Tagged with 'Sleeping Troubles'

Fatigue: Why Am I So Tired All The Time?

Fatigue
Our bodies are great at sending us signals when something is wrong. We just have to learn to read them. Whether you wake up exhausted, feel like you're dragging your feet throughout the entire day, or always hit that afternoon energy slump, there are reasons to investigate further. Nutrient Deficiencies  The standard North American diet is full of opportunities for improvement. With an emphasis placed on simple carbohydrates (white bread, pasta, and rice); sugar (juices, sodas, and baked goods); and saturated fats (deep-fried items, meats, and butter); it comes as no surprise that overall nutrient intake is low. In the busy lifestyles of our fast-paced "go-go-go" society, quick and easy meals are often the norm These quick and easy meals are usually void of substantial healthy nutrients, but high in calories. This means that although we feel full, our bodies still crave nutrients, and this will trigger a hunger response that doesn't have to do with being hungry. When we fuel our bodies and mind with the right nutrients, energy is more balanced and cravings are kept in check. Having a diet full of fruits and vegetables is a great way to ensure nutrient intake is high. Poor digestion is another big cause of nutrient deficiencies. Even if you are eating all the right foods, your gut has to be able to break down your food properly and absorb nutrients from it. The phrase "you are what you absorb" is a much better analogy to the commonly heard "you are what you eat." Symptoms such as frequent bloating, excess gas, constipation, diarrhea, and acid reflux are indications that your digestive tract may not be functioning optimally.  Common nutrient deficiencies include iron, magnesium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 (especially if you are a vegan/vegetarian). Although water isn't a "nutrient" per se, inadequate intake can also cause fatigue. Be sure to compensate for caffeine items such as coffee, which can dehydrate you further. Thyroid Concerns  The thyroid is a small but mighty gland that sits at the base of your throat. This gland is involved in numerous processes in the body, including metabolism, body temperature, digestion, period health, cognition, and skin health. A low-functioning thyroid (hypothyroidism) can be a big contributing factor to fatigue, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, heavy and/or irregular periods, resistant weight loss, and anxiety/depression. Often, the thyroid will become dysfunctional due to stress, impaired gut health, and autoimmune conditions.  There is a genetic component to thyroid dysfunction, so it may be a good idea to get assessed if you have a family history. If you have reason to suspect a thyroid concern, speak to your healthcare professional about getting a full thyroid panel checked through blood work.  Mental Health  Health is comprised of your physical, mental, and emotional realms. Unfortunately, our physical health often takes precedence over our mental health, sometimes simply because it’s more externally visible. As such, it's important to distinguish mental and emotional energy from physical energy. For example, an excess mental load can result in burnout fatigue. This can cause mood fluctuations (including being quick to anger and impatience), feeling "wired but tired," and feeling overwhelmed when decision-making. This can also cause difficulties sleeping, which in turn results in poor mental, emotional, and physical energy because our bodies aren't able to properly restore from the previous day. Sometimes, what we deem as fatigue is actually mental and emotional exhaustion from depression or anxiety. A key question to ask yourself would be, "Am I lacking motivation or the physical capacity to do what I want to do?" The latter describes a lack of physical energy. Lack of motivation and disinterest in things that used to bring you joy are signs that your mental health may need tending to. Many physical concerns, such as unrestful sleep despite adequate hours of shut-eye and brain fog, can be signs of depression or anxiety. Although it can be scary to face, you are not alone. Mental health concerns have skyrocketed throughout the young and old alike, and have been increasingly evident throughout the COVID pandemic. Stress (Hpa Axis)  The hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis describes the link between the brain and the adrenal glands. While stress impacts all body organ systems, the adrenal glands are a key player in regulating the stress hormone called cortisol. Stress is not inherently a bad thing. It’s a great driver for productivity and allows our senses to heighten in dangerous situations to get us to safety. When the body's stress response is activated, it quickly mobilizes resources so that they are readily available for use. However, when stress becomes chronically high without adequate support for restoration, it begins to rapidly deplete the body's resources to keep up with demand.  “When we don ...

When Bedtime is a Nightmare: How to Create A Peaceful Sleep Routine?

Peaceful Sleep Routine
If this title caught your attention, let me  start  by saying: “you got this.” Tricky bedtime phases are common, and you’re not alone. They can feel looming as that time approaches and leave you fried at the end of your day. But they can get better; you and your little one can end your day peacefully. Work with your child(ren) as a team. Let them know you want bedtime to be one of the nicest parts of the day and allow them to understand the changes you would like to make so they can look forward to it. Push the “reset button” together and become their coach, rather than their opponent. No matter what age we are, most of us live in a state of go-go-go. We are mentally and physically in motion, and this can create a state of stress throughout the day—even if it is just busyness. Then, we lie down in our beds, close our eyes, and expect our bodies to sleep. Without a proper transition from this busy, alert state, it can be difficult for the body to initiate sleep. The same is true for kids. When this happens, their little bodies may be experiencing overtiredness, a wired feeling, or ruminating thoughts. This can present behaviourally as hyperactivity, tears, anger, chattiness, and resistance. In this article, I’ll give my recommendations to create a peaceful pre-sleep routine that will help tell the body and mind that sleep is coming. “Too Early Or Too Late Can Make It Difficult to Fall Asleep. One Way to Tell Is By Watching For Signs Of Sleepiness During the Routine, Such As Yawning And Becoming relaxed.” So, why have a routine? Kids thrive on routines because it helps them to know what is coming next; most of the time, they’re not in control of things like that or aware of time. Cognitively, a routine will cue them that they are approaching the “time for sleep.” Aspects of the routine can also cue the nervous system that it’s time to switch from our sympathetic fight or flight state to our parasympathetic rest and digest state. A Smoother Bedtime Timing - Assess if your child’s sleep routine duration and bedtime are age-appropriate and right for them. A routine that starts too early or late can make falling asleep difficult. One way to tell is by watching for signs of sleepiness during the routine, such as yawning and becoming relaxed. We all have a natural window of time when our body is ready to initiate sleep. If we stay up past this window, we are likely to experience a period of hyperactivity—the same goes for our little ones. Getting the timing right can significantly impact your child’s ability to fall asleep peacefully. Cue the Senses - When designing the pre-sleep routine, try to incorporate aspects that involve many senses, such as: » Touch - Soft cozy clothing and bedding, cuddles, and back rubs » Smell - Lotions or diffusers with essential oils that calm us, like lavender or chamomile » Sight - Low, soft lighting, such as lamps rather than over- head lighting » Sound - Soft music or singing the same sleepy song, read- ing in a quiet voice, or using white noise » Connection - The ultimate sense. It’s imperative for a child to feel a sense of connection before sleep. This allows them to feel safe, lay their worries down, and fall asleep in their most restful state. All children deserve love, especially as the last thing they hear and feel before sleep. Take this time to fill their buckets right to the top by letting them know you see them, love them, and are grateful for them. Power-Down - Although a little screen time in the evening can seem like it’s slowing our kids down or helping them re- lax, the light from screens (e.g., TVs, tablets, computers, or smartphones) can contribute to difficulty with falling or stay- ing asleep. The light from these devices is an issue for sleep in two ways. Light input suppresses our brain’s release of melatonin, a hormone involved in maintaining our sleep-wake cycle. Blue light suppresses melatonin for longer than other types of light and shifts our brain activity towards a very alert and busy state. This effect lasts long after the device has been turned off and disrupts the quality of sleep that follows. Try to limit screen time overall and schedule it for earlier in the day. Stay Cool - A cooler room triggers the brain to release melatonin and initiate sleep easier. We don’t want our little ones chilly, especially if they don’t tend to stay under their blankets; the ideal temperature for a room is around 20–21°C. Assess pajamas and bedding as well to make sure your little ones are comfortable at a cool but cozy temperature, and ready to drift off calmly. Food as Medicine - Refined sugar must be taken into account with your kid’s nutritional considerations during the day, but especially in the evening. Most children in Canada are consuming as much as five times the ideal limit for refined sugar (which needs to be less than 25 g per day). When the intake of refined added sugar is high, ...

Bid Adieu To Stress and Sleeping Troubles with Aromatherapy!

In the age of “over-working” and “social media”, issues like stress, sleeping troubles, and headache are quite common. Often, we end up either taking sleeping pills or painkillers subscribed by our doctors or joining the early morning meditation class (which rarely helps because let’s admit a majority of us are too lazy to wake up early in the morning!). In that case, what’s the best alternative? AROMATHERAPY!   We’re sure you would be surprised but believe it or not, aromatherapy promotes, balances, and harmonizes the health of spirit, body, and mind. It’s one of the best therapy that offers a major relief in the aforementioned issues. Certainly, you’re curious to know HOW? Well, in the first place, essential oils used in the aromatherapies include ‘synergy’ – a combination of numerous essential oils which can actually create a more powerful effect than any other options! And hey, have you ever seen someone come out depressed or less energetic from a bubble bath or deep tissue massage that includes aromatherapy? No, you haven’t, because the essential oils used in aromatherapies act as a catalyst by relaxing our bodies and minds, hence boosting our mental wellbeing. You need not go to an aromatherapist or masseuses for healing your stress, sleeping issues, and other such problems that are taking a toll on your mental wellbeing! All you need is the right set of essential oils at home and you’re all set!  Healthy Planet Canada has compiled a list of issues which you can treat with the essential oils. You can use these scented oils at your home in baths, massages, or diffusers to enhance the quality of your life by relaxing and stimulating your mental wellbeing. Stress Relief: Aromatherapy works as the best aid for stress relief. The essential oils release aromatic compounds, which when used in a massage or diffuser, helps soothe your body and mind by suppressing the feeling of stress and anxiety. As a result, they aid in balancing your mood. Best Pick: Moroccan, Orange, and Peppermint Headache Relief: Everyone has been subjected to headaches every now and then. For those individuals who have migraines, headaches can turn out to be debilitating, hence ending up ruining the day. Sure, they must follow their doctor’s instructions, however, they can also try using essential oils to get a relief as it reduces the stress levels which might be responsible for triggering the headache. Best Pick: Myrrh, Coconut, and Rose Sleep Aid: Lack of sleep is a major factor that triggers stress and anxiety. While those who’ve been suffering from long-time sleep disorders must consider taking some help from a reliable doctor to balance their sleeping schedules, others should consider opting for a little aromatherapy. A good head massage using essential oils will help them relax enough so they could enjoy a healthy sleep. After all, a good night’s sleep is quite important if you want up to wake up energized the following day. Best Pick: Lavender, Chamomile, Lime At the end, no matter which reason you’re choosing to start using the essential oils in your home, we believe that they are quite helpful to push your stress and sleeping troubles away. And hey, they also smell great! Healthy Planet Canada holds a great stock of essential oils for you to choose from. Which one’s your favorite? Tell us about it!