It’s sometimes mind-blowing that we don’t need to feel anything. All feelings are chemical signals generated on purpose in response to a trigger by our nervous system. Sobering, I know. So why does our body torture us with tiredness?
Unfortunately, humans don’t have a dashboard that lights up when something is wrong or when we need to be stopped from making things worse, instead, our body delivers an unpleasant feeling which gets exponentially worse the more we ignore it. Just like all our other feelings – tiredness is a survival mechanism.
Tiredness is your body imploring you to stop burning through all your resources. Often it manifests by reminding you that it’s time to sleep (why we sleep is a topic for another day), or it’s time to fill up on energy (food). These are all primitive messages send by the most selfish and power-hungry organ in your body – your brain.
Aha! I can reverse it with some coffee, right?
Caffeine’s key mechanism of action is tricking your body into thinking it’s less tired than it actually is by delaying one of the “tiredness signals” (adenosine). Where possible, it’s always better to address the reason for the tiredness. If food or sleep can’t fix it, it’s sometimes referred to as fatigue.
If you feel fatigued it may be due to some of the underlying machinery not working smoothly, an example is an anaemia. When one is anaemic, the oxygen delivery system is either a few workers short or malformed, most commonly because of an iron, B12 or folate deficiency. Poor oxygen delivery means your body can no longer burn as much fuel (glucose) to give you energy.
By being topped up on vital nutrients your body can work as efficiently as possible which is why we test the key culprits of deficiency-induced tiredness in our Mytamin Core Screen.
- Tiredness is an important survival tool, not to be ignored
- Tiredness can indicate a lack of sleep or an underlying deficiency
- Deficiencies in B12, iron or folate can make you feel tired even when you’re well-rested
N.B Proof of feelings being forced is pain: Pain is a great example of a forced unpleasant feeling: if your hand didn’t hurt when you accidentally put it on the stove you wouldn’t pull it away until you smelled its meaty odour. The fact some people do not feel pain due to a genetic mutation means it is something that evolution could have easily wiped out over millions of years (or never introduced in the first place).