The reasons you are so tired
When you think why you are so tired, often the answer is obvious - you are not getting enough sleep. But here are other possibilities ranging from low intake of calorie to some chronic diseases; some that are easily fixed, and some that merit a call to your doctor.
Not enough sleep:
It may seem obvious but you could be getting too little sleep. That can negatively affect your concentration and health.
Adults should get seven to eight hours every night. Make sleep a priority and keep a regular schedule.
Some people think they are sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. As a result, you are sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed.
Lose weight if you are overweight, quit smoking, and you may need to consult a doctor.
Not enough fuel:
Eating too little causes fatigue, but eating the wrong foods can also be a problem. Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.
Always eat breakfast and try to include protein and complex carbs in every meal. Also eat small meals and snacks throughout the day for sustained energy.
Anemia is one of the leading causes of fatigue in women. Menstrual blood loss can cause an iron deficiency, putting women at risk.
For anemia caused by an iron deficiency, taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods, such as lean meat, liver, shellfish, beans, and enriched cereal, can help.
You may think of depression as an emotional disorder, but it contributes to many physical symptoms, as well. Fatigue, headaches, and loss of appetite are among the most common symptoms. If you feel tired and "down" for more than a few weeks, see your doctor.
Depression responds well to talk therapy and/or medication.
The thyroid is a small gland at the base of your neck. It controls your metabolism, the speed at which your body converts fuel into energy. When the gland is underactive and the metabolism functions too slowly, you may feel sluggish and put on weight.
If a blood test confirms your thyroid hormones are low, synthetic hormones can bring you up to speed.
Caffeine can improve alertness and concentration in moderate doses. But too much can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and jitteriness. And research indicates too much actually causes fatigue in some people.
Gradually cut back on coffee, tea, chocolate, soft drinks, and any medications that contain caffeine. Stopping suddenly can cause caffeine withdrawal and more fatigue.
In people with diabetes, abnormally high levels of sugar remain in the bloodstream instead of entering the body's cells, where it would be converted into energy. The result is a body that runs out of steam despite having enough to eat. If you have persistent, unexplained fatigue, ask your doctor about being tested for diabetes.
Treatments for diabetes may include lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise, insulin therapy, and medications to help the body process sugar.
Your fatigue can be a sign of dehydration. Whether you are working out or working a desk job, your body needs water to work well and keep cool. If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Drink water throughout the day so your urine is light colored. Have at least two cups of water an hour or more before a planned physical activity.
When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice it is becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.
Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.
Shift work sleep disorder:
Working nights or rotating shifts can disrupt your internal clock. You may feel tired when you need to be awake. And you may have trouble sleeping during the day.
Limit your exposure to daylight when you need to rest. Make your room dark, quiet, and cool. Still having sleep issues? Talk with your doctor.