Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Fatigue: Why Is Everyone SO Tired?

Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly being closely observed as she tries to get her beauty sleep.
         First it was stress, now it seems our latest universal complaint is fatigue. (Of course there is the obvious link between the two.) When well rested we're more likely to handle daily "challenges" (love that word) with equanimity.

        Scores of studies have examined the subject and more and more women's magazine are addressing the problem. This week's Figaro Madame had a multi-page article on the topic which I thought I would share with you. The editors and experts were not specifically concerned with sleep deprivation, but rather energy promotion. That's why I thought it was interesting (even though we know some of the tips they're telling us.)

        I'll skip over the section on the cosmetic tricks to hide the traces on our faces: i.e. blushes, lipsticks, et. al. I'm not convinced camouflage works that well except perhaps for those clever "paint on" liquid under eye products that hide dark circles. 

       Here then are "Les 7 Clés de L'énergie" (The 7 Keys to Energy):

1.) Listen: "Learn how to determine your energy limits and act accordingly to "dose" the amount of rest we need." (I'm absolutely paraphrasing this because it wasn't clear. I'm assuming this is the sense of it. I wouldn't have understood it any better in English; it wasn't a question of translation.)

If we switch to silk pillowcases at least we won't wake up with those nasty, though temporary, wrinkles we get with cotton pillow slips.
2.) Sleep: (Well, hello!) We sleep two hours less than our grandparents and less well apparently. "Sleep is when we recuperate neurons we need to function at our best." I guess they're telling us not to squander sleep.

3.) Move: "Physical activity produces DHEA [you know, that supposed magic youth hormone] which also helps reduce stress.

4.) Eliminate toxins: "Breathe fresh air, sweat [just a little, Frenchwomen aren't crazy over the concept], forget about alcohol, cigarettes, coffee and sugar. One night each week, go to bed early without dinner.

Protein and good fats in the morning (eggs, ham, cheese, whole wheat bread, etc.) In the late afternoon, dried fruit, chocolate, nuts because this is the moment in the day when our serotonin levels are at their lowest [the famous afternoon energy slump].

Do not eat meat and cheese in the same meal." Are these people French or what?

Prescribed by my doctor to give me more energy. It seems to work and I love the idea that it claims to "lutte" (fight) against not only physical fatigue, but also "intellectual" -- vive la France (!)

5.) Take a vitamin complex: "Because of diets, stress and just plain too many obligations, women may not be getting the vitamins and minerals they need, particularly vitamins C and B," Anne-Marie Roussel, professor of metabolic biochemistry at the University of Grenoble, said. 

Acai berries.

Goji berries (wolf berries?)
          Dr. Roussel suggests we add the following "pep foods" (her words): all varieties of vegetables, vegetable oils, oily fish, almonds, hazel nuts, walnuts, sea food and the "super fruits" -- goji, acai, and grenade (pomegranate).
6.) Drink, Drink, Drink: Lack of hydration saps energy. We should be drinking lots of water -- we all know that -- but also: herbal teas, green tea, fresh fruit and vegetable juices, in small doses, and chosen from the fruits and veggies of the season.

7.) Pleasure Is Important: At least once a day find a relaxing activity. "Arroser" (to water the garden, plants. . .) -- I'll translate here as re-new/maintain relationships with friends and loved ones. "L'amour, l'amitie, les rapports humains harmonieux . . ., cela vaut tous les spas du monde!" Indeed.


Murphy said...

The first one reminds me of the old Buddhist master's prescription for living a good life: "Eat when you are hungry, sleep when you are tired." There may have been more, but I don't remember as I am still working on the first two.

hopflower said...

Well, it all makes sense.

Tamera Beardsley said...

I'm pretty familiar with tips 1-6... but most excited with tip number 7! The need of adding pleasure to my schedule is one I have just been realizing. A life filled with tasks and goals to accomplish without the balance of pleasure... is a certainly a way to suck the joy and creativity out of life. Why it took me until I am 53 to realize this, I don't know. but better late than never!

Thank you for your sharing of strategic tips!

Katherine said...

Let's add one more - turn off electronics earlier. Watching TV or sitting in front of our computers before we go to bed is one of the reasons we do not sleep soundly.
I've started forcing myself to close the lid on the laptop, pick up my book and snuggle down on a mountain of pillows. It's working for a more restful sleep.

That's Not My Age said...

The pleasure I can do - but it often involves alcohol and coffee!

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I stayed up all night last Wednesday with my daughter in labor...I used to be able to stay up all night and bounce right, one week later, I am still tired!! I hope my energy returns soon..I will try some of these suggestions!

Splenderosa said...

Like today, I'm feeling so tired I should go back to bed, but I know I won't. I'm making a Tish List and stick this up above my computer, where I spend way too much time. The getting outside nad having fun is what I do least. That's about the change!

Amelia said...

I suspect the cosmetic industries love having all these sleep deprived with the sales of their products. I only do a very light touch of makeup and go natural sometimes, so having enough sleep has to be my friend. The tips and suggestions are very helpful and will try them. Thank you Tish.


knitpurl said...

Thank you Tish. Welcome suggestions to review. A previous response above was the suggestion to turn off "electronics" and read a book. I have always slept better reading a book for a while. But honestly it's tough not to check news/email on my tablet before calling it a night. I think it's a habit I will work to break. xoC.

Anonymous said...

Going out into the fresh air, taking a walk, and/or doing some sun salutations - after that I am full of energy. I am not at all into all this vitamin etc. pills. I think they are not necessary if you are eating a good a balanced diet.

D. A. Wolf said...

You are - comme d'habitude - filled with fascinating tidbits!

I love that instead of referring to sleep deprivation, they're taking a tantalizingly positive spin (oh, how American) - "energy promotion."

That "MOVE" item?

It really does help. It's so hard getting oneself out the door, but once a foot (and face) in the fresh air - it's invigorating.

Fashion art and other fancies said...

The pleasure lies in enjoying the things I eat;)

Wally B said...

Just back from your neck of the woods. Not much health food in Savoie, unless you count lardons, cheese and cream in those categories.

vicki archer said...

The French do love to relax... ;) Are they limiting their cigarettes and wine... Do you think Tish?? Not where I am... :) xv

mette said...

The answer to your topic is very simple and clear.
The lack of SUN.
Here in Finland, we have had the darkest winter in 25 years, only 50 hours of sun during the whole winter so far.
Going up north about 350 kms, and that region has had sun only 15!!! hours at the same time.
No wonder we feel tired, and adding foundation won´t help.
My advice would be to stay out during the light day hours, more sleep, even some naps.
Remember vitamin D!!!
This time will pass too.

Jenny said...

Interesting article. For me the less I do the less I want to do and vice versa. Keeping active seems to be the only way to fight tiredness for me that isn't lack of sleep related.

Maureen said...

Even when I was a child in the 1950s it was so much darker at night. This makes such a difference.

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