Tired all the time? It may be more than a lack of sleep
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Are you tired? Do you feel that way a lot? Chances are, it's not just lack of sleep.
Things you might not even think of are zapping your energy mentally and physically, especially for women.
Doctor Cindy Reuter, naturopath acupuncturist at Providence St Vincent hospital, says we can fight fatigue in simple ways.
"The main reason for people to be tired is they're just trying to do too much," Reuter said.
For some, especially women, it becomes a pattern of toxic perfectionism.
"You may have a lot of work demands, you're at the peak of your career, lots going on just at work. then you have family obligations."
So what can we do about it?
"Slow down. Focus, prioritize on what you need to do. Remember that no one can be all things to all people," Reuter said.
Another change that can make a big difference: drink more water!
"For a lot of people they just don't feel well. Maybe the main sign I see, not so much fatigue, is headaches," said Reuter.
The good news: you likely don't need a whole lot more of it.
"If we're eating enough fruits and vegetables and unprocessed foods -- foods we cook at home -- most of those foods are between 80 and 90 percent water anyway," she said.
Speaking of drinking, if you think a little nightcap will help send you off to sleep at the end of a tough day, it probably will. But it can still backfire on you.
"People will say, 'Oh I fall asleep no problem but then I'm awake at one and I can't get back to sleep. So you're trading a short term benefit for a little bit poorer quality sleep," said Reuter.
And how about those devices we're attached to all day? Here's a reason not to be attached at night: the glow they shine on our faces.
"That particular strength of light has a lot of blue spectrum in it. And that blue spectrum light will actually tell our brain that it's not time to go to sleep and it'll slow down our production of melatonin," she said.
So put down the phone and get a book instead.
Finally, consider the space you work in. Turns out, a cluttered desk can mentally exhaust you, affecting your ability to focus.
So make sure things are organized and put away at the end of the day, and you can start fresh tomorrow.