Lifestyle

7 possible reasons why you feel tired all the time

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Most people wouldn’t consider daytime sleepiness to be a big deal. A lot of the time, it isn’t. But if your sleepiness is ongoing and getting in the way of your everyday life, it may be time to see the doctor.


Many factors can be contributing to your sleepiness. It’s possible you’re not getting enough sleep because of an underlying health issue, like sleep apnea or narcolepsy.

Your doctor can help you figure out the cause of your tiredness and how to manage it. Here are 7 possible reasons why you may feel tired all the time.

1. Diet

If you have a tendency to skip meals, you may not be getting the calories you need to keep your energy up. Long gaps in between meals can cause your blood sugar to drop, decreasing your energy.

It’s important not to skip meals. In fact, you should also eat healthy energy-boosting snacks between meals, especially when you start to feel sluggish. Healthy snack options include bananas, peanut butter, whole-grain crackers, protein bars, dried fruit, and nuts.

2. Vitamin deficiency

Being tired all the time can also be a sign of vitamin deficiency. This could include low levels of vitamin D, vitamin B-12, iron, magnesium, or potassium. A routine blood test can help identify a deficiency.

Your doctor may recommend taking supplements. You can also increase your intake of certain foods to correct a deficiency naturally. For example, eating clams, beef, and liver may reverse a B-12 deficiency.

3. Lack of sleep

Late nights can take a toll on your energy level. Most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night. If you get into a habit of staying up late, you’re putting yourself at risk for sleep deprivation.

Practice better sleep habits to boost your energy. Go to bed earlier and take steps to improve the quality of your sleep. Sleep in a dark, quiet, and comfortable room. Avoid stimulating activities before bed, like exercise and watching TV.

4. Being overweight

Being overweight can also cause tiredness. The more weight you carry, the harder your body must work to complete everyday tasks like climbing stairs or cleaning.

Come up with a plan to lose weight and improve your energy level. Start with light activity such as walking or swimming, and gradually increase intensity as your stamina allows. Also, eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

5. Stress

Chronic stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, stomach problems, and fatigue.

When under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This causes an increase in cortisol and adrenaline, which prepares your body to deal with such situations. In small doses, this response is safe. In the case of chronic or ongoing stress, it takes a toll on your body’s resources, leaving you feeling exhausted.

6. Depression

When you feel depressed, lack of energy and tiredness can follow. If you’re experiencing depression, talk to your doctor and discuss treatment options.

Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication. You might also benefit from mental health counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of treatment that helps correct negative thought patterns that lead to a negative mood and depression.

7. Sleep disorders

A sleep disorder is sometimes the underlying cause of tiredness. If your energy level doesn’t improve after a few weeks, or after you make the right lifestyle modifications, speak with your doctor. You may need to see a sleep specialist.

A sleep disorder like sleep apnea can be causing your tiredness. Sleep apnea is when your breathing pauses while you’re asleep. As a result, your brain and body don’t receive enough oxygen at night. This can lead to daytime fatigue.