Droopy eyelids, constant yawning and lagging energy signals just how tired and lethargic you feel during the day. This can happen despite getting a good night’s sleep.
There can be a number of reasons why tiredness has entered your life. Minor illnesses or recovering from an illness can leave you feeling washed out.
There are also many little things that can exhaust you both mentally and physically, which can make it very tiring for you to get through the day.
Note: It is fine to be tired sometimes, but if you feel exhausted and tired all the time, it is matter of concern.
Here are the top 10 simple reasons you are feeling tired.
1. No Exercise
Exercise helps you feel energetic and ward off fatigue. But in today’s busy lifestyle, people find it hard to take time out for regular exercise.
The benefits of regular exercise are endless and keeping you feeling energetic is one of them. A 2008 study published in Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics has found that low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue symptoms by 65 percent.
Regular exercise also boosts strength and endurance, helps make your cardiovascular system run more efficiently, and delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues.
It even improves sleep, which helps fight daytime tiredness and fatigue. A 2005 study published in Clinical Sports in Medicine notes that exercise could be a healthy, safe, inexpensive and simple means of improving sleep.
On the other hand, no physical exercise can lead to mood issues, sluggishness and weight gain.
- Do light exercises like walking, jogging or swimming for 30 minutes, 5 or 6 days a week.
- To keep yourself motivated, exercise with a group of people or join a club.
- Avoid sitting or standing in the same position for long durations. Instead, take regular breaks.
- Take the stairs instead of elevators and park your car at the farthest spot to get more walking into your daily routine.
- Do household chores and enjoy gardening.
- Plan regular outdoor activities with family or friends.
Low fluid intake or dehydration can also make you feel tired and exhausted. Being even slightly dehydrated can take a toll on energy levels.
When you drink less fluid, your blood pressure drops and there is a low supply of oxygen to the brain. This in turn can leave you feeling tired.
Dehydration also makes you lethargic and moody. It even causes weakness in muscles and makes it difficult to concentrate and perform tasks.
To determine your normal fluid requirement, divide your weight in pounds in half. Drink that number of ounces of fluid per day.
According to the Institute of Medicine, a healthy adult man living in a temperate climate needs an adequate intake of about 13 cups of total beverages per day. A healthy adult woman needs about 9 cups of total beverages a day.
Check your urine color to find out whether you are dehydrated. Clear or light-colored urine means you’re well-hydrated, whereas a dark yellow or amber color usually signals dehydration.
- Drink water and clear fluids throughout the day.
- Drink water before and after exercise.
- Drink carbohydrate- or electrolyte-containing drinks.
- Eat water-rich fruits and vegetables.
- Do not drink sodas, coffee or beverages that are high in sugar, as these can worsen your condition.
3. Poor Sleep Quality
Your sleep quality has a direct impact on how energetic you feel the next day. Even a small amount of sleep deprivation can harm your health and mood.
A 2005 study published in Seminars in Neurology reports that sleep deprivation shows a negative impact on mood, cognitive performance and motor function.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep consistently each night to feel their best.
- Try to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day.
- If needed, take a short power nap in the afternoon to boost your energy level.
- Avoid burning the midnight oil on weekends and even waking up late in the morning.
- Turn off all electronics 2 hours or more before bed, as they can disturb melatonin levels and make it hard for you to sleep.
- Avoid alcohol and smoking before bedtime.
- Practice relaxation techniques before bedtime to help you unwind and fall asleep.
Obesity due to improper diet and a sedentary lifestyle can also affect your energy level and make you feel tired and exhausted throughout the day.
In fact, obesity itself also tends to increase the risk of reducing your physical activity level, especially in women.
Moreover, obesity can result in sleep apnea, which causes restless sleep throughout the night and leads to sleepiness during the day. It also causes heavy snoring.
According to a 2008 study published in American Thoracic Society, obesity is a potent risk factor for the development and progression of sleep apnea.
Plus, extra body weight puts pressure on your bones and joints, making it difficult to carry out your day-to-day activities smoothly.
- Make exercise a part of your lifestyle to lose weight in a slow, gradual manner.
- Take part in outdoor sports to lose weight in a playful manner.
- Follow a strict diet plan.
- Say no to processed foods, sugary beverages, coffee as well as alcoholic drinks.
- Reduce stress through meditation and deep breathing.
5. Nutritional Deficiencies
You can even put the blame on your diet for feeling tired. If you are not following a healthy diet, chances are high that you may be suffering from some nutritional deficiencies.
There are four important nutrients that can cause fatigue and general weakness if you are deficient in any of them. These include iron, vitamins C and B12, and magnesium.
Iron deficiency can cause anemia. Iron helps make hemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. Thus, low hemoglobin can result in fatigue.
A 2000 study published in Quality of Life Research reports that iron deficiency is associated with decreased general health and well-being as well as increased fatigue.
Even copper deficiency can lead to anemia which in turn causes fatigue.
Vitamin B12 is necessary for converting food into energy. Thus, its deficiency can surely take a toll on your energy level.
Magnesium is needed for more than 300 metabolic reactions, a key reaction being energy production. Its deficiency impairs energy production and can lead to fatigue as well as depression.
