It seems that more and more of us are facing tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis. In fact, a lot of people assume that being tired all the time is just part of being a busy person living and working in the 21st century.
Sometimes, the cause is clear – perhaps you’ve been putting in too many hours at the office, or maybe you have just moved to a new home. However, the reason isn’t always so obvious. If you often catch yourself thinking, “Why am I so tired all the time?” this is the article for you.
I’m going to outline some of the most common causes of tiredness, and tell you how to boost your energy levels.
Why Are You So Tired All The Time?
1. Lack Of Sleep
We all know that a lack of sleep causes tiredness, but did you know that many people don’t even realize that they aren’t getting enough rest every night?
The average adult aged between 18 and 60 needs at least 7 hours of sleep every night if they want to enjoy optimal health. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 of us aren’t meeting this target.
A lack of sleep doesn’t just result in fatigue – it also places you at elevated risk of a range of diseases, including diabetes.
2. Unhealthy Diet
Your diet has a huge impact on the way you feel. A poor diet lacking in nutrients will leave you drained and fatigued, as will too many processed foods and added sugar.
Your body requires a variety of vitamins and minerals in order to synthesise the neurotransmitters that regulate sleep, so be sure to eat plenty of vegetables and fruit.
Eating candy and other junk food can give you a brief energy hit, but you will soon become tired again when your blood sugar levels crash. It’s best to eat healthy meals and snacks at regular intervals throughout the day as this promotes steady energy levels.
Alcohol and caffeine are best avoided or enjoyed in small quantities because both disrupt your natural sleep patterns.Do not drink them in the evening shortly before going to bed.
Finally, if you don’t drink enough water, you may become dehydrated. This quickly results in fatigue and a diminished attention span.
3. Sitting To Much And Not Moving
You might think that sitting down would conserve energy but you’d be wrong. Movement is a great way to beat fatigue.
You don’t have to work out for hours either. Research has shown that just a single 20-minute bout of moderate exercise has an energy-boosting effect. People who spend more time sitting around during the day tend to report getting less sleep at night.
Regular exercise promotes high-quality sleep because it increases the time we spend in the “deep sleep” part of the sleep cycle, which is known for its restorative properties. Aim to get at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.
Ideally, you should exercise every day. Avoid exercising in the late evening as this can stimulate your body and make it harder to drift off when you go to bed.
4. Stressful Life
We all come up against stressful situations from time to time. You might be under a lot of pressure at work, be facing relationship issues, or be worrying about your finances.
Stress can wreck havoc with your sleep patterns and not only because your worries can keep you up at night.More than 40% of adults reporting that they only experience “fair” or poor sleep during periods of stress.
Our bodies produce adrenalin, cortisol, and other “fight or flight” chemicals when under stress. This process is an excellent way of preparing the body for an emergency but it makes getting a good night’s sleep difficult.
5. Medical Condition
What if you have tried to make positive lifestyle changes yet still feel exhausted? You may have an undiagnosed medical condition.
The following illnesses can cause ongoing fatigue. Make an appointment with your doctor if you suspect you might have an underlying health problem:
- Anemia: Anemic patients have a low red blood cell count which impairs the normal circulation of oxygen throughout the body, resulting in tiredness, weakness, and other symptoms including chest pain.
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): CFS, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is characterized by extreme fatigue that lasts at least 4 months. Sufferers often report other symptoms such as joint pain, aching muscles, and gastrointestinal difficulties.
- Depression: A lack of energy and decrease in general motivation are among the most common symptoms of depression, along with difficulty concentrating and a pervasive feeling of emptiness or sadness.
- Diabetes: A person with diabetes will frequently feel tired because their body is unable to utilize glucose, one of the body’s primary sources of energy. Aside from tiredness, the symptoms include excessive thirst, blurred vision, and weight loss.
- Sleep apnea: This condition causes the airway to narrow during sleep, which interrupts a person’s breathing and oxygen supply. The classic sign of sleep apnea is disrupted sleep that causes tiredness the next day. Snoring is a common indicator of this condition.
- Thyroid disease: Low levels of thyroid hormone (“hypothyroidism”) result in fatigue, weakness, weight gain, a low body temperature and constipation. This is because the thyroid hormone is responsible for regulating the body’s metabolism. An imbalance triggers a cascade of physical and psychological symptoms.
Written by Leon Ho, Culled from Lifehack