It is not normal to be tired upon waking in the morning! It is not normal to be tired in the morning hours! And it's not normal for an otherwise healthy person to take extended naps throughout the day! That was me, just last year. Now, I have boundless energy, I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day, and I don't need naps anymore. If I do lay down for a nap now on rare occasion, it's for 20 minutes and I feel refreshed, not 2 hours like it used to be (oh, and I'd still feel groggy). On top of that, I have a clear, sharp mind--NO brain fog! I see other people yawning in the morning with groggy eyes, I hear people say they feel so tired and exhausted as they go about their day. I see people with slow reflexes and brain fog. That's not me anymore! My husband is happy because I'm not falling asleep during movies anymore, I have a pep in my step and want to do things, and my libido is back in full force!
Here are some tips to get you back to normal, with tons of energy to spare! I was able to make small changes throughout the year, and so can you! If you make small changes throughout this next year, incorporating all 15 suggestions down below, by next year (or sooner!), you will have the energy level you had back in your childhood days--no joke. I've learned them over the years, especially during this past year.
1. Drink 8-13 cups of liquids a day, preferably water. Get some pH drops from your local vitamin store, just add a few drops in your water, and it becomes alkalized. (Read more down below as well as my previous blogs about how alkalizing your body can lead to great health, no sickness, no infections, and increased energy!) pH drops contain minerals and trace minerals that your body needs for energy.
2. Cut back on caffiene. Too much caffiene can actually make you tired, because it overworks your adrenal glands. I was able to cut back slowly and replace coffee with green tea...green tea is also alkalizing, which you will see as you continue reading, is a great thing! Coffee is highly acidic, which can also cause fatigue and malaise...acidic just means foods that, when consumed, has an acid-forming effect on your body, and you draw your much needed minerals away from your bones, such as calcium and magnesium, because your bloodstream needs to maintain a certain amount that it's not getting. Acidic foods have a very low mineral content, are fermented foods, or sugary foods that ferment in your stomach once ingested.
3. Make sure you are getting enough electrolytes, which are minerals and trace minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, chloride, etc. Even a slight deficiency can cause fatigue, because most minerals are considered alkaline metals, such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which are responsible for energy production. Most people are getting too much sodium and calcium and not enough magnesium and postassium. Get the balance right, and energy will follow.
4. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins through food and supplements. A few vitamins responsible for energy are the B vitamins (especially B-6 and B-12), vitamin C, vitamin D. I take a high-potency B Complex vitamin, because B vitamins work synergistically, so you would want to take a supplement containing all of them. You may need to supplement with even more B-12 if you don't eat that much meat...be careful though, too much meat can cause fatigue, because it is highly acidic.
5. Most people are not getting enough zinc. This mineral is responsible for a strong immunity. A weak immunity makes you susceptible to viruses and bacteria, leaving you feeling sick and tired. Sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are high in zinc! I take one ColdEeze zinc gluconate lozenge to get my daily requirement of zinc...and I haven't been sick with a cold or a bacterial infection in years!!! If you take a multivitamin with 15mg of zinc oxide, you still may not be getting enough zinc because zinc oxide is poorly absorbed. Look for zinc gluconate and aim for 15mg, but no more than 50mg daily as too much zinc is not good for you.
6. Get 20 minutes of natural sunlight in the morning to increase your vitamin D levels, and regulate your sleep hormones (melatonin). Most experts say that this is okay without sunscreen, but ask your doc, just to make sure it's safe for you (some medications can cause sunburn/sun sensitivity).
7. If you can't get outside in the morning, invest in full-spectrum light bulbs. They most closely match natural sunlight and can help you regulate melatonin levels just like the real sun. The also help with SAD (seasonal affective disorder). I found some good ones at Amazon.com, just search, "Full spectrum light bulbs." I turn on this light first thing in the morning, because I don't like opening my window blinds. It helps to naturally decrease your sleep hormones and makes you feel wide awake. I also use this light during the daytime. (NOTE: Don't use this light at nighttime! You want to increase your melatonin production at night by having on dim, "regular" lightbulbs, or no lights at all.)
8. Exercise gets your blood circulation flowing. Mild to moderate exercise daily can keep you from getting tired. Be careful--extreme exercise can make you more tired.
9. Keep active in general. Create daily or weekly projects to keep yourself busy. For instance, I make plans now to clean and organize drawers, paint, organize the garage, errands, BLOG like I'm doing now. It keeps me from being bored...getting bored means fatigue and tiredness will follow. Keep busy!
10. Hang out with positive people. Spend less time with negative people. Or stop hanging out with negative people, period!
11. Deal with past traumas. Here's an assignment from a psychologist that I did...it works. Write a letter to the people/person who upsets you or caused you pain. It helps you get out all your emotions as well as makes you think if you should even see this person anymore. Then tear it up, throw it away, burn it! You don't have to send it.
12. Consider a vegetarian or vegan diet (a.k.a. "plant-based diet"). This diet is light, doesn't tax your system with meat, which is very hard to digest, and stays and ferments in your stomach...highly acidic!
Check out these websites for additional help on eating a plant-based diet:
13. Eat more alkaline foods for optimal health and increased energy. Alkaline foods have a high mineral content in the correct proportions, they are low in sugar, which means they have a low glycemic index, and they are full of vitamins and antioxidants. This makes alkaline foods anti-inflammatory. Alkaline foods are dark leafy greens, lemons and limes, and most other veggies (but not starchy ones as much). Almonds and green tea are also alkaline foods. We should be consuming 70% alkaline foods to 30% acidic foods...but the typical American diet is 70% ACIDIC and only 30% alkaline.
14. a) Cut out sugar. It is HIGHLY ACIDIC! This was what got me exhausted, along with too much caffiene.
b) Reduce your intake of processed foods, including breads and cereals (they contain yeast, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives, tons of sodium, other ingredients you can't pronounce, and have been processed). Although whole grain is good for you, breads and cereals are not as nutrient dense as fruit, vegetables, the original grain in it's original form, such as brown rice, millet, barley, sprouted wheat, etc.
c) Avoid or cut back on dairy products. They produce excess mucus, which can leave you susceptible to colds, sinus problems, and infections. Also, they do not contain the proper proportions of minerals (too much calcium and phosphorous, not enough magnesium or potassium), the pasteurization process kills many important nutrients and alters the physical and chemical properties of milk, and if it's not organic, it's a toxic soup of antibiotics, medications like sulfa drugs, tranquilizers, pesticides, hormones, dioxins, and fecal run-off.
d) Try to eat as many whole foods as possible that came straight from the ground, vine, or tree. They are the most nutrient dense and will give you increased energy.
e) Get calcium through leafy greens, beans, almonds, and fortified non-dairy milks, such as almond milk, coconut milk, hemp milk, and what I just discovered TODAY, flax milk! It's good, and only 25 calories with 1200mg of Omega-3s! It's my new favorite non-dairy milk.
15. Finally, if you are still exhausted after making some of the changes I suggested, see your doctor for a complete fasting blood test to check your hormone levels, including thyroid, as well as blood sugar level, electrolyte levels, vitamin B12 and iron levels. If you are low on iron, read my past blog about iron. You can get iron through non-meat sources: beans, cooked or raw spinach, kale, and blackstrap molasses are great sources.
***Consult your doctor, nutritionist, or other health expert about the above before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen. Always do your own research to learn more about what I've written! I'm just a layperson who happens to read and absorb a lot of the latest health and nutrition information, and I'm also writing from my own personal experience.
My related posts:
Vitamin C and Zinc: http://www.thedoctorstv.com/GreenFish/posts/14232-Vitamin-C-and-Zinc