If you are stifling yawns in your 2 p.m. meetings, barely making it through dinner with your family, and falling asleep through previews of movies, you are probably thinking that you are run down. But in reality, you are exhausted, which is totally different from being tired. The signs of exhaustion aren't as obvious as just being tired, and it's important to know the difference because exhaustion can be dangerous. Exhaustion has actually been linked to other health problems such as heart disease, appetite regulation, increased inflammation and even a 50% increase in viral infection. If you are trying to decipher a couple of differences and see where you fit in on the tired to exhausted scale, keep reading.
If your lips are cracked and you have scaly skin and suffer from headaches frequently, you could be dehydrated. But if you are also feeling drained, you should know that exhaustion could also be to blame. You actually feel more fatigued the more dehydrated you are – if you are constantly craving something to drink or are experiencing dry skin and cracked lips, you could be dealing with a level of dehydration that can potentially lead to exhaustion.
If you are hitting up the drive-thru more often than cooking at home or snacking at the vending machine you could be exhausted. The more tired you are the more high-fat, high carbohydrate foods you want to consume. Cortisol or the stress hormone often go hand in hand with exhaustion and to decrease the level of cortisol, your brain will seek out a way to get serotonin into your system to calm you down. You will find this calming hormone in comfort foods that are full of carbs and fat.
A lot of people don't get the correct amount of sleep because they procrastinate going to bed or put their sleeping needs on the back burner. This is actually one of the worst things you can do, as sleep has tons of health benefits and can help your body to replenish itself to get you through the next day. Even if you have to go to bed at 7 pm so you can be sure that you get a decent amount of sleep, do it. Shut off the technology, have a warm shower and crawl between the sheets. Your body and mind will thank you the next day. Sweet dreams.