Menopause often leaves women feeling sapped of energy. This can often make daily tasks seem daunting, and carrying them out can leave women feeling completely exhausted. Contributors to menopausal fatigue include disrupted hormone levels, the psychological effect of other menopause symptoms, and lifestyle factors. However, there are ways to increase your energy levels.
How to Increase Energy Levels
The safest, cheapest, and healthiest option to increase energy levels is to implement a few lifestyle changes. However, changing your lifestyle can often be a daunting challenge, but the results you get from changing your lifestyle are likely to last longer and benefit you in numerous ways.
This is essential to avoid dips and spikes in energy levels. Eating smaller meals more frequently is going to increase you energy levels far more than eating a big meal three times a day. Doing this, you are also less likely to have that all-too-familiar “overfull” feeling and sense of drowsiness that often comes after eating too much. It will also help your overall health and energy levels if you eat a more in the morning and afternoon, and eat less at dinnertime and before going to bed.
Unfortunately, fatigue leads to less motivation to exercise, but the fact is that exercise is one of the best tools against flagging energy. Working out releases adrenaline, which will contribute to a feeling of wakefulness and an overall increase in liveliness. Additionally, exercise will help you sleep more soundly, and better sleep naturally leads to increased vigor during the day.
Weight gain is a common symptom of menopause, and excess weight is a contributor to fatigue, as it puts extra strain on the heart. However, do not be tempted by any “crash diets”, since these often result in a lack of nutrients and minerals, leading to even less energy. The healthiest and most sustainable way to shed excess pounds is steadily and through lifestyle changes - increase physical activity, eat breakfast, and cut out sugary and highly processed foods. Replacing products such as bread, pasta, and rice with their wholegrain equivalent is also beneficial.
It might seem like common sense, but the most effective way to increase energy levels is to sleep well. Unfortunately, this can be harder for some people than for others, so a few new habits might need to be deployed. In menopausal women, night sweats are often the reason for fragmented sleep. To reduce these, keep your bedroom cool and always have a glass of ice water by your bed. If stress is the reason for your insomnia, it could help to learn a few relaxation exercises to do before bed. It is also a good idea to not looks at lit-up screens, this includes televisions, phones, and computers. The artificial light they emit can make your body think it is still daytime and that you are not ready to sleep.
Most people find that making a few changes to routine is enough to increase energy levels during menopause, but some people might also need medical intervention if the problem is very severe. Talking to a doctor is the best way to find out if you need additional treatments to complement lifestyle changes.
Read on how to handle fatigue during menopause.
- Love, S. & Lindsey, K. (2003). Dr. Susan Love's Menopause & Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press
- Menopause Centre Australia. (2013). Fatigue. Retrieved September 3, 2014, from http://menopausecentre.com.au/Symptoms-Fatigue-menopause
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Self-help tips to fight fatigue. Retrieved September 3, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/tiredness-and-fatigue/Pages/self-help-energy-tips.aspx