I’m tired!!! As a full-time caregiver, I found myself saying this over and over again.
Typically, I’d have concluded that I was doing too much. But that didn’t fit situation because I just did what was necessary.
One thing that happened is that my husband stirred restlessly at night. This situation caused me to get up about every two hours to ensure he was okay. Thus I didn’t get much sleep. This sleep deficiency is itself was stress on my mind and body, and this made it less likely I could handle the other pressures going on at the time.
To quote Shakespeare: “Sleep that knits up the reveled sleave of care. The death of each day’s life, sore labour’s bath, Balm of hurt minds, great nature’s second course, Chief nourisher in life’s feast.” (Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 2)
Sleep here symbolizes innocence, purity, and peace of mind.
Since I wasn’t getting the sleep I needed to refresh my mind and relax my body, I felt tired. I often thought in a constant state of fatigue and exhaustion.
Imagine how this affected my health! Of course, the simple answer would have been to get more sleep; however, getting eight hours of sleep was out of the question for me at that time.
Researchers have found that lack of sleep causes learning and memory problems, motor-skill impairment, and a weakened immune system. It makes you cranky and causes depression. And I had discovered that when I was tired, I was prone to make errors, which could have been severe—even deadly.
So if I was unable to get the recommended amount of sleep, what else could I do? What was the answer to my fatigue?
Drink More Water!
It’s right there in the kitchen sink. Usually, it’s available to everyone. It costs little, but can bring better health. And it’s one of our body’s most essential nutrients. Yes, it’s cool, clear water. Even health-conscious people often neglect the simple advice to drink more water..
It’s true that 70 percent of our body is made up of water. And the food we eat supplies water because many foods are made up mainly of water. For example, an egg is about 74 percent water. Did you know that? And what about a piece of steak? Well, it’s about 73 percent water. Fruit also supplies a lot of water, such as a watermelon that has 92 percent water.
But plain old water does great things for the body.
Consider these facts as expressed by many experts, including Kaiser Permanente Nephrologist, Steven Guest, MD:
Fact: Water helps to relieve fatigue because fatigue is one of the first signs of dehydration. Less water causes the heart to work harder to pump oxygenated blood through the bloodstream; our other organs work less efficiently. Drinking more water helps your body function better and thus reduce fatigue.
Fact: Without sufficient fluid to flush out the by-products of cell metabolism, body cells can slowly become poisoned by their waste. The kidneys do a fantastic job of cleansing and ridding the body of toxins “as long as the intake of fluids is adequate,” according to Dr. Guest. Further, when your body is not getting enough fluids, “urine concentration, color, and odor increases because the kidneys trap extra fluid for bodily functions.”
Fact: Water helps energize muscles and build muscle tone; without the fluids, muscles don’t work well, and this results in muscle fatigue.
Fact: Water helps keep skin looking good. Dr. Guest says, “Dehydration makes the skin look more dry and wrinkled.”
Fact: Water, along with fiber, is necessary for digestion and helps prevent constipation. According to Dr. Guest, “When you don’t get enough fluid, the colon pulls water from stools to maintain hydration – the result is constipation.
With all of these health benefits, including less fatigue, I needed to drink more water!
Dr. Guest suggests these 5 tips:
- Have a beverage with every snack and meal.
- Choose beverages you enjoy; you’re likely to drink more fluids.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables high in water content.
- Keep bottled water with you at all times.
- Choose drinks that meet your individual needs (for me, this meant calorie-free beverages and caffeine-free, sugar-free tea).
If you are a caregiver, as I was, or performing any duties that require that you’re on the go constantly, and you want to boost your energy (and who doesn’t?) and improve your overall health, you must drink more cool and refreshing, God-given water!
“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.” –Kevin R. Stone