Spice Girl-turned-fashion-designer Victoria Beckham has hit out at critics who branded her "miserable" during her stint at New York fashion week by simply admitting: "I'm really tired".
With the pressure of knocking out a fashion collection worthy of a fashionista's nod and juggling a jet set lifestyle with four children in tow (one of which is currently teething and causing sleepless nights), it's little wonder Victoria Beckham sported an impressive set of eye bags last week.
Speaking out over her fatigue-induced appearance, Victoria told the Sunday Mirror: "If people want to say I'm miserable, then so be it. I’m really not. I have a lot on my plate. I’m not going to lie about it, I’m tired. I’m really tired."
Blaming her hectic routine and six-month-old baby daughter Harper, Victoria showed that despite being rich enough to live a life of luxury, money cannot buy you a good night's sleep: "I'm not getting much sleep at all. Harper's not sleeping great. I'm up with the baby as all mums are, and I wouldn't have it any other way. There's not a team doing it for me.
"Give me a break. I’m tired. You can’t look your best all the time."
And it seems that Victoria is not alone. According to the Mental Health Foundation, nearly a third of Brits suffer from insomnia - and those are just the people who are desperate enough to speak to their GP. As a result, over 10m sleeping pills are prescribed to knackered Brits each year.
"Lack of sleep can lead to low energy and concentration levels, depression, immune deficiency, relationship problems, weight gain (as the mind tries to boost energy by making us eat more), and even serious medical problems such as heart disease," cognitive hypnotherapist, Lesley McCall told The Huffington Post.
According to recent scientific research, lack of sleep makes us ill, as it confuses the body's natural body clock and makes it 'alter' the immune system.
If you're suffering from the night demons and struggle to nod off at night, find out how you can beat insomnia without popping the pills. Also, take a look at these expert tips on how to switch off and rest easy at night.
However, if you’re on the go all day and running a few hours of sleep a night making you feel constantly exhausted, worried and overwhelmed, there are changes you can make to your diet that can have an impact on your mood and energy levels.
A rich fibre diet can boost energy levels and revive a sluggish digestive system, as well as a superfood-rich diet will help increase the body’s antioxidants, which help fight against illness and fatigue.
Particular foods that are great fatigue-fighters include:
Magnesium. A restricted intake of this vitamin found that women use up more energy and become tired more easily. Eat a handful of pumpkin seeds to boost energy levels and fight fatigue.
Probiotics. An imbalance of microorganisms in the gut makes the digestive system slow down and can make you feel tired and can cause chronic fatigue syndrome. Fight this by adding probiotics to your diet. Eating natural yoghurts containing ‘good bacteria’ that improves gut health can do this.
Whole grains. Fibre not only keeps your digestive system healthy, it also helps you feel more awake and alert. High bran cereals for breakfast help maintain sugar levels, which keep you feeling bright. Whole grains are essential for boosting energy and better than refined carbohydrates, which cause blood sugar levels to plummet.
Tea and I-theanine. Although many think that coffee contains a bigger caffeine hit than tea, a cup of coffee is missing the all important fatigue-fighting ingredient: I-theanine. When paired with caffeine, the amino acid found naturally in tea improves cognition, alertness and memory more than plain caffeine alone.
As well as these, there are lots of other foods that affect your mood – from giving it a boost to causing it to dip into feelings of depression.
If your feelings of fatigue are too overwhelming to ignore, you could have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which affects around 250,000 Brits. This condition is more common in women than in men.
According to NHS Choices, most cases of CFS are mild or moderate, but up to one in four people with CFS have severe or very severe symptoms. These are defined as follows:
Mild: you are able to care for yourself, but may need days off work to rest.
Moderate: you may have reduced mobility, and your symptoms can vary. You may also have disturbed sleep patterns, and sleep in the afternoon.
Severe: you are able to carry out minimal daily tasks, such as brushing your teeth, but occasionally you may need to use a wheelchair. You may also have difficulty concentrating.
Very severe: you are unable to carry out any daily tasks for yourself and need bed rest for most of the day. Often, in severe cases, you may experience an intolerance to noise and become very sensitive to bright lights.
If you’re still struggling to stay awake, follow these simple tips on how to fight fatigue – and win.