Energy levels can also be increased by reducing coffee use, increasing vitamin B12 intake, and avoiding ‘drowsy’ drugs. Picture: Pexels.
Published Jan 29, 2023
Bipolar illness is known to cause abrupt mood swings, which may include episodes of mania and sadness. You could experience mania, or emotional highs, when you feel incredibly joyful and energised. However, a melancholy episode might strike you without warning. You can experience hopelessness or sadness and lose interest in things that you usually love.
It's natural to feel too exhausted throughout these changes in behaviour and attitude. A general sense of great exhaustion and lack of vitality is brought on by fatigue. Fatigue is different from feeling tired or sleepy, despite the fact that it is frequently accompanied with a desire to sleep more than normal. You lack drive to do anything when you are worn out. It might be difficult to even get out of bed in the morning.
Fatigue is a common occurrence during depressive episodes, but it may also be an issue during manic episodes as mania frequently results in restlessness and sleeplessness.
One of the most incapacitating signs of bipolar illness is fatigue. Your ability to carry out regular tasks and general well-being may be affected. Making a few lifestyle adjustments, however, may help mitigate the harmful impacts of weariness.
Here are seven changes you may do to assist combat the bipolar disorder-related lethargy.
Change up your sleeping habits
Unfortunately, bipolar illness frequently involves a vicious cycle of exhaustion. Mania can make it difficult to fall asleep at night due to high energy levels and restlessness, making you feel extremely exhausted throughout the day. But when you're sad, you could feel worn out all the time. Making meals or fetching the mail may be daily responsibilities that you lack the drive or energy to complete.
Create a sleep schedule as one of the greatest strategies to end this pattern. Try to stick to a regular bedtime and wake-up schedule, avoid taking naps throughout the day, avoid using gadgets within an hour of going to sleep, take a warm bath before bed, and meditate or do deep breathing exercises at night.
Setting up a sleep schedule may be challenging at first. To help you keep on track, a loved one could be needed. But it's crucial to adhere to it as closely as you can. You should have less daytime fatigue as you develop new sleeping patterns.
For an energy boost, exercise
Exercise is usually the last thing you want to do when you're tired. However, if you find the motivation to start working out, it may have a lot of advantages. Exercise may help you feel better overall and can also benefit your physical health. It can also help you feel less worn out.
Numerous brain chemicals are produced while you exercise, which also makes you feel happier and more calm. When you are experiencing depressive episodes, this might help you feel more energised and less worn out. Exercise can even improve your night-time sleep, which can lessen your daily exhaustion.
Exercise can help reduce the exhaustion linked to bipolar illness, but it's crucial to remember that it only works if you do it consistently. To observe a reduction in symptoms, you might need to work out for 30 minutes at least 3-5 times each week. Extremely exhausted people should start out slowly and build up to a longer workout as their energy levels rise.
And for those days when you may not even feel like getting out of bed, remember that walking is exercise too. To start your body moving, go for a little stroll. Exercise, ideally combined with some fresh air, should help you feel better.
Limit your caffeine intake
Many individuals depend on coffee or energy drinks to get through the day because caffeine gives them a quick boost in energy and mental clarity. However, the ensuing "crash" might leave you feeling more exhausted than before. Caffeinated beverages should be avoided later in the day since they might interfere with sleep and make you feel fatigued the next day.
The highest daily dose of caffeine recommended for individuals is 400mg, according to the Mayo Clinic. This is equivalent to two “energy shot” beverages or around four cups of coffee.
If you need to cut back on your coffee usage, think about doing it gradually. Headaches and exhaustion might worsen when caffeine intake is abruptly reduced.
The diuretic properties of caffeine are another drawback. This indicates that drinking caffeinated beverages causes your body to produce more pee, which might lead to dehydration. Low energy levels might also result from dehydration.
It's crucial to drink water throughout the day since being hydrated may battle weariness and boost energy. Men should consume around 3.7 litres of water daily, while women should consume about 2.7 litres. However, if you exercise, you'll need to consume extra water.
Additionally, you may keep your body hydrated by avoiding excessive caffeine intake, abstaining from alcohol, drinking water before, during and after meals, and consuming more water-rich fruits and vegetables like watermelon, lettuce and cucumbers.
You should consume more vitamin B12
Most frequently found in red meat, poultry and other animal products, vitamin B-12 is a necessary nutrient. Vitamin B12 supports healthy neuron and blood cell function as well as brain operation in the body. Low energy and weariness might result from this vitamin deficiency.
The Office of Dietary Supplements advises individuals to consume 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 a day. Additionally, foods including red meat, poultry, liver, fish, fortified cereals, eggs and milk naturally contain vitamin B12. Consult your doctor about taking supplements if you're not consuming enough B12 from diet.
Catch some sun
If you're feeling down, increasing your exposure to sunlight can lift your spirits and offer you more energy. This may be because sunlight makes it easier for your body to absorb vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient for brain function. Frequent exposure to sunshine may help delay the onset of bipolar illness symptoms including exhaustion, according to a 2014 study titled “Relationship between sunlight and the age of start of bipolar disorder: an international multisite study”.
Apply sunscreen to your skin before going outside to enjoy the sun to avoid sunburns and skin ageing.
You can lessen the effects of your exhaustion caused by bipolar illness by trying one or more of these suggestions. It's crucial to remember that even after making these lifestyle adjustments, you can still feel tired.
Consult your doctor about your prescriptions if your weariness does not go away. Certain medications, such as mood stabilisers, might worsen tiredness and cause more drowsiness. If your current prescription is making you feel tired, your doctor might be able to recommend another one. However, you should never stop taking a drug or modify the dosage without first consulting your doctor.
Be careful to let your doctor know if your exhaustion is a result of your bipolar condition, your medication, or anything else. They can offer advice on your drugs as well as ideas for other strategies to deal with your exhaustion.