Increased susceptibility to fatigue is a common symptom of menopause. Characterized by extreme exhaustion, fatigue can lead to drowsiness, concentration problems, low energy levels, irritability, and a weakened immune system. These can negatively impact every aspect of a woman's life, including her professional performance, relationships, and overall well-being. Fighting the symptoms of fatigue is largely dependent on adjusting diet and lifestyle to promote restful sleep. Learn more about how to fight against fatigue and regain control of your life.
Increase Phytoestrogen Intake
Menopausal women are particularly prone to fatigue because of the various sleep-disturbing symptoms that often take place during these years. Night sweats, anxiety, thyroid disorders, insomnia, and depression are all common throughout perimenopause as a result of the hormonal imbalances that occur in the body.
These symptoms can be reduced through phytoestrogenic sources. Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that mimic the activity of estrogen in the body, meaning they can help restore estrogen levels lost in perimenopause and have a regulating effect on sleep-disturbing symptoms.
Follow a Regular Sleeping Pattern
In the morning, try to resist the urge to sleep in, even if you have experienced interrupted sleep the previous night. Oversleeping in the morning will hinder your ability to sleep the following evening. Structured sleeping patterns are crucial for achieving healthy sleep and preventing fatigue.
Increase Iron Intake
Iron is the mineral responsible for healthy red blood cell activity, acting as a carrier of oxygen to various organs, muscles, and tissues in the body. A deficiency is likely to cause or contribute to fatigue. Iron is found in red meats, poultry, and legumes, and absorption in the body can be maximized by pairing iron sources with vitamin C, found in citrus fruits. Vegetarians might struggle to increase their iron intake via dietary means, and may prefer to use an iron or B12 supplement as an alternative.
Working out during the day will not only help you to sleep restfully during the night, but it will also help combat irritability and physical weariness felt as a result of fatigue. Though it can be hard to get started in the midst of fatigue, exercise is invigorating for the body and the soul. It releases serotonin and other feel-good neurotransmitters that are likely to boost your mood and energy levels in the short and long-term.
To help get to sleep, it is important to take time to unwind from your daily activities before going to bed. This could involve meditation, reading a book, or taking a bath with lavender oil, which is a stress-relieving herb that promotes restful sleep. Try to avoid exercising in the evening, because although exercise can help reduce night sweating, its immediate effects stimulate the release of adrenalin and raises body temperature for a prolonged period of time, which makes it difficult to sleep afterwards and increases the likelihood of night sweat episodes interrupting sleep.
While fatigue has the potential to disrupt your life, making healthy steps to maximize your energy levels during the day and promote restful sleep at night will help you prevent or combat the symptom. Prioritize restful sleep; it is easy to dismiss the importance of sleeping well, but it is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle and essential for well-being.
- Better Health Channel. (2011). Fatigue fighting tips. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Fatigue_fighting_tips
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Self-help tips to fight fatigue. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/self-help-energy-tips.aspx
- National Institutes of Health. (2013). Fatigue: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003088.htm
- Office on Women's Health. (2010). Menopause and mental health. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from http://womenshealth.gov/menopause/menopause-mental-health/