‘Tis the season to feel knackered and have to carry on. Here are the quick fixes that could help – whatever your problem
PROBLEM: ‘I have trouble sleeping and feel tired all day’
‘This is an amino acid that gets converted by the body into the sleep hormone, melatonin, which decreases as we get older,’ says Dr Mark Atkinson, author of The Mind-Body Bible: Your personalised prescription for total health (Piakus, £12.99). Take 50mg before bed and if that doesn’t work, up the dose to 100mg. ‘But ensure you look at the underlying cause of your insomnia, such as stress or worry,’ advises Atkinson.
Extra help: Your GP can provide a referral to a sleep clinic if your problem is chronic.
PROBLEM: ‘I get stressed out, then grumpy, then exhausted’
Try: RHODIOLA ROSEA
‘This is a herb in the adaptogen family,’ says Dr Hyla Cass co-author of Eight Weeks to Vibrant Health (Amazon, £12.27). ‘These feed and support the adrenal glands, which release stress hormones when we need energy (see above). After a while of stimulating them falsely with sugar, coffee and other ‘false highs’ they get worn out. Rhodiola can help’.
We like: Viridian Maxi-potency Rhodiola Rosea (Amazon, £29.60 for 150)
Extra help: Most good nutritionists can do a saliva test that measure the health of your adrenal glands, says Dr Atkinson. ‘If these glands which control your stress hormones are worn out, they may advise on diet measures to help. But you will also need to look at ways to lower stress and bring some balance back into your life.’
PROBLEM: I’m tired all the time
Try: CO-ENZYME Q10
‘This is a substance produced by the human body naturally, but levels decrease as we age,’ says medical nutritionist Naomi Beinart. ‘It is used by the mitochondria, which are the powerhouses in cells that metabolise fat and food and convert them into energy.’
We like: Healthspan Co-Enzyme Q10 200mg (£24.95 for 60)
Extra help: Ask your GP for a blood test to see if you have anaemia, suggests Dr Atkinson. ‘There are two types I see in patients presenting with tiredness: iron deficiency anaemia and megaloblastic anaemia (a deficiency of vitamin B12 and Folic Acid). Both can be tested for and treated successfully.’