May 24, 2022

9 Reasons You're Always Feeling Tired

Not wanting to jump right out of bed when the alarm goes off in the morning can happen to all of us from time to time. Maybe we didn't sleep well the night before or stayed up too late past our bedtime. 

However, if you find yourself dragging to get up every morning or are feeling an overall decrease in energy, something else might be going on. Extreme exhaustion and fatigue can cause severe problems for your overall health and wellbeing.  

Knowing the cause of why you feel so tired all the time is critical in addressing it correctly. We put together this guide to explore the most common reasons you might be feeling fatigued. 

What is fatigue?

Fatigue is a symptom, not a condition, that causes you to feel exhausted or have low energy. With fatigue, you might have an overwhelming urge to sleep more but may not feel rested after sleeping. 

Sound like you? You aren't alone. Recent studies found that 38% of American workers reported being fatigued. 

Fatigue can cause several other symptoms besides extreme sleepiness, including:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • sore or aching muscles

  • muscle weakness

  • moodiness/irritability

  • slowed response time 

  • appetite loss

  • bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, or diarrhea

  • reduced immune system function

  • blurry vision

  • short-term memory issues

  • difficulty concentrating 

  • hallucinations

  • lack of motivation

What factors could be causing your constant exhaustion?

Feeling tired all the time can be caused by several factors, such as medical conditions, stress, unhealthy lifestyle choices, and poor sleep habits. 

Medications

Both over-the-counter (OTC) medications and prescription drugs can cause fatigue as an adverse effect, leaving you exhausted all the time.

The increased sleepiness brought on by these medicines can be dangerous. Therefore, precautions should be taken doing certain activities, like driving or operating heavy machinery.

Medications that can cause extreme tiredness include:

Lack of quality sleep

Quality is just as important as quantity when it comes to sleep. So, if you aren't getting enough quality sleep and have poor sleep habits, you most likely will feel tired a lot, if not all the time. 

Good sleep habits include:

  • Going to bed and getting up around the same time every day 

  • Keeping your bedroom for sleep and sex only, not for watching TV or working on your laptop

  • Creating a nightly bedtime routine- taking a bath, reading, putting electronics in another room, etc. 

  • Setting up the perfect sleep space for yourself- bedroom temperature, room-darkening curtains, comfortable mattress, and sheets

  • Limiting caffeine intake

  • Avoiding smoking and alcohol 

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disorders disturb your normal sleep patterns that negatively affect your health. Over 100 different sleep disorders can cause difficulty sleeping, extreme daytime sleepiness, and impaired ability to perform regular daytime activities.

Some sleep disorders that can lead to fatigue include:

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated medical condition of unknown cause that causes extreme fatigue that lasts for at least six months. This disorder worsens with physical or mental activity and doesn't improve with rest.

Hypothyroidism

An underactive thyroid, known as Hypothyroidism, causes your thyroid gland not to produce enough of the thyroid hormone your body and metabolism need to function correctly. 

Hypothyroidism impacts your energy levels and canlead to many symptoms, including lethargy and fatigue. 

Diabetes

Sometimes referred to as diabetes fatigue syndrome (DFS), feeling tired is one of the main symptoms of diabetes. 

High blood sugar slows down your blood, so your cells can't get the oxygen and nutrients they need. As a result, you may feel groggy and exhausted. In addition, high sugars can also cause inflammation of your blood vessels. Research has shown the connection between inflammation and fatigue

When your blood sugar is low, there is not enough fuel for your cells to work well, causing diabetes fatigue as well.

Anemia

Anemia is when your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. 

Iron deficiency anemia, the most common type, is when your body doesn't have enough iron to make hemoglobin. Not enough iron means the rest of your body can't get the amount of oxygen it needs, affecting your energy levels. 

You may feel exhausted, sluggish, weak, and unable to focus.

Heart Disease

Heart disease can cause you to feel tired all of the time and unable to tolerate daily activities. Heart failure, for example, causes your heart to be less effective in pumping oxygenated blood to muscles and other tissues in the body. As a result, it can be exhausting to carry groceries in or walk to the mailbox. 

Other symptoms of heart disease include

  •  chest pain

  • palpitations

  • dizziness

  • fainting

  • shortness of breath

If you are experiencing any of these, you should seek emergency medical treatment right away. 

Depression

Depression, a mental health disorder, is when you feel sad, anxious, or hopeless for an extended period. It's not uncommon to experience sleep issues with depression, such as difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, not sleeping as deeply, waking up too early, or getting too much sleep. 

In addition, depression can affect your level of motivation. Simple, everyday tasks can become both physically and emotionally draining, making you feel exhausted all of the time. 

Final thoughts

Feeling exhausted now and then is common, especially if you are under a lot of stress, sick, or recovering from a recent illness. However, if your fatigue and lack of energy are an everyday occurrence, no matter how much sleep you get, you should see your doctor. 

It's important to talk to your doctor about all of your symptoms and your family history. They may order blood tests to rule out Hypothyroidism, anemia, and other medical conditions. 

Once you identify the underlying causes of your fatigue, your healthcare provider can suggest appropriate lifestyle and diet changes and/or treatment options. 

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