Recent data shows that 85% of people in the U.S. consume at least one caffeinated drink a day. It’s not surprising. Sales from commercial energy drinks reached $14 billion in the U.S. last year — a $3 billion increase since 2017. (1) And independent coffee shops do an additional $12 billion in annual sales. That’s also not surprising, given the average coffee drinker consumes three cups of coffee each day. (2)
What do these numbers tell us? Yes, caffeinated drinks are “hot” right now. But, more importantly, they tell us America is tired. And while there are many possible causes — like insomnia and blood sugar imbalances (perhaps from too many energy drinks) — new evidence also shows a direct correlation between fatigue and poor air quality.
Three Ways Airborne Pollutants Cause Fatigue
Airborne pollutants can disrupt your REM sleep cycle, even damage oxygen-carrying red blood cells. They can also burden your lymphatic system.
The lymphatic system is like the body’s ‘sewage system.’ It’s made up of organs, lymph vessels, and lymph nodes that carry an infection-fighting fluid throughout the body. Its main job is detoxification – to remove toxins, pathogens, and waste from cells. The glymphatic system, which is a part of the lymphatic system, removes toxins from the brain.
If the lymphatic or glymphatic system becomes sluggish or stagnant, you can end up with toxin or waste buildup in the brain or body. This can cause you to feel tired and fatigued. Other signs of a sluggish lymphatic system include headaches, puffiness or dark circles under the eyes, aching neck, swollen ankles, itchy or dry skin, cellulite, joint pain, chronic sinus issues, earaches, and weight gain.
One Way to Ease Toxic Burden
There are three ways we pull toxins into the body. We eat toxins from processed food. We absorb toxins from skincare products. And we breathe in toxins from contaminated air.
Yes, lymph organs such as the adenoids, in the back of the nose and throat, trap pathogens from inhaled air. And the lungs have lymphatic vessels to defend us from airborne particles and microbes. But these pathways can become overburdened by the number of airborne toxins released from cleaning products, carpet, laminate, drywall, paint, wood-burning heat, furniture, aerosols, appliances, and mattresses.
That’s why air purification is crucial if you want to combat fatigue. There’s not enough coffee in the world to fix a stagnant lymphatic system.
But the Austin Air HealthMate Plus™ can help ease the toxic burden by cleaning the air of wood-burning smoke, chemicals, gases, mold spores, VOCs, dust, and pollen. The HealthMate Plus™ also removes up to 99% of bacteria and aerosolized viruses* larger than 0.1 microns.
The Austin Air Bedroom Machine™ has an extra level of protection as it contains a HEGA carbon cloth that not only captures but also destroys airborne viruses.
Five Ways to Increase Lymphatic Flow
In addition to air purification, there are several other things you can do to boost your lymphatic system and increase detoxification.
- Get Moving
The lymphatic system is like the circulatory system in that it transports vital fluid through the body. The circulatory system transports blood, and the lymphatic system carries lymph fluid with white blood cells. The difference: the circulatory system has the heart, which acts as a built-in pump to push the blood around the body. The Lymphatic System does not have a pump to push the lymph and white blood cells around the body. The Lymphatic System relies on manual stimulation—the contraction and relaxation of the muscles and joints—to move the lymph around. Therefore, a sedentary lifestyle can be a major contributor to stagnant lymph.
- Laugh, Laugh, Laugh
Belly laughter creates pressure in the thoracic duct (the largest lymphatic vessel in the body), which pushes lymph through lymphatic vessels, increasing both the speed and flow of lymph. That means it’s good for your health to be silly, to have fun, and to surround yourself with people who make you happy!
- Drink Water
Lymph is a fluid made up of water, and so the lymphatic system needs to be hydrated to function as it should. Dehydration can result in sluggish drainage or even clogged drainage.
- Change Your Sleep Position
Sleeping on your left side takes the pressure off the liver and can increase lymph flow, which is why many holistic practitioners call the left side of the body “the dominant lymphatic side.”
- Dry Brushing
Brush the skin near lymph nodes in long, gentle, sweeping strokes toward the heart. This helps increase lymph flow because the lymphatics are one-way valves. After brushing, take a warm shower then a cool rinse to stimulate blood circulation.