Tiredness after waking up early to catch a flight or at the end of a long day is completely normal. But if you find you’re chronically tired no matter how much sleep you get, there might be something more serious going on.
Chronic fatigue can occur because of several different things, including medical conditions, diet, and other lifestyle factors. If you’re struggling with constant tiredness, keep reading to find out what might be causing it.
You’re Only Getting Low Quality Sleep
Maybe you’re laying in bed for a solid 8 hours a night, but are you actually sleeping? Many things, including insomnia, checking your phone in bed, alcohol and caffeine intake, and eating before bed can make your nighttime hours less than restful. If you’re struggling to sleep well, try experimenting with your diet and evening activities to see if they make an impact on your quality of sleep.
You’re Too Stressed
Ever feel like your mind is racing at night? Not only does chronic stress make it difficult to fall—and stay—asleep, but it can actually change your brain, making you feel exhausted no matter how much sleep you get.
Learning to manage stress through exercise, fulfilling activities, or lifestyle changes including career or relationship change can help you regain energy and calm your busy mind.
Anxiety or depression can also cause fatigue. If you’re chronically stressed and worried something deeper might be going on, it could be a good time to talk to a mental health professional about your concerns.
Your Diet Has Nutritional Deficiencies
What we eat has a huge bearing on how we feel throughout the day—so it makes sense that an unbalanced diet could make us feel tired and sluggish. Deficiencies in vitamins such as vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin C as well as nutrients like iron and magnesium have all been shown to cause tiredness. If you think vitamin deficiency might be the culprit, try taking multivitamins for a few weeks to see if you experience an energy boost.
Taking vitamins can’t solve all the problems with a poor diet, however. Diets low in protein and high in processed sugar can not only cause weight gain and high blood sugar, they can also cause fatigue, depression, and insomnia. Nourish your body with energy-rich foods like lean protein and legumes supplemented with fresh fruits and vegetables for a diet that keeps you healthy and active all day long.
You Have Sleep Apnea or Another Medical Condition
Sleep apnea, in which your breathing stops and starts repeatedly during sleep, can obviously cause you to get poor sleep. But there are many medical conditions you might not even know you have that could also cause you to sleep poorly or feel exhausted during the day.
Mental health conditions can cause tiredness, as can hypothyroidism, some types of cancers, and diseases like kidney disease and diabetes. If you’re not feeling right but can’t pinpoint an obvious cause, getting tested for some common medical conditions might help you determine what’s going on.
You’re Drinking All the Wrong Things
What you drink has a counterintuitive impact on your energy level. For example, too much caffeine can actually cause exhaustion, not energy, and drinking alcohol can tire you out too, even though for a few hours it might make you feel like the life of the party.
The best energy drink? Water! Staying hydrated can combat the effects of dehydrating beverages like coffee and alcohol, and it can help boost your energy levels and improve your concentration.
If You’re Concerned About Chronic Tiredness, Talk To a Medical Professional
Chronic exhaustion isn’t normal. If it’s plaguing you, talk to a professional about it so you can get back to feeling like yourself again.