Okay, so you might have had a few extra late nights and early start combos than is ideal but is that really the reason you’re tired all the time?
Maybe not, according to new research. If you’re a fan of hitting snooze a gazillion times but not too pleased about getting an afternoon slump then GPs have an answer.
They reckon that some tiredness and fatigue could be explained because patients are dehydrated. What’s better is the low-cost solution? Drink more water to put a spring back in your step.
Dr Roger Henderson, a GP in Shropshire, said: “I see many people in my surgery who are feeling tired all the time. There are, of course, several reasons that could be causing this, but a surprisingly common cause is that they are dehydrated.
“Many of my patients do not drink enough fluid each day and only believe they are dehydrated when they start to feel thirsty. Yet other symptoms of dehydration appear before this, including fatigue and tiredness, headaches and poor concentration.”
Henderson is an adviser to the Natural Hydration Council which commissioned the new survey.
Some 300 GPs were asked about patient consultations. They found that tiredness and fatigue were the primary cause of 21% of GP consultations, and in more than one in 10 of those cases, GPs believed dehydration to be the primary cause.
Despite the links between tiredness and dehydration, only four per cent of GPs strongly agreed that patients are aware of how to hydrate healthily.
Official NHS guidance suggests adults should drink eight to 10 200ml glasses of fluid a day and children six to eight glasses. While all fluid counts towards this target, water is one of the healthiest ways to hydrate as it contains no calories or sugar.
“When people start to ensure they are staying fully hydrated they are often surprised at how much better they feel, both physically and mentally,” said Henderson.
“It is therefore vital that drinking enough water becomes part of our daily routine. What this study shows is that as well as contributing hugely to the nation feeling tired all the time, dehydration and its effects is adding to the numbers of people trying to get a GP appointment at a time when the NHS is under immense pressure.”
Kinvara Carey, general manager of the Natural Hydration Council said: “We know most people don’t drink enough water, but we were really surprised to discover that dehydration could be contributing to this syndrome of being tired all the time. Many GPs have told us that people aren’t aware of how to hydrate healthily.”
Right! We’re off to fill our glass.