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Combating Tiredness

Posted by Eamonn Brady on

Eamonn Brady is a pharmacist and the owner of Whelehans Pharmacy, 38 Pearse St, Mullingar. If you have any health questions e-mail them to


 In a recent survey, 68% of Irish adults blame tiredness for not doing all what they want to do. Over half of women blame too much house work as the cause for their lack of energy while in the case of men; their work was cited as the main reason (over half of all cases) for lack of energy. Other major reasons cited for lack of energy in this survey included (in order of popularity) raring children, not participating in enough exercise, poor diet and lack of sleep.



Keeping yourself energised


Exercise will help shake off any cobwebs and make you feel more energised. It has been proven to improve mood by stimulating “good mood” hormones in the brain such as serotonin. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, find something you can do with a friend as you will be more inclined to exercise if you have someone to exercise with as you won’t want to let them down. Team exercises have the same “motivating” effect.



Eating a healthy balanced diet will help prevent tiredness. Aim to eat the recommended five portions of fruit and veg per day and plenty of water. Keep sugar and high sweet foods to a minimum as while these will give you a quick surge of energy, this always leads to a quick lull as your body experiences a fast energy crash as sugar is processed and excreted quickly by the body. Aim for slow releasing foods such as porridge, these will keep you feeling energised for longer.



Many people cannot get enough sleep for medical reasons, with about 40,000 Irish people suffering from chronic insomnia. But for many of us, not getting enough sleep is simply down to not going to bed in time. Sleep requirements vary from person to person, and it varies from 6 to 9 hours. Most people need up to 8 hours sleep. Therefore, if you find yourself having an afternoon slump or falling asleep on the chair in the evening, the first thing you should look at is how many hours sleep you get. For example, if you find yourself watching TV or DVDs late at night, you may need to discipline yourself and turn off technology by a certain time and get to bed.



Could a medical condition be causing tiredness?


If you experience overwhelming and persistent tiredness, blood tests may need to be done to rule out other conditions such as anaemia (low iron), or haemochromatosis (too much iron). Other possible reasons for tiredness include under active thyroid, fatigue syndrome (CFS) and liver and kidney problems.



Practical ways of giving yourself more personal time


Do not get frustrated if you do not get everything done. The nature of life is for us to get distracted and for new tasks to crop up unexpectantly throwing our plans off course. Allowing for distractions will mean you will be less frustrated when they occur. Be realistic with what you can achieve in a day and don’t be afraid to say no at times. Learn to delegate both at home and at work.



B Vitamins


Our body uses a variety of enzymes to break down food and convert it to energy. Many vitamins are needed for this process, particularly the B vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B6. Therefore B vitamins are essential for energy release. Example of good sources of B vitamins include bananas, lentils, potatoes, beans, brewer’s yeast, egg yolk and yogurt. If you feel you need a pick me up, Whelehans Tonic can give you the energy boost you need. It contains B vitamins and iron. These vitamins can be lacking in people who are not fond of fruit and vegetables. Tonics and supplements are only for short term use.



Upcoming Rheumatoid Arthritis Talk


Lack of energy of is a common symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Whelehans Pharmacy in conjunction with Arthritis Ireland (Westmeath Branch) is hosting a Rheumatoid Arthritis Information evening next Tuesday April 28th at 7pm in the Greville Arms Hotel in Mullingar. Admission is free. Speakers on the night will include Aoife Weller from Mullingar who suffers from Rheumatoid Arthritis; Nutritionist Aisling Murray BSc (nutrition); Chartered Physiotherapist Sinead Brogan MISCP and pharmacist Eamonn Brady MPSI. Call the Whelehans Pharmacy at 04493 34591 for more information or to book a place.



This article is shortened. More detailed information and leaflets is available in Whelehans


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