Beating Fatigue


Beating Fatigue

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You get your eight to nine hours of beauty sleep regularly every night or do you? Why do you feel tired? You eat all the right foods or so you think. You regularly exercise 30 minutes a day. However, you can’t seem to get up and go. Even sex seems to be a chore. You are fatigued and having trouble sleeping or sleeping restfully and suspect that caffeine may be the cause. When you drink any caffeinated beverage within three hours of bedtime, you drink the equivalent of five or more cups of coffee per day. You become aware that small caffeine increase makes you restless, excited, super alert or nervous. You may suspect that your fatigue may be caused by caffeine overstimulation. If you drink the equivalent of five or more cups of coffee per day, you suffer symptoms of physical hyperstimulation or a sense of depletion. If cutting down on your coffee after you get over the withdrawal makes you feel better, you have discovered the source of your problem.

Do you remember the times you used to feel depressed and out of sorts? Do you remember what you crave to eat at that point in time? Was it fruits and nuts? Was it a salad and fruit juice? Most of you at such times would have gone for sweet things like chocolate, cookies, candies or ice cream. The initial rush of energy or lift you get occurs because these food products are quickly metabolized to produce sugar in your blood. This is precisely what happens when you crave your mid-morning cup of coffee with sugar. Initially, you get a temporary energy lift since it raises your blood sugar level. This is followed soon by a downward plunge of energy, leaving you feeling worse than before, calling for the repetition of more coffee and sweets or alcohol. When we have a simpler way of life, we will strike at our enemy or run away for an emergency, the event will end and our body will return to a more relaxed state.

However, in everyday situations, we are currently confronted with a series of stresses that arouse our bodies in the same fashion as a fight or flight emergency. No wonder you’re tired. However, many individuals don’t feel the emotions of anger, impatience, frustration, depression and despair. They are accustomed to being worried or hostile that they think their condition is normal. Meanwhile, their body is falling apart as they test it to the limit. Fatigue is the inevitable outcome. If you want to have a constant supply of energy, forget the three spread meals at the rule. Most meals aren’t spread but likely to be unbalanced or inadequate anyway. Eat like a rabbit or a squirrel. For some of you, that would work, nibbling away through healthy snacks. For others, two appropriately balanced meals and it depends on who you are, the balance is not the same, would work. I’m not suggesting that you snack on ice cream, chocolates, sweets and pastries. Eat healthy foods that build up your energy level consistently.

Substitute protein for sweets and carbohydrates in your many meals. Snack on slices of fruits, nuts, a piece of raw fruit, a celery stick or a carrot strip. Make a protein powder drink with your fruit juice for breakfast or lunch and you will have the juice of life to burn for hours. If you plan to attend an important meeting after lunch and you need to be mentally alert, then skip the carbohydrates during lunch. Have a salad with some fish or chicken. You could even try a protein drink with fruit juice. Sometimes though, you happen to be a nervy type. You want to deliberately calm down or slow down at a meeting. That is when you want to snack on rice and vegetables. For those people, you want to skip the protein foods for they will make you overly alert. Another quick energy-boosting routine is to eat a little bit of fat. I can imagine some of you shaking your head and thinking, “Now, I’ve really heard it all.”

Researchers have learned that a little fat is necessary to make your bladder work. I’ve heard horror stories of people who have had their gall bladder shut down on them because they went on a diet and did not take any fat at all. They needed surgery after that. Taking little fat staves off hunger as well as fatigue for hours. Either add a bit of cold-pressed vegetable oil to your protein drink before you blend it. You will never notice it there or add more oil to your salad in meal times and drink only the remains from the bowl. Each of us has a different peak time or highest energy time of the day. Some of us are morning people. Others have more energy around mid-afternoon, while some people feel the best at night. Most people know instinctively when they’re having their up and down times. You probably don’t get one of these. Some people feel up in the morning, down in the afternoon and up again in the early evening.

Rhythms in the body. Our body has many rhythms or cycles. Many of us are familiar with circadian rhythms. These are 24-hour cycles of wakefulness and sleep. Another important cycle is called the ultradian rhythm, a recurrent period of cycle repeated throughout the 24-hour circadian day. Within the one day, 24-hour circadian rhythm, researchers have found shorter ultradian rhythms. We experience an ultradian rhythm every 90 to 120 minutes. You’ve experienced this many times. You’re working hard, feeling energized and productive. You start to tire a bit and lose your focus after a while. This normally occurs after an hour-and-a-half to two hours. It is a bit different for each person. The ultradian cycle is the most important cycle for high performance. 60/60/30 cycle, the idea with the 60/60/30 is for us to use 60 minutes chunks of time to focus on a single thing. We put two of these chunks together then we spend 30 minutes completely relaxing and eating a small healthy meal.

LBD 23 | Beating Fatigue
Beating Fatigue: Only by working with our natural down cycles can we become more effective and productive throughout the day.


One reason this can be powerful is because if you don’t take these breaks, you’ll burn your energy reserves and your willpower and damage the system that allows you to renew. By taking these breaks, you help your renewal system to heal and become more effective. The 60-minute cycles are actually three cycles of fifteen minutes focused on the task, then a short fifteen-minute break followed by the second rung of four cycles for fifteen minutes. I use a little timer, set it to 45 minutes then put it to the side of my desk. What’s great about this is it frees me to completely focus for the next 45 minutes. I know that I don’t need to check emails or voicemails for those 45 minutes. When it beeps, I set it for fifteen minutes then I go stretch, move around and do something different. Forcing ourselves to work through with sheer determination as our energy wanes is counterproductive. This is like reading a book when we are tired.

We are ending up reading the same paragraph over and over again until we either fall asleep with the book or NOOK or Kindle or iPad in hand or realize that we must stop. Only then can we regain our focus and comprehension. Another common strategy when we find ourselves nearing the end of one of our ultradian rhythms is to pump our self with caffeine and sugar. To power through the energy drop or grabbing one of those energy drinks to keep going even when we want to crash. To sustain peak performance, we need to manage our energy throughout the day. We allow our body and mind to renew by taking periodic breaks every 90 minutes. By working with our natural down cycles, we can become many times more effective and productive throughout the day. After almost 30 years of seeing clients with a range of fatigue conditions, we have come to the following factors that could underlie a serious case of fatigue.

These factors are digestive issues, food allergies, parasites and yeast. Chemical poisons. They could include heavy metal toxicity and organic poisons, nutritional deficiencies like iron, B-12, and folic acid. Hormonal hypoglycemia, hypothyroid, female hormonal imbalance, adrenal fatigue, emotional unfinished business, cognitive overwhelm or grief. I’m going to help you design the life that works so you are able to say yes in the things that matter and eliminate everything else that slows you down. The more clear you can be about how to organize your daily life to support your bigger vision, the more you step into your true potential, stay on track, and accomplish all that you want and deserve. Are you ready to make that happen? Feel free to reach out to me to ask your questions in Your life is a gift. Design it. Do what matters and join me each episode as we get closer to designing the life of your dreams. Join me next time on Your Life By Design.

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