When you feel tired your life can be negatively impacted. It may: render you unable to concentrate for any length of time, make the thought of any form of exercise the stuff of nightmares, be the cause of bad moods, anger and possibly even trigger anxiety. The reasons you feel tired in menopause are many. I have listed here the most common with solutions that may help.
If you are suffering from tiredness and fatigue your diet could be a contributing factor and is the first place to make changes to put you on the road to feeling more energised.
You can’t be your fabulous and awesome self without energy
What seems like a very long time ago now I waved goodbye to my sister at the airport and headed home feeling anxious and extremly tired. It was more than missing my sister it was an all consuming tiredness.
Once home I felt so extremely exhausted I didn’t know where to put myself. It was difficult to raise myself from the couch which is not like me at all. As the day progressed I felt as if my body was going into shut-down. My joints ached and for some reason, my sinus was worse than ever.
That night I slept like a rooster at dawn and the next day I wandered around like something out of Zombie Dawn Of The Dead with 50 shades of dark circles under my eyes.
To feel tired and this washed out as well as achy in what seemed like every part of my body is foreign to me. Even my stomach was getting in on the act by being bloated and gassy.
Lying around doing nothing, I had time to contemplate what could be wrong.
I listed the conditions that I seemed to be suffering from:
- Extreme lethargy or fatigue
- Gastro bloating and gas
- Lack of brainpower
- Inability to be able to recall things
I had more than an inkling about what caused my symptoms
Over the last few weeks with my sister visiting, I consumed alcohol every day. Sometimes only a glass of red at night but sometimes a glass of Rose at lunch and a couple of glasses of red at night and maybe even a liqueur too.
I had also allowed that clingy tramp sugar to sneakily enter my life again
Not in any great quantity. A small piece of chocolate here, a couple of Maltesers there and some disgusting popcorn that called itself salted caramel but was the devil in disguise on account of the way it upset my stomach every time I went near it. Yet my will power was broken by it's yummy flavour.
Who doesn’t love a good bit of ripe camembert on that protein-rich platter for lunch and a couple of chunks to go with that red wine at night?
My dairy consumption went up so much while we were away the local cheesemakers were rubbing their hands in glee.
So, let’s investigate
Reasons You Feel Tired In Menopause
1. Menopause Itself
With hormone levels changing and causing symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats your mood and energy levels can be affected leading to fatigue. Hormone fluctuations can also make it difficult for you to sleep at night, which can leave you feeling exhusted during the day.
Solution: Consider a hormone supplement to help conteract these symptoms. I recommend Estroven Menopause Relief + Mood Once-Daily Supplement which help manage mood swings, reduce hot flashes and menopausal anxiety.
2. Drinking Too Much Alcohol
Immediately after dring alcohol we feel relaxed, slightly sedated even sleeipy. That's why inhabitions are less when you've had a few drinks.
Then you go to bed and thanks to the chemical reactions going on in your body within a few hours you can expect to be awake again. Sleep disturbance is common after drinking.
Among the less serious side effects of drinking alcohol regularly are:
- Decreased brain function
- Stomach distress
Also, as there are carbohydrates involved we must contend with higher blood sugar levels.
Solution: Try not drinking during the week and maybe have one to two glasses only during the weekend.
3. Too much Dairy
In its various forms, is delicious.
But and it’s a big BUT. It’s highly inflammatory. Second only to gluten.
It causes inflammation in a big percentage of the population which can lead to digestive issues, bloating, gas, diarrhoea and constipation.
Your body struggles to process dairy particularly if you're consuming a lot or more than you digestive system is used to.
Solution: Make cheese something you have as a treat and when you do have it stick to the hard cheeses. If you're eating yoghurt greek yoghurt is lower in lactose.
4. Too Much Sugar
Sugar is also highly inflammatory and will lead to increased insulin levels resulting in a ‘sugar crash’. You will feel fatigued and without energy.
These same elevated insulin levels will also lead to increased inflammation which will cause seemingly unexplained aches and pains.
When you eat sugar, you get that lovely high immediately after eating it, this is the insulin coursing through your body on its way to cause inflammation anywhere there is a weak point.
Oh, my achy back!
After a while, as the insulin is distributed to the cells the resultant dip in your blood sugar makes you (drum roll please) feel tired. Off to bed, you go feeling nicely sleepy and looking forward to a great night’s rest.
Not gonna happen.
Lower blood sugar levels causes a stress response in your body, and both cortisol and adrenaline levels will increase, which could wake you up or at the very least cause restlessness.
For help with cutting back on sugar and dairy in your diet check out this blog post and the free PDF below.
Solution: Check labels for amounts of added sugar. Cut back on added sugar at home and consider using a sugar altenative such as stevia to get you over the sugar craving hump. Be weary of where sugar can creep in such as soda, juices, yoghurts and dried fruits.
Bonus: For joining my weekly newsletter, download the free cheat sheet
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and have easier weight loss in midlife and menopause.
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5. Not Enough Sleep
If you are always feeling tired it's possible that your not getting enough sleep or enough quality sleep.
Reasons for bad sleep can be:
- Eating too close to bedtime
- Too much caffeine
- Diet - as we have spoken about
- No bedtime routine
- screen time before bed
- Stress and worry
- Too hot or too cold
- Hot flashes and night sweats
Solution: Keep your bedroom calm and dark. Have a good night time routine by switching of electronics at least an hour before bed and dimming lights. Stop eating at least 2 hours before bedtime and make your last coffee before midday. Do some breathing exercises to help you with stress and anxiety levels.
6. Too Much Stress
Which results in constant high levels of cortisol, and insulin as well as less dopamine and serotonin the two feel good hormones that help us sleep.
Sleep then becomes even more difficult.
It is a vicious cycle which becomes difficult to free yourself from.
Lack of sleep and stress can increase the production of Ghrelin in the body which is an appetite stimulant. So you want to eat more.
One tip here from the mouth of my very wise daughter. “If you only just ate something an hour ago you are probably not hungry. Try having a glass of water instead.”
Solution: Include mindfulness in your day such as meditation, yoga, breathing techniques and journaling.
7. Not Enough Exercise
One of the best ways to stay energized is to exercise regularly.
When you constantly feeling tired and feel like doing anything but exercise it can be difficult to start.
Exercising for at least 30 minutes per day for 5-6 days at a moderate to high intensity will boost your energy levels.
Exercise can also help with mood swings, weight gain, and even hot flashes. Try to choose things that are manageable and enjoyable.
Solution: Make time for exercise, preferably in the morning. Even just a brisk 30 minute walk is better that 30 minutes on the couch and will do so much more for your health.
Dehydration will make you tired.
When your not getting enough to drink you ca.n have a fuzzy head so you can't think clearly. It can even cause things like poor muscle function.
It is extremely important for your health to get plenty of water every single day.
Solution: Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day. Consider mixing up with herbal teas and sparkling water.
9. Nutritional Deficiencies
Your changing hormone levels can drain your energy and leave your body needing a boost. If you know you're eating well and drinking plenty of water then it may mean you need a supplement to boost your nutrition.
Solution: I recommend a multivitamin such as One A Day Women's Menopause Multivitamin with all the major vitamins you need to support you at this time.
There are other reasons why you feel tired in menopause including serious health conditions
If you feel tired or constantly fatigued and the symptoms persist it is important that you seek medical advice as there may be other underlying problems.
For more on fatigue check out this article here.