tranquility you should experience at night.

How much activity do you get throughout the day?

There is a direct relationship between using energy and having energy. Whether you are a desk potato or a couch potato, you will feel more tired if you do not move around then you will if you do. It's a vicious circle of sorts, and one I know to be true, but still have a hard time putting into practice. It has been said by people much wiser than I that "Energy grows with the will to use it." After trying this for a little while you will find it is true. You will feel less tired and have more energy after you have forced yourself to exert yourself.

Are you getting to much exercise during the day?

There is such as thing as too much of a good thing. If you find too tired to carry on normal activities because you've been to the gym or walked the mall to many times, you are exceeding the proper limit.

Have I mentioned - Balance is the Key?

Are you getting enough liquids?

True enough, if you are not getting the proper amount of liquids into your system, you will suffer from a mild form of dehydration. Experts prefer us to drink between 6 and 8 glasses of water a day. (Nice try, but these are 8 ounces glasses, not juice glasses!). It is recommended that the liquid be water, not something with additives that may have an adverse effect. For example, too much sugar, although it will make you temporarily hyper, will cause fatigue. So to drink a soft drink with sugar in it will defeat the purpose.

In addition, there are many other advantages to drinking a lot of water every day. You will be flushing your system of toxins that would otherwise be building up. It is also very good for your skin and helps prevent wrinkles.

What do you have for breakfast?

If the answer is coffee and vitamins, or "I don't' eat breakfast " you've solved a big part of your fatigue problem already. Coffee (and caffeine in general) is a temporary fix to a bigger problem. It may give you the drug-induced effect of a bolt of energy, but not for long.

Vitamins have their place, and can certainly aid in many areas, including fatigue. But they are not meant to replace a good, balanced diet. I was always taught (though seldom listened) to think of my body as a car. It needs fuel to exist. Without a healthy, well balance breakfast in the morning, you are asking the "car" to run on fumes from the day before. It's not hard to see why that doesn't work for long.

Let me say it one more time, balance is the answer. No starvation - no overeating. No couch potato - no exercise junkie. No light deprivation - No neon nights. It's not as easy as it sounds, but with a little modification of your behavior you will find yourself sleeping through the night and living your life through the day.

Sleep tight!

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