Tired all the time – The 30 day Paleo Detox Challenge – Day 11

I'm tired all the time - like this man asleep at the computer

Well I’m pleased, for my sake at least, to report that the coffee cravings have abated. Rather than wondering how I could possibly get round my No Coffee rule, the question on my mind today is…

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Why am I tired all the time?

It’s a little ironic that I should be feeling tired all the time when one of the major reasons for doing this detox in the first place was in the hope that I might not feel so tired all the time!

It is, of course, relatively early days, it being a 30 day detox, so I’m not counting chickens, sheep possibly, but not chickens.

Still, I am tired, pretty much all the time right now, and I’m wondering what that’s about. I see a number of possible explanations:

Not enough sleep
It’s probably the first place to start, and it’s true I’ve probably not been getting as much sleep as I’d like. I think I like 8 hours sleep, but sometimes I seem to work better on 6 hours, which is what I’ve been getting recently. Maybe it’s more to do with quality than quantity.

Poor sleep quality
It’s been taking me a while to get to sleep, which is very unusual and doesn’t really make sense. If I’m feeling tired all the time then I should fall asleep easily shouldn’t I? Apparently not, and the reason may well be…

Too much time on the computerMan sleeping at computer
I’ve been doing a lot of work on my laptop, usually finishing at midnight or later and going straight to bed – not so good for getting a restful sleep! I tried installing f.lux on my laptop to cut out the blue light but it didn’t play nicely and undid all my color calibration – it had to go. I could stop working earlier, probably a good idea, but there’s always so much I want to do!

So, those are my go-to most likely suspects, but could the cause of my being tired all the time actually be…

A detox symptom?
Well of course it could be. I’m not sure though; the Whole30 timeline suggests that I’m well past the stage where I should be feeling tired all the time and actually only a day or two from the Boundless Energy stage – well bring that on!

Poor nutrition?
Poor is a bit harsh I think, but I’ve certainly been thrown off by the amount of my usual diet that I can’t eat. Not the grains, potatoes or sugars as I eat little enough of those as it is, but the dairy and cured meats. Finding a balance that works for me without those two is proving interesting.

Dehydration?
Possibly. It’s important to drink plenty of water when you’re detoxing, to help wash the rubbish out of your system. I started off really well with that but I’ve slipped the last couple of days. Not enough water could be the answer.

Too much sugar?
Possible, but I don’t think so. The major sugar intake is my breakfast smoothie, in the form of banana, dates and raisins – plenty of sugars and it certainly wakes me up, but it also keeps me going until lunch 4 -5 hours later. If I was experiencing spikes of energy and then crashing I’d say it was sugars, but it’s not like that. I’m experiencing very little difference in energy levels throughout the day – I’m just tired all the time, not some of the time.

Lack of coffee?
Haha! But no. I think I’ve just proved that I can run very well without coffee – I want it, but I don’t need it. Tempting though! Coffee does promise to enliven and uplift, and does so quite nicely for a while, but at a cost – the crash. I’m trying to get away from that bit so, even if it were lack of coffee, that’s not where my real answer lies.

Stress?
Yes, stress is a major player in how you feel and can certainly make you feel tired all the time, but I’m quite well acquainted with my stress response and I don’t think I’m there right now. I’m aware of plenty I want/need to get done, but I’m not in overwhelm or anxious.

Illness?
Again, perhaps obviously, if you’re ill you very often feel tired all the time – but I’m not ill. Detoxing, yes, but not ill. I did come in to this detox with a lovely chest infection but I’m done with that now and pretty confident that’s not it.

Boredom?
Well yes, I know this one too, and being bored can make you feel tired. But while I may be a little bored with some of my food choice right now, I’m excited about the work I’m doing and can’t wait to get at it every morning. I’m not bored.

And the answer is?

Best guess? Sleep and water.

I think that I’d do myself a huge favor by coming off the computer an hour or more before I want to go to sleep, not 5 minutes! I’m excited by my work and don’t want to stop, but I’d probably be a lot more efficient if I actually had a rest.

And I suspect that increasing my water intake would help too. I was drinking 6 – 8 pints of water a day at the start of the detox but that’s down to 2 -3 now, not really enough.

So I’ll try to improve the quality of my sleep, if not the duration, by putting down the laptop at least an hour before bedtime. I’ll also drink a lot more water, and we’ll see how I feel over the next couple of days.

And meanwhile…

What am I eating?

Breakfast
Smoothie – Banana, spinach, coconut milk, ghee, dates, raisins, seeds, water

Lunch
Chicken breast
Prawns
Avocado
Asparagus
Apple

Dinner
Gammon and fried egg
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots

Drinks
Water!

And that’s it!
IanB is tired all the time

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