If you find yourself constantly complaining about how tired you are, you’re not alone. Fatigue, lack of energy, weakness — these are all common, and all fall into the "tired" category. There are many different causes; for some individuals it may be a result of lifestyle habits, while others may need to be examined by a medical doctor.
Let’s look at the reasons why you may be so tired so often, and then what you can do to take control of your life and feel more energized.
Reasons for Being Tired
There are many reasons for being tired. You might work two jobs and not get enough sleep at night, or you could be chasing little kids around all day. These are some of the more obvious reasons. But being chronically tired can definitely affect your quality of life, so let’s look at the less obvious reasons you may feel fatigued:
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Ok, well this may seem obvious too, but lack of sleep is one of the main reasons why people feel tired all the time, and many just refuse to admit it!
It is estimated that nearly one-third of all Americans don’t get enough sleep each night. At least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep are needed each night to feel refreshed and energized in the morning. How much are you getting?
There are many people suffering from sleep apnea who are not aware that they have it. One of the symptoms of sleep apnea is waking up from a long night’s rests, but still not feeling rested.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, your breathing stops and starts, while you sleep which can result in serious fatigue the next day.
If you are getting enough rest, eating well and taking care of yourself, but still feel tired all the time, you should discuss this with your doctor.
Having an Infection
When we’re sick, our bodies work hard to overcome the infection. This can make us feel run down and tired. When you suffer from an infection like the flu or pneumonia, it can take the body a while to recover. Your body will, therefore, require extra rest. Listen to your body!
An Underactive Thyroid
The health of our thyroid gland has an important effect on our energy levels. When you have an underactive thyroid (commonly known as hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis) it is not uncommon to feel tired all the time.
Testing for a thyroid condition can be done by your primary care physician, by running blood tests.
Anemia is a major cause of fatigue and low energy levels. Anemia is caused by low levels of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the bloodstream.
When you are anemic, insufficient oxygen is delivered to your brain, muscles, or other bodily tissues. This can lead to a serious case of fatigue. If you are constantly tired, ask your doctor to check your iron levels.
With heart failure, there is less blood reaching the body tissues as well as difficulty in removing waste. This can lead to fatigue and is a possible cause of excessive tiredness. Obviously this is a condition that would need to be diagnosed by a healthcare provider. Fortunately fatigue is not the only symptom, so if you're experiencing chronic fatigue, don't panic! But see your doctor if you're concerned.
Rheumatoid arthritis can make you feel more tired than usual. Although this symptom is not frequently discussed, it can often result in fatigue.
Medication Side Effects
If one of your medications is causing fatigue, you should check with your doctor about your options.
Depression and Anxiety
Your doctor can suggest possible natural steps to help feel better. Exercise, eating a balanced diet, and speaking with a mental health professional can all be very helpful.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating condition. Although the cause is unknown, it can lead to prolonged tiredness, depression, aches, and pains.
There are many different causes of fatigue. It is often difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of our fatigue. The first step is to speak with your healthcare practitioner to rule out serious conditions.
If there are no serious conditions, there are some natural steps to feel better and to have more energy!
What You Can Do to Feel More Energized
You should always listen to your body and speak with your health care professional about any possible medical conditions, before starting a new exercise routine.
#2 Watch Your Diet
A balanced diet that is rich in complex carbohydrates, clean protein, and healthy fats can provide you with sustained energy throughout the day.
Your focus should be on complex carbs (not refined carbs) like quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, rolled oats; clean protein like grass-fed beef and wild-caught fish; and healthy fats like avocados, coconut, olive oil, nuts, and seeds.
#3 Get to Bed Earlier
You should try to get to bed before 10 PM every night. After 10 PM, our bodies tend to release more cortisol. This is a stress hormone that can keep you up at night. If you get to bed earlier, you will have a more restful night’s sleep.
#4 Find Some Time to Relax
You should make sure that you take some time each day to relax. This will help you to reduce stress and give you more energy.
While there are many causes of tiredness, there are also several things you can do to feel better. By taking these steps, you can reduce fatigue, feel better and have more energy every day. If you have major concerns, you should speak with your doctor to rule out any other possible underlying medical causes of chronic fatigue.