Friday 14 June 2024

12 reasons you feel tired all the time and what you can do about it

 If you’re feeling overly tired or have little energy, you’re not alone.

Fatigue may be caused by simple factors like a lack of sleep or coming down with a cold or the flu. However, it can also be caused by underlying health conditions.

In most cases, fatigue can be remedied by lifestyle or dietary modifications, correcting a nutrient deficiency, or treating an underlying medical condition. Still, to improve fatigue, you need to get to the bottom of what’s causing it.

Here are 12 potential reasons why you’re always tired. 

Getting enough sleep is essential for overall health. Unfortunately, many of us don’t get enough, which may lead to fatigue.

During sleep, your body performs a number of critical processesTrusted Source, including releasing important growth hormones and repairing and regenerating cells. This is why most people wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and energized after a night of high quality sleep.

Even though sleep time should be individualized adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep per nightTrusted Source for optimal health.

Insomnia is a term for any condition that causes difficulty falling or staying asleep. It can have several causes, including menopause, medical conditions, psychological stress, poor sleeping environments, and excessive mental stimulation. 

If you’re experiencing insomnia, treatments like natural supplements, medications, and the management of underlying medical conditions may help. Visit your doctor to get the appropriate care and treatment.

Nutrient deficiencies may lead you to feel exhausted on a daily basis, even if you’re getting more than 7 hours of sleep.

Deficiencies in the following nutrientsTrusted Source have been linked to fatigue:

If you are experiencing fatigue, discuss with your healthcare professional if it is necessary to test for deficiencies. Typically, fatigue related to a deficiency in one or more nutrients improves once your nutrient levels normalize. 

Although some stress is normal, chronic stress can lead to fatigueTrusted Source. In fact, chronic stress may lead to stress-related exhaustion disorder (ED), a medical condition characterized by psychological and physical symptoms of exhaustion.

Furthermore, chronic stress may cause structural and functional changes in your brain and lead to chronic inflammation, contributing to symptoms like fatigue.

A therapist may also help you develop strategies to reduce stress. Many health insurance plans cover mental health counseling, and virtual therapy is also an option. 

If you’re experiencing unexplained, chronic fatigue, you should visit your doctor and discuss your symptoms.

They may recommend testing to rule outTrusted Source certain health conditions that cause fatigue, such as:

It’s important to know that it’s abnormal to feel exhausted constantly. If you experience frequent fatigue, there are likely one or more causes.

Getting proper treatment for an underlying medical condition can help you feel better and improve other areas of health as well. 

Your diet significantly affects the way you feel.

To maintain energy and get the nutrients your body needs to perform critical processes, it’s important to consume a balanced diet high in nutrient-dense foods.

When you don’t obtain enough calories and nutrients like protein, your body breaks down fat and muscle to meet energy demands. This leads to losing body fat and muscle mass, which may triggerTrusted Source fatigue.

Additionally, diets high in ultra-processed foods impair energy levels. For example, a diet high in added sugar may harm sleep and lead to chronically high blood sugar and insulin levels, resulting in fatigue. 

Following a diet low in ultra-processed food and added sugar but rich in nutrient-dense foods like fruits, veggies, legumes, and healthy protein sources may help reduce fatigue and support healthy sleep while providing your body with optimal nutrition. 

Although caffeinated beverages like coffee and energy drinks feel like they boost energy, over-reliance on them may make you more tired the next day. That’s because too much caffeine can harm sleep, which may cause fatigue. 

Research shows that feeling tired in the morning leads people to consume large amounts of caffeine, which impairs their sleep cycle. In turn, you may overuse coffee or other caffeinated drinks for energy, which continues the cycle of poor sleepTrusted Source followed by too much caffeine.

While coffee and caffeinated beverages like green tea may benefit health when consumed in moderation, energy drinks are extremely high in stimulants and added sugar. Thus, you should avoid them whenever possible.

If you’re currently experiencing sleep issues and frequently drink caffeinated beverages, try cutting back to see whether it helps improve your sleep and energy levels. 

Staying hydrated is important for maintaining energy levels. The many biochemical reactions that take place in your body every day result in a loss of water that needs to be replaced.

Dehydration occurs when you don’t drink enough liquid to replace the water lost in your urine, stools, sweat, and breath. Being dehydrated leads to lower energy levelsTrusted Source and decreased concentration ability.

Although you may have heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce (240-mL) glasses of water daily, hydration needs depend on several factors, including your weight, age, sex, and activity levels. 

The key is drinking enough to maintain good hydration. Common symptoms of dehydrationinclude thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.

Maintaining a healthy body weight is essential to overall health.

Not only is obesity significantly linked to a greater risk of many chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, but it may also increase your risk of chronic fatigue.

Obesity greatly increases your risk of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a common cause of daytime fatigue. It’s also linked to increased daytime sleepiness regardless of sleep apnea, suggesting that obesity directly affects the sleep cycle.

Maintaining a healthy body weight may support good sleep and energy levels, while getting high quality sleep may help prevent weight gain and reduce fatigue.  

Many other conditions may lead to tiredness. It’s important to understand that several factors may contribute to your exhaustion. 

Here are a few other common reasons why you may feel tired:

  • Drug and alcohol dependence: People who are dependent on drugs or alcohol are more likely to experience fatigue.
  • Shift work: Shift work causes sleep disruption and may result in fatigue.
  • A sedentary lifestyle: Leading a sedentary lifestyle may lead to tiredness during the day. Exercising in the day can decrease overall fatigue.
  • Certain medications: Some drugs, including steroids, blood pressure medications, and antidepressants, are linked to side effects like insomnia and increased tiredness.

Even though everyone has days when they feel exhausted, constantly feeling run down and tired isn’t normal.

Many possible factors cause chronic fatigue, such as underlying medical conditions, nutrient deficiencies, sleep disturbances, caffeine intake, and chronic stress.

If you’re experiencing unexplained fatigue, you must talk with your doctor to find the cause. 

In many cases, your fatigue should improve once you identify the underlying cause(s) and make appropriate lifestyle and dietary adjustments — or get the right treatment for medical conditions.

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