- Include lots of healthy and organic fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Eat foods rich in iron, such as red meat, poultry, seafood, beans, dark green leafy vegetables, raisins, apricots and iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin C, such as papayas, red bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, kiwi, pineapple, oranges and strawberries. Vitamin C helps your body in the absorption of iron.
- Eat foods rich in vitamin B12, such as fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, fortified cereals and soy milk.
- Include high-magnesium foods like dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, dried fruit, dark chocolate and more in your diet.
- If needed, you can take supplements, but only after consulting your doctor.
6. Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and you must not skip it. In fact, it is the first meal after a long night of fasting.
In the absence of food, the body starts releasing stored glucose to fuel itself. When the body does not get food for a long time, you start feeling tired and fatigued.
Eating breakfast boosts metabolism, reduces fatigue and promotes better concentration and performance.
When you skip breakfast, your stomach sends signals to your brain that it is empty and you begin to experience hunger pangs.
This often encourages you to eat easily available junk food, which can contribute to weight gain over time. When you eat breakfast, you consume fewer calories throughout the rest of the day.
- Plan out your morning routine so that you have time for breakfast.
- Eat a nutritious breakfast including slow energy-yielding foods, such as whole-grain cereals, fruits and lean protein, to keep you energized and alert the whole day.
- You can even include smoothies or freshly extracted fruit or vegetable juice in your breakfast.
- Eating a bowl of yogurt topped with fruits and nuts also makes a healthy breakfast.
7. Excess Caffeine
If you have a habit of drinking too much coffee, it can actually be the reason you are feeling tired all the time. An occasional coffee may not harm you, but drinking strong coffee several times a day is not good for your health.
For many, a cup of coffee boosts their mood and brain function. But in reality it increases your blood pressure and pulse rate.
Too much coffee can also affect your adrenal gland, leaving you tired, unenthusiastic and fatigued. It even has a dehydrating effect on your body.
When you drink coffee before bedtime, it can interfere with your normal REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and leave you feeling even more tired after waking up.
Moreover, when you drink too much coffee, you develop a kind of dependency. This means without coffee, you do not feel normal.
- Cut back on the amount of caffeine you consume during the day.
- Steer clear of caffeinated beverages within hours of your bedtime.
- Instead of coffee, switch to decaf green tea and other herbal teas.
- When you feel tired, just drink a glass of water instead of coffee.
8. Too Much Stress
Stress, both physical and mental, can lead to fatigue and exhaustion.
Stress robs your brain of the chemicals it needs to work at its best. It can lower your energy level and make you feel tired during the day. You may also find it hard to fall asleep at night and may not want to wake up at all in the morning.
Stress even leads to loss of appetite, weight gain or loss, and lack of interest in work.
When you are stressed all the time, it can soon lead to an anxiety disorder or a sleep-related problem.
- If you are under stress and it’s affecting your health, speak with your doctor.
- Do deep breathing exercises to relax your mind and body.
- Meditating and exercising can also help reduce stress.
- Share your concerns with a friend or family member to help you better cope and become more realistic.
- Include mood-boosting foods, such as apples and oranges in your diet.
One of the first changes during pregnancy is a sudden change in your energy level. Feeling tired most of the time during the day is common during the first as well as third trimester.
During the first trimester, hormonal changes are likely the cause of fatigue. Also, more energy is needed to build a life-support system for your baby. Plus, nausea and vomiting can further exhaust you.
Tiredness and fatigue tend to go away during the second trimester, but will usually return in the third trimester.
During this stage, you may feel fatigued and tired more often as the growing fetus puts more demands on your body. Also, you have to deal with sleep problems due to heartburn, backaches or restless leg syndrome.
- During pregnancy, avoid exhausting yourself. Listen to your body and rest whenever you feel tired.
- Ask for help from your family, friends and colleagues.
- Incorporate 20 to 30 minutes of walking into your routine to make you feel more energized. You can start by walking 10 to 15 minutes every alternate day, then gradually increase each walk by 5 minutes and increase your frequency of walks to 5 or 6 days a week.
- Try to get more sleep during the first and third trimesters.
- To keep your energy up, follow the pregnancy diet suggested by your doctor.
- Take your supplements and medicines on time.
For women going through menopause, constant tiredness and a feeling of exhaustion are common. Hormonal changes in the body during menopause affect your mood and energy level.
Also, production of the female hormones estrogen and progesterone are usually low during peri-menopause and menopause.
This results in night sweats and hot flashes, which leads to sleep-related problems and leaves you dragging during the day.
A 2015 study published in Menopause reports that early menopause as well as menstrual abnormalities, endometriosis, pelvic pain and hysterectomy are all related to chronic fatigue syndrome.
- Eat healthy foods and have several smaller meals during the day.
- Do not eat a heavy dinner too close to bedtime, as it can contribute to heartburn and disturbed sleep.
- Keep your bedroom temperature cool.
- Avoid stimulants like caffeine and alcohol close to bedtime.
- Although you might not feel like exercising, it is important to exercise to fight fatigue.
- Yoga, meditation and acupuncture can also help.
- Take vitamin B supplements after consulting your doctor.