Why am I so Tired?
Most people experience days when they feel tired. Whether from a lack of sleep, illness, travel, or stress, occasional sleeplessness is normal and usually not an indicator of serious health problems. However, many people can feel tired all the time or struggle with fatigue regularly. Read on to discover 5 of the common culprits that could be causing your persistent tiredness.
Waking up frequently at night can be a symptom of sleep apnea. This condition causes the throat to narrow, or in some cases close, for at least ten seconds or more during sleep. The resultant lack of oxygen in the body causes once experiencing apnea to wake up suddenly, gasping for air. This makes it very difficult to fall into the deep, restful sleep we depend on to be healthy. It can also cause pronounced snoring and reductions in the body’s blood oxygen levels. People who think they are getting enough sleep, yet who regularly still feel tired, may be suffering from sleep apnea without even knowing it. A sleep study is perhaps the best way to identify if you are experiencing sleep apnea.
Having an iron deficiency can cause significant fatigue and exhaustion. Iron in the body is what helps to produce healthy red blood cells which are important to carry oxygen throughout the entire body by way of the bloodstream. Without proper iron, blood can’t supply the internal organs with adequate levels of oxygen needed to function properly. This deficiency is also called “anemia” and it can lead to heart palpitations, pale skin, and shortness of breath. Iron deficiencies are fairly common and can especially affect women who are still menstruating.
Depression and Mental Health
Being tired all the time can also be a symptom of depression or other mental health issues such as anxiety or too much stress. Depression can lead to very low energy or bodily aches and pains that may result in one having a harder time sleeping, or sleeping too much and feeling groggy all day. This can cause "sleep debt" which is described as the body not getting enough rest over many weeks or even months. Rising cortisol (stress hormone) levels and insulin resistance can also occur with regular sleep deprivation.
The thyroid is a small gland that can be found in the front of the neck. It makes hormones that help manage how the body uses energy. Having an underactive thyroid is also known as “hypothyroidism” and can cause fatigue and the feeling of being tired every day. The symptoms of underactive thyroid typically manifest themselves gradually over time, so it may be difficult to notice that anything is wrong right away. Women are at a greater risk of having an underactive thyroid. However, anyone that suffers from hypothyroidism can also experience depression, muscle aches, and weight gain.
Poor Lifestyle Choices
Not getting enough exercise, having a poor diet, increased stress, and spending too much time looking at a screen, be it a computer monitor, tablet or phone screen, can all lead to feeling tired during the day. This can progress into a frustrating cycle as feeling tired makes it harder to find the motivation to workout or make healthy eating decisions. Worrying about getting enough sleep can also lead to stress which then makes it difficult to fall asleep and get a full 7- 9 hours of rest per night that adults require.
Being tired all the time isn’t healthy and could be a sign of a more serious health problem. People who are struggling with daily, persistent tiredness should talk with their doctor to find out more about what could be the cause.Sources: