If you are tired all the time, wake up feeling groggy, have a fuzzy head and spend the day battling exhaustion, you are not alone. One in every ten visits to the GP in the UK is due to tiredness.
But there could be a very simple explanation – dehydration.
A recent survey revealed that many cases of TATT (Tired All The Time) are caused by not drinking enough water.
GPs who took part in the survey believe that most people simply don’t know how much they should drink and think they only need fluid when they are thirsty.
However, symptoms of dehydration can appear long before thirst kicks in, and include fatigue, headaches and poor concentration.
So, if you are feeling permanently exhausted, try boosting your fluid intake.
According to NHS guidelines, women should drink 1.6 litres of water a day, equivalent to eight glasses, and men should drink two litres, equivalent to 10 glasses.
Zinc deficiency – another common causes of tiredness
Iron deficiency is a well-known cause of tiredness, but fewer people are aware that zinc deficiency can have the same debilitating effect. The trend for eating less red meat and a more vegetarian-based diet has led to an increase in zinc deficiency.
Zinc is an essential mineral, important in many bodily functions, and a deficiency will lead to low energy levels.
Eating red meat once or twice a week will prevent zinc deficiency. A good quality supplement may also be used.
Cut down on caffeine – you may feel that you get an instant energy kick from caffeine, but it will actually drain your energy levels. Try a ginger tea instead. Pour boiling water onto a slice of fresh ginger.
Practice deep breathing – a lack of oxygen in the body can make you feel tired. Boost your oxygen intake with some deep breathing two or three times a day.
Rub the roof of your mouth with your tongue – this tickles a bit but is thought to ‘wake up’ nerves that lead directly to the brain.
Give yourself a tech curfew – Don’t work on the computer late into the night, as the light it emits has been shown to disturb sleep rhythms. And, if you don’t get good quality sleep you will definitely be tired. Try to give yourself two or three hours winding down time before bed.
If none of this works and your tiredness persists, consult your GP.