Tips on How to Minimize COPD Fatigue
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
“Sleep hygiene” is a term to describe all the things you do before bed that will make or break your sleep. This is a routine, and routines rest on consistency: for better sleep and more energy, you need to improve sleep hygiene every night.
In general, slow down every element of your life by mid-afternoon. This means no alcohol or caffeine (both will disrupt sleep) past 3 p.m., getting your exercise in the first half of the day, and having your last big meal of the day fairly early in the evening.
Get ready for bed at the same time each night, and use your bed only for sleep. Move your television out of the room, and keep the temperature a bit cooler than the rest of your home, if you can. Your chances of sleeping through the night are much better in a quiet, dark, cool environment.
Lifestyle Changes for More Energy
We all know giving up cigarettes and taking medications can have a huge effect on our energy levels. What we eat and how much we exercise also can have a big impact on how we feel. Most respiratory specialists will encourage patients to exercise as it has been proven to enhance exercise tolerance and energy levels.
What many patients don’t realize is the type of food you eat can also have a huge impact on your energy levels. If you sit down and have a pizza for lunch, chances are you’ll want to curl up and sleep afterward, as these types of foods are high in carbohydrates have limited nutritional value.
However, a nice salad with a moderate portion of fish, chicken or beef will have you better prepared and better fuelled to make the most of your day. If you’re not sure about the type of food you should be eating, ask your doctor to refer you to a qualified dietician to point you in the right direction.
Managing COPD is a process, and managing COPD fatigue is part of this process. Knowledge, medication, nutrition, and exercise are the four pillars of COPD wellness. If you manage your disease using these principals you will not only manage your fatigue better, and you will enjoy a better quality of life.
How to Stay Energized
Getting enough sleep is important, but it might not be enough to boost your energy and keep it up. Your COPD symptoms are bound to act up as the day progresses, especially as you’re exposed to irritants, engage in activities, and deal with fluctuating emotions.
Be sure to give yourself an extra advantage in the battle to stay awake and alert, by:
Taking Advantage of Your Mornings
A sprightly, happy morning can set the pace for the rest of your day. Pay closer attention to starting each day off on the right note, with an energizing breakfast that’s kind to your lungs.
Eat some fruit for healthy carbs, get a bit of protein for long-lasting energy, and top it off with a cup of black tea, which contains a compound called theophylline that helps to open up your airways.
Get in the habit of doing something uplifting early each day, too. If you like to read the paper, end on a positive note with a happy story, or a page of the comics.
Do a crossword puzzle to get your brain in gear and your creativity flowing. A good mood will directly feed and maintain your energy stores, so don’t neglect your emotional comfort.
Fueling Your Body Properly
A good breakfast is a good start, but you need to eat strategically throughout the day to stay energized for hours. Plan your meals for the week in advance, so you know your body will be getting a variety of food, and all the nourishment it needs.
Just as it’s important to go to bed at the same time each night, it’s crucial you eat around the same time each day. A predictable routine will help your body find a natural rhythm for better balance, and well-spaced meals will fuel your muscles and keep your blood sugar even.
Getting Outdoor Exercise
All exercise is good for you, but heading out into the fresh air for your activity can have twice the impact on energy levels. Recent research out of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry has found that people who exercise outside experience more revitalization and energy, as well as less tension and confusion, and the effects are almost immediate.
Controlling your COPD symptoms is the first step to energizing your body. After all, the more oxygen you get into your cells, the better they function, so use your medicine and any other complementary therapies exactly as your doctor prescribes.
Once you’ve got a handle on the pharmaceutical side, a few lifestyle changes can lead to a remarkable increase in energy, and a more comfortable, interactive life.