As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website www.oleda.com where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.
Being tired not only zaps your brain cells and energy level at the moment – it can also be a sign that your body needs some serious and immediate attention. Unlike the illness known as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, which can be manifested by headache, tender lymph nodes, weakness, muscle and joint aches and an inability to concentrate, the feeling I’m referring to here is just plain old tiredness. It is a symptom that affects both body and mind. It slows reflexes and reduces function in your day-to-day life.
Staying tired, washed out or exhausted too long can lead to other problems, some serious, so let’s nip it in the bud right now.
American families are so much busier than they used to be. Often both parents are working and there is too much to do in every 24 hours. There is not enough time for sleep and not much time to cook balanced meals. No wonder they feel tired so often.
I see my daughter-in-law with three children, a husband, a job. She takes care of the house, attends school functions for the children when needed and cooks for the family. My son helps out but he also has a job, helps with the children, takes care of the yard and is on the go with errands. This is typical of households today.
Then there are also those who are not overworked or stressed out but they still feel tired all the time. It’s hard for them to get up in the morning. Some can’t sleep at night so they wake up tired and remain tired all day.
General Reasons For Tiredness:
You may not be able to change your life style this very moment, so here are some things you can do to compensate until then. Listed are ways to fight that never ending tired feeling.
Not enough sleep: There are two parts to “not enough sleep.” They are not enough hours to sleep and insomnia.
Not Enough Sleep: If you feel you can’t find enough hours to sleep… better rethink it. Find some way to get that extra hour or two. In general the body needs about eight hours each night to repair itself for the next day and more so for a long range healthy, longer life. If you wake up feeling groggy instead of refreshed, you’re not getting enough sleep. If you feel sleepy during the day or yawn (off and on) all day you are not getting enough sleep. Don’t minimize the importance of enough sleep, as it will affect your body… anywhere from feeling tired all day to dark circles under the eyes to a breakdown in the immune system which can lead to illnesses.
Insomnia: Insomnia is not only difficulty in falling asleep but also difficulty in staying asleep or sleeping soundly. There can be many causes, and if you cannot solve it on your own check with your doctor and find out why. Without enough sleep other problems could arise. A lack of calcium and magnesium can cause you to wake up after a few hours and not be able to return to sleep.
Here’s what you should check out. Are you on medication that causes the problem? If it’s a short term medication it shouldn’t last, but if you are on a life style medication, see your doctor… you must have your sleep. At least three times a week work up a sweat…could be just by taking a fast walk. Don’t drink regular coffee after 3 PM. Do not drink more than an ounce of liquor or one glass of wine…too much liquor at night can easily put you to sleep but can also cause you to wake up several times during the night. Make sure you are getting enough “good sleep” vitamins.
Poor eating habits: You are missing out on important vitamins, minerals and trace minerals. If you can’t get all your nutrition from your food intake, then add supplements, especially a good multi-vitamin. Make sure you get enough Vitamin A, lots of Vitamin B-Complex, Folic Acid, Vitamin C and D, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese and Fiber. Try to eat more vegetables and fruits. The body needs carbohydrates …this means the latest low-carbohydrate fad diet can cause energy levels to drop… end result is a lack of energy.
Coffee and Caffeine: Cut out anything with caffeine after 3 PM. This includes soft drinks, too. Best to have only one cup of coffee in the morning, and take an energy building nutritional supplement.
Worry and Stress: Worry and stress itself keeps many people awake. It’s easy to say and not always possible to do, but try to get rid of these two sleep enemies. If you cannot – and you really feel stressed out all day, try taking a natural sleep aid short term to get you through the issues. You should not discard the old saying that a glass (or half glass) of milk before bed will put you to sleep. Milk contains the amino acid, L-tryptophan, which has been shown to induce sleep.
At times people complain of feeling tired when it’s really something else altogether, a feeling of unease. If it has gotten to this stage (and sometimes we don’t realize it) see your doctor for advice – it is not a trivial trip to the doctor. It could very well give you a healthier, longer life.
Lack of exercise:
A little bit of exercise in the evening and a warm bath can help you sleep. But don’t overdo exercise at this time of the day. A short walk will do. Regular exercise can be done earlier in the day at least three times a week. Physical exercise is known to improve fitness, health and well-being, reduce stress and boost energy level as well as to help you sleep.
Boredom – not having enough to do: Yes, boredom can cause sleepless nights. Not having enough to do for whatever reason can be worrisome and lonely. Get more exercise – even walks are helpful – and take the aggressive move to contact more people and develop new relationships. Join a church, temple, mosque, or volunteer for a good cause even if it’s a few hours a week. You will be “de-bored” in no time at all.
Too much alcohol: How much is too much alcohol? It depends on your body and what your doctor tells you. If you have sleeping problems too much alcohol may “knock you out” but it can also be the cause of waking up several times a night. Alcohol is a depressant drug that slows the nervous system which makes insomnia more likely. Some doctors agree that one drink (1oz) per night or one glass of wine is all right.
Too much weight: Serious overweight keeps you from being as active as you should be. The weight itself could cause tiredness. Don’t be discouraged if you have lots to lose. Think in terms of a year and see what you need to lose each month to reach your goal… you have your whole life ahead of you … it’s worth it for many reasons.
Medications: Don’t forget to consider the side effects of any medication you may be taking. Some medications can cause you to stay awake and could actually be the cause of your fatigue. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about any medication you are taking, if you are fatigued.
Not drinking enough water: When dehydrated you feel sluggish. The body needs 8 glasses of water or liquids…juices count….to keep top energy. A doctor said recently that “we don’t need 8 glasses of water per day…that the body will take it from other parts of the body”. He certainly does not have our health in mind…that’s exactly what we DON’T want…all parts of our body need water in order not to feel tired or sluggish.
Eating too little protein: Protein helps keep energy level high and organs functioning. Eat more meat, fish, milk, eggs. Soybeans or legumes are good protein too.
Not enough carbohydrates: Carbohydrates keep the blood sugars in check, gives immediate energy which helps keep you awake all day. Eat more whole grains, honey, fruits and vegetables. Can the low-carb fad diet for several reasons.
I hope you will find a way to sit down, put your feet up and do nothing but relax more often. Even a quiet 10 or 15 minute relaxation time (or nap) can “heal” your body for the moment. I often will sit in a comfortable chair for 10 minutes – my goal being to relax every muscle in my body … it’s amazing how tense the muscles are when you first sit down … what a difference after the 10 minutes. My favorite way is to totally unwind and relax in a tub of hot water with my Relaxing Soak. I lay back and let the hot water and spa soak pamper my mind, body, and spirit. If you always take showers you are missing out on this wonderful healthy hydro-therapy.
To read more about the relevance of sleep in your life be sure to check out my page The importance of a good night’s sleep.