Everyone knows that parenting is exhausting. Yet how is it that even after a good night’s sleep, without any interruptions from your little ones, you can still wake up feeling so tired?
Here we explore some of the possible reasons why.
Trying to be perfect
Often enough fatigue is due to a psychological issue such as stress rather than a physical condition.
We all know that feeling stressed can have an impact on the length and quality of your sleep hence you end up feeling more tired.
Wine O’clock before bed
When the kids are screaming, the washing machine breaks and you get an unexpected bill through the door, the day can become a countdown to wine o’clock. Keep in mind though that too much can sabotage the quality of your sleep. Alcohol can also reduce the amount of time you spend in the deepest, most restorative form of sleep (known as REM sleep). Alcohol is also a diuretic so may make you wake up needing the loo in the night or gasping for water.
An underactive thyroid gland
Having an underactive thyroid gland is often one of the first things doctors will test for if you are always tired. Also, known as hypothyroidism, it occurs when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the hormone thyroxine . Thyroxine helps the body turn food into energy. As well as persistent tiredness, other symptoms of hypothyroidism include dry skin, weight gain and constipation. If you are concerned, please seek professional advice.
Not eating smart
The other day I’d got my son to school, walked the dog, and was sitting at my desk when suddenly I was overcome by a wave of tiredness. It was still only 11:30am and then it hit me: I was hungry. It felt odd having lunch so early but a restorative sandwich soon made me feel better. Clearly, despite the hour, I needed it.
Women especially tend to leave too big a gap between meals, when the body and the brain especially often require a steady supply of energy to function properly. The result is they feel wrung out and tired.
It’s not just when you eat but what you eat that can contribute to tiredness.
Processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white rice and white pasta, or sugary foods provide a fast release of energy. However, the body reacts to this surge in blood sugar by releasing a lot of insulin which sends blood sugar levels crashing, so you may even feel more tired than you did before you ate.
Lack of exercise
The more physical you are the more energised you become and the better you will sleep. With a small energetic boy running around my house, I did question whether getting a dog was my brightest move. Far from sapping my energy though, taking my dog Scooby for a 30-minute walk twice a day adds to it.
Too little iron in the blood
Another common cause of persistent tiredness is anemia; this is when there is not enough hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin helps transport oxygen round the body in red blood cells. Anemia is more common among menstruating women and vegans. We would always recommend seeking professional advice if you are concerned.