You're not alone if you're always feeling tired.
A study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 58% of people age 55 and over sleep less than seven hours a night. The study also found that 80% of people 55 and over had unintentionally fallen asleep at least once during the day during the last month.
What's sapping your energy, then? Adjusting these 7 bad-for-energy items, uncovered by our pals at Next Avenue, is a great place to start:
It’s a myth that all carbohydrates zap your energy later on in the day.
In reality, your body needs carbs to produce fuel.
A study in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found that low-carb dieters experienced greater fatigue and reluctance to exercise than dieters who ate more carbohydrates. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found similar results.
The key here is the kind of carbs you’re eating. Bad: Sugary cereals, doughnuts, and white toast are examples of processed carbs that are not good for you... Good: Natural, unprocessed carbs (whole grains, fruits, and vegetables are your best sources). And if you don’t get them, your brain will steal energy that is stored in your muscles. Over time, this causes a loss in muscle mass and a slower metabolism. You’ll feel slower altogether.
If you have piles of stuff everywhere or papers covering your desk, you could be zapping energy.
When clutter is around, it can make your brain feel overwhelmed and unable to focus, according to research from the Princeton University Neuroscience Institute, and that can make you fatigued.
Best solution: Clean up a small area that’s cluttered and see how it changes your mood and energy level. Once you see the amazing effects a little order can have, you can get going on the rest of the mess.
Around 76% of Americans 60 & older take 2 or more prescription drugs...
...and 37 percent take five or more according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Prescription medicine certainly has its place,” says Hammerstein, “but medication can stress the liver, which is what frees the body of toxins.” And if the liver is fatigued, so is the body. There's also the combined impact from multiple drugs that have fatigue as a side-effect. Talk to your doctor about contraindicated drug combos or duplicated meds, and make sure you’re taking only medication that is essential.
Want to hydrate? Stick with unadulterated H2O.
“Vitamin drinks trick your body, especially those with B vitamins and taurine, another energy enhancer,” says Hammerstein. “They can actually have the reverse effect by making you tired.” This is because the body doesn’t easily metabolize B vitamins taken in an isolated form — as in energy drinks. The drinks can overexcite you, causing a jittery, wired, and yes, tired feeling.
If you’re someone who can sit in front of a computer screen for hours, it could be making you tired.
Prolonged use of the computer can cause Computer Vision Syndrome, according to the American Optometric Association. Symptoms can include fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches.
How to solve the problem: Experts suggest that for every 20 minutes of computer reading you do, look away for 20 seconds and focus on an object 20 feet away. That should reduce your eye strain. You should also make sure your computer is at the right level for your eyes.
Micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, and those found in fruits and vegetables) are necessary for optimal health.
Antioxidants found in veggies protect our bodies from free radical damage, which can lead to everything from accelerated aging to a lack of energy to cancer. So eat your spinach, kale, red grapes, and papaya — all vital sources of energy.
Yep...you read that right.
Overexertion can put too much stress on your adrenal glands by causing your body to release too much cortisol, which can lead to fatigue and an energy sap that can last for days.
So, how can you tell if you're overexerting? The Mayo Clinic recommends your exercise exertion should be a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being no exercise, 10 being a football pro's workout). You know you're adhering to the work-out level that's right for you when you're able to wake up the next day and repeat the same activity without substantial effort. If you can’t do that, you’re overdoing it.
You have been officially alerted....