How To Combat Chronic Fatigue

5 min read
Dress, HAMEL

Feeling fatigued all the time is more common than ever before. MOJEH investigates how to ensure exhaustion doesn’t become your new norm.

In today’s fast-paced world, ask someone how they are feeling and nine times out of ten, the answer will be “tired”. For many of us, it’s a rare day we bounce out of bed when the alarm sounds feeling fully rested and revitalised, and it takes a cup of coffee or two to bring us back to life. While it’s tempting to try and pinpoint a singular reason why many of us feel as though we’re completely devoid of energy, it would appear there are a number of major players attempting to win gold at the Generation Tired Olympics.

While the age-old adage dictates that getting a good eight hours’ sleep a night should be the cure to all life’s problems, the truth is that a lack of quality shut-eye is just one key element of our fight to stay alert. “Life is getting faster,” Karl Rollison, internationally renowned Harley Street therapist, hypnotist, life coach and author of Sleep Ninja told MOJEH. “We are expected to be instantly contactable by friends, family and work. We are spending more time with our technology rather than getting fresh air, sunlight and exercise. Caffeine is consumed throughout the day to counteract our tiredness, which in turn affects our ability to sleep. It’s a feedback loop.” Add a pandemic to the mix and you’re replacing structure with social distancing, lockdowns and working from home. “This results in uncertainty, which equals a constant flux of stress. This uses a lot of energy which is very tiring,” he adds.

Cabrière Jordaan, Counselling Psychologist at German Neuroscience Center Dubai, agrees that this increase in stress levels is having a negative effect on our exhaustion levels. “When we are faced with a threat or stressor, our minds and bodies activate the stress response system known as fight, flight or freeze,” she explains. “In today’s world, this stress response is activated by constant worries about finances, our careers, the economy, and other social and political stressors. This leads to chronic stress, which is one of the biggest contributors to fatigue.” In other words, if you are constantly feeling weighed down and completely drained for seemingly no reason, you’re certainly not alone.

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All is not lost, and with each tiredness trigger comes a solution to help battle ongoing fatigue, which is the number-one complaint among women today. These include turning on the blue light filter on your electronic device before bedtime, and taking regular short breaks while you are working. “Getting up, leaving the room and taking a short walk outside or drinking a cup of tea in a different room can work wonders for energy levels,” advises Jordaan.

It’s essential to look at your diet, too, as Rollison suggests most of us are deficient in both magnesium and vitamin D – key causes of exhaustion, yet both easily accessible in supplement form. “Magnesium is essential for extracting energy from food and regulating our nervous system. Low levels cause fatigue.” he explains. “Vitamin D is great for our energy levels, alertness and mental health and we produce it when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight. The sun might be constantly shining, but it’s irrelevant if your world involves moving between air-conditioned hotels, cars, offices, restaurants and bars.” Tryptophan – an amino acid that we use to produce serotonin – is also essential as it gives us energy by day and is converted to melatonin at night, which helps us drift off into a deep sleep. Great sources of tryptophan are nuts, seeds, turkey, milk and cheese, and it’s also recommended to replace sugar with natural honey, and never allow yourself to get dehydrated.

With wellness as one of its core pillars, the groundbreaking Sleep With Six Senses standard has been implemented across all Six Senses resorts to give guests the kind of night’s sleep where they will wake ready to move mountains. Run by its Director of Wellness Andy Barge, experts analyse your current sleep quality and recommend a course of action to improve it, giving you a great night’s sleep. Think handmade mattresses by Naturalmat, complemented by Hanse organic pillows and duvets, high quality Beaumont & Brown organic cotton sheets, and Madison Collection towelling and bathrobes in every guest room. Guests can upgrade the sleep experience starting with an online questionnaire that enables an assigned Sleep Ambassador to fine-tune your room before arrival. The upgrade includes a Sleep Bag with sleep aids and bathroom amenities, moisture-wicking linens and options such as a sound machine, speciality pillows and a dehumidifier/humidifier. Guests are also equipped with a sleep tracker, the results of which are interpreted during a 30-minute consultation with a wellness expert, who may recommend a personalised programme of lifestyle changes and treatments. Sometimes weariness is inevitable, but luckily when you can’t hit snooze on life, there are ways of getting through it. Be it diet, exercise, a regular sleep pattern or a retreat at one of the UAE’s most luxurious boltholes, confronting the problem face-on before burnout hits is vital for both mental and physical health. “Remember to only implement small, manageable lifestyle changes at a time, and to celebrate the small victories,” explains Jordaan – that’s a great place to start.

Karl Rollison’s Good Sleep Guide

Take a hot bath: When we fall asleep, our body temperature lowers. Taking a hot bath or shower an hour before bed will artificially raise it, meaning we fall asleep faster when it drops. Create a tech-free zone: If you are really serious about your sleep, it’s important to ditch any technology an hour before bed and make your bedroom a tech-free zone. Light from our devices inhibits the body’s ability to produce melatonin, preventing us from dropping off.

Invest in black-out blinds: Black-out blinds create a completely dark environment to sleep in, eliminating the possibility of light pollution or stimuli creating a distraction that prevents you from getting to sleep.

Don’t hit snooze: Train yourself to get up as soon as your alarm goes off, go over to the window and get as much light as possible into your eyes. This immediately stops our brains producing melatonin, the sleep hormone.

Exercise: It’s one of the best things for beating fatigue. Running outside involves fresh air, exercise and natural light, and it doesn’t cost you anything. What’s not to love?

Be it massaging your scalp and hair pre-sleep with Sisley’s latest launch, investing in products formulated to encourage eight hours of deep sleep, or reaching for an eye-brightening and depuffing formula for those slightly weary mornings, a carefully curated beauty cupboard can also help you on your way.

From left: The Ritual of Jing collection, RITUALS; Restructuring Nourishing Balm, HAIR RITUEL BY SISLEY; Auto Correct Brightening cream, SUNDAY RILEY

Photographed by: Sylwia Szyplik | Styled by: Calvin Paleye

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