Feeling Tired all the Time?
If you are one of those feeling tired all the time then you are not alone. So which herbs can make you feel less tired?
Tiredness is a common reason for people to visit their GP. There are a number of medical conditions that can make you feel very tired. It is important to visit your GP if:
- You are suddenly feeling more tired than usual
- You do not feel better with sleep and rest
- It is affecting your day-to-day activities,
- you have been feeling very tired for more than 2 weeks
This may mean that you are suffering from fatigue rather than simply feeling tired.
Why am I Feeling so Tired?
There are many reasons you might be feeling tired. It may simply be due to how busy you are, or other lifestyle factors. You may not be getting enough sleep, or good enough quality sleep. Stress, anxiety, and depression can also make you feel extra tired. Tiredness can be a problem before or during your period or if you are going through the menopause. Fatigue can be due to several medical conditions including poor thyroid function, diabetes, anaemia, heart conditions, liver problems, lung disease and even cancer. Therefore, it is important to have fatigue thoroughly investigated by your GP. They will take several blood tests to check for any underlying health problems and offer treatment as appropriate.
What Can I do to Feel Less Tired?
There are several things that you can do to help yourself feel better.
- Make sure you are getting enough sleep
- Establish a regular sleep pattern
- Drink plenty of water each day
- Don’t skip breakfast
- Eat good quality food
- You may benefit from eating little and often with protein at each meal
- Exercise regularly, and if you’re new to exercise then build this up gradually
- Manage stress by making sure you have plenty of relaxation time
- Drink no more than 14 units of alcohol per week
- Reduce the amount of caffeine you drink
Which Herbs can Help me Feel Less Tired?
The most useful herbal remedies here will depend on why you are feeling tired, so it is important to try and understand what the problem is.
Sleep Problems and Insomnia
There are a lot of herbs that can be useful for sleep problems, but it is useful to pay attention to the type of sleep disturbance. For difficulty falling asleep (initial insomnia) valerian (Valerian officinalis) can be extremely helpful. For frequent waking through the night (sleep maintenance insomnia) a key herb is passiflora (Passiflora incarnata)
Depression and Low Mood
The classic herb here is St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) which can be helpful for mild anxiety and low mood. If you think you may be depressed you must see a medical professional. Herbal Medicine is not suitable for severe depression which requires specialist treatment.
There are a lot of herbs that can be useful if you are suffering from mild anxiety. Choose from lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) , rose (Rosa gallica) or lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) to help you relax. Severe anxiety does require treatment from a medical professional. Do not try and self-medicate if this is the case.
Stress is a major cause of fatigue, and it can be difficult to reduce the stress in your life. However, there are things that you can do to help yourself relax more effectively. Make sure you prioritise relaxing and enjoyable activities into your life. Try spending time with friends, going for walks in the country or listening to music. See My Absolute Top 5 Easy Ways to Empower You to Beat Stress Naturally for more on how to manage your stress levels. Try a relaxing herb such as lavender or lemon balm to help you unwind. For longer term stress then oats (Avena sativa) can be strengthening. Ashwaganda (Withania somnifera) or Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) can help with fatigue. For more information on herbs to help with stress see My Top 9 Herbal Remedies to Beat Stress Naturally
PMS and Menopause
Hormonal changes can lead to sleep disruption and so herbs that are helpful for insomnia can be useful here. If you are feeling anxious or tense then try lavender or passiflora. Stress can make PMS and Menopause symptoms worse so try relaxation techniques and herbs to help with stress. For help with hormonal balance then try Shatavari or Vitex agnus castus.
Consult a medical professional if you:
- Take any medication
- Have a medical condition
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
Do not take Lemon Balm if you have thyroid problems or take thyroid medication. St John’s Wort and Schisandra may affect medications that you are taking.
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This article does not substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.