As a First Responder, you’re asked to take on the weight of the world.
Lives are literally on the line.
To make matters even worse, physical fatigue can make you feel unable to handle the simplest task. However, you can identify the cause and treat it. Instead of reaching for another source of caffeine, consider finding the root cause of your weariness.
Fatigue doesn't have to ruin your life, and you can fight it once you identify the sources.
Below are 5 sources that might be causing you to feel fatigued as a first responder:
Fatigue Factor #1: Dehydration. You may be feeling sluggish because you're not hydrated.
Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try water first. Water will hydrate your body and increase your energy levels. It's an easy and quick way to treat fatigue. For more severe dehydration, consider an electrolyte supplement.
Fatigue Factor #2: Low iron levels. If your iron levels are too low, you will feel tired. Anemia is characterized by feelings of sluggishness and fatigue. Talk to your doctor about your fatigue and get your iron levels tested.
If you're lacking iron, eat plenty of iron-rich food. Meat isn't the only source of iron. You can also find this important nutrient in eggs, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and kidney beans.
It's important to consume vitamin C with your iron. They work together in the body, so you want to make sure you're getting both.
Fatigue Factor #3: High amounts of sugar and junk food. These items raise your blood sugar levels and then make them drop, causing you to feel tired.
Fatigue is a common issue associated with blood sugar spikes and falls during the day.
You can fight this type of fatigue by avoiding simple carbohydrates and high amounts of sugar.
You can also eat foods that are higher in protein to help you feel full for a longer time, so you don't feel the need to snack on junk food. Items such as meat, beans, sweet potatoes, peanut butter and more can help you control these spikes.
Fatigue Factor #4: Caffeine addiction. An addiction to coffee, energy drinks, and other sources of caffeine can make actually make you feel tired if consumed too often.
High amounts of caffeine can affect your sleep and waking cycles. If you're not able to sleep, then your next morning will likely be filled with fatigue. Drinking more caffeine simply makes the condition worse.
Try to cut down on your caffeine intake--especially in the afternoon and evenings.
Fatigue Factor #5: Glare of technology. The light created by your Smartphone, tablet, computer, or other device can affect melatonin levels in your body. This makes it more difficult for you to fall asleep and stay asleep, and you're tired the next day.
The solution is to avoid using these devices for a few hours before you go to bed.
Fatigue can be caused by multiple factors, but the above are the most common ones we see affecting first responders.
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