How to break the cycle of fatigue

When your schedule is packed full of things to do from the time you wake up until the time you go to bed, it's not surprising that you feel tired now and again. But for many people, the feeling goes beyond just "tired"-it's something stronger and harder to shake, and it feels continuous. They're stuck in the fatigue cycle.

It can sneak up on you. Miss a few hours of sleep here, overdo a workout there, skip meals and you might find yourself in this cycle that can be very hard to break.

Physical fatigue is often how you'll feel it first; your body drags and simple tasks feel like a far greater effort than they actually are. When your body is tired, your mind is, too, and a mental fog becomes part of the bargain. When you can't perform at your best, it often leads to stress. And, naturally, that stress leads to poor sleeping patterns, and more mental and physical tiredness-and the fatigue cycle starts all over again.

Changing your behaviors can certainly have some effect, but many people need to maintain their hectic schedule, simply because that's what is necessary to get everything accomplished.

Finding ways to reduce stress and improve energy levels is possible, even if you are always on the go. Some people turn to nutritional supplements, like an energy shot, to help them feel energized during the day. But many energy drinks that might seem able to help curb fatigue can actually be counterproductive to fighting it.

Because they are often packed with caffeine and sugar, some energy drinks can offer an initial boost but end up leaving you feeling more drained in the end. What's worse, they might also cause jitters and a spike in your heart rate.

Instead, look for other ways to break the cycle. Since eating is a part of your everyday routine, no matter how busy you are, choose healthy foods that support energy levels over the long term, instead of salty or sugary junk food.

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