Q. Sometimes I feel so tired, so completely out of energy, and all I’ve done is sit at my desk and labor over paperwork! Why?

A. The brain is command central for your body and is somewhat of an energy hog—as would be any other complex, centralized computer system! Some studies report, for example, that the brain uses 20% of all the oxygen the red blood cells extract from our lungs. Other studies say the brain utilizes 22% of all the calories we expend. Still others indicate the brain uses 40% of the total energy produced by the body. Not insignificant numbers!

Regardless of the precise statistics, however, the brain uses a large portion of your resources in order to function effectively. Just imagine what it requires when you’re not using it in the way in which it was designed to function most efficiently! You may want to evaluate your lifestyle as well as a match or mismatch between your innate giftedness and your career choices. Either or both can impact fatigue.

If your physician's examination didn't surface any problems, perhaps the paperwork you're doing at your desk doesn't match your innate giftedness. If so, your brain is having to work harder and expend energy at higher rates. That's enough to make anyone tired! In addition, how much sleep did you get the night before? Fatigue can be cumulative, as can sleep deprivation. And we can experience the sense of being very tired when we stop long enough to pay attention to what the brain is registering. Did you get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise within the past 24 hours? Exercise serves as an antioxidant to the brain. Without it the brain can become even more fatigued as waste products build up in the system. Are you drinking sufficient amounts of water? Dehydration can contribute to brain fatigue.