Persistent fatigue doesn’t only make it harder to engage in physical activity—it also lowers your mood, undermines your motivation and makes it harder to think clearer. If you don’t know why you’re always tired, speak to your doctor about standard blood tests that can rule out common conditions. However, if you already know that you’re struggling with the chronic fatigue associated with a condition like fibromyalgia or that you simply need a bit of a boost after a tiring week at work, try these ten smart home remedies.
Eggs are an old natural remedy for fatigue, but there is now ample scientific evidence that eggs can indeed counteract pervasive lethargy. They’re one of the best available sources of a range of vital nutrients, such as protein, vitamin A, folate, riboflavin and iron. Try having at least one egg a day (perhaps at breakfast) and see if you notice a change in your energy levels.
This famous natural treatment for tiredness can actually make you feel jittery if you try it under normal circumstances, but it is said to increase blood flow to the brain and can be powerfully effective if your energy levels are really low. You can get Asian ginseng powder at most health food stores, and the recommended dose is typically 2g a day for 4-6 weeks. There is also some evidence that ginseng can improve immune system function, thereby cutting the risk of fatigue associated with infections like colds and flus.
Potatoes can be used to make an energizing drink that provides you with plenty of potassium. Potassium is vital for healthy nervous system function and muscle use, and some alternative health practitioners claim that many chronic fatigue patients suffer from potassium deficiencies. Simply cut a potato into thin slices, soak them in water overnight, and drink the water when you wake up.
4. Peppermint oil
If you ever need to feel more alert and focused immediately, try sniffing pure peppermint oil from a handkerchief. Just a couple of drops of this oil will wake you up in an instant. You can also try putting 2-3 drops of peppermint oil into a morning or afternoon bath if you want to feel reinvigorated for the rest of the day.
5. Bee pollen
Sometimes called a “superfood” because of its ability to restore energy, bee pollen is another popular treatment for tiredness. It provides a whole host of nutrients that may increase physical and mental energy. However, if you have a known pollen allergy then you may want to opt for one of the other options on this (as bee pollen may cause breathing problems in those who are prone to allergies).
6. Healthier sleep habits
While it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep if you’re busy, stressed or in constant pain, addressing poor sleep quality is one of the best ways to defeat chronic fatigue. You should aim to get an average of eight hours a night, and try to cut out any sources of caffeine (including chocolate and soda) in the four hours before bedtime. In addition, keep electronic equipment out of the bedroom, and make a habit of doing something relaxing just before sleep (such as meditation or reading a book).
7. Carnitine supplements
Sold online and in many pharmacies, supplements of the amino acid carnitine are marketed as a treatment for tiredness. Carnitine supports health cell activity, potentially increasing energy production. Although there are dietary sources, such as meat and milk, supplements can help to ensure you’re getting the recommended daily intake (especially if you’re a vegan).
8. Swapping refined carbs for unrefined carbs
Refined carbohydrates are found in foods like the white versions of sugar, pasta and bread. These carbohydrates are infamous for causing a quick, intense spike in blood sugar levels, leaving you feeling exhausted just an hour or so after eating. Swap these foods for the healthy, unrefined carbohydrates found in brown pasta, rice and bread.
Although exercise can sound like an agonizing chore when you’re tired, many people who complain of fatigue are actually worsening it with a sedentary lifestyle. If you spend a lot of your time sitting at work, it’s especially important to make time for a half hour of exercise at least three days a week. The endorphins release during a workout enhance alertness, and losing weight is also associated with a reduction in fatigue.
10. Milk, honey and licorice
Finally, another ancient home remedy for lethargy involves mixing milk with honey and licorice. Just 2tbsp of honey and 1tsp of licorice powder makes a tasty, sweet drink that can be consumed up to two times a day to reduce feelings of fatigue.