When you wake up every morning — whether you’re headed for work or school — do you find yourself yawning? Do you need just an extra couple of hours of sleep? As the day drags on, are you always feeling tired and fatigued?
Your body may be telling you it’s time to change your sleep schedule or your diet. And sometimes your body will say, “Hey. Listen up. It’s time to focus on your health.”
There are a handful of factors that may be contributing to your low energy. Your doctor will be able to best identify the reason for your fatigue based on your medical history and your unique situation. For now, let’s take a look at some of these possible causes of tiredness and fatigue.
Why You Are Always Feeling Tired: Potential Causes Of Tiredness And Fatigue
Now, it might pose concern if you’re constantly tired at different times of the day. Tiredness and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms adults seem to face.
But since tiredness and fatigue seem to be viewed as “normal,” especially in a working-class society, they’re often overlooked. This doesn’t make fatigue any less serious of a condition, though.
When you’re feeling tired, it could be due to many different environmental or biological factors. Just about everything you do can cause you to feel tired. Things, like eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, and getting a good night’s sleep may help with maintaining healthy levels of energy.1
Daytime Tiredness And Fatigue: Could Your Diet And Potential Food Intolerances Be To Blame?
What you put into your body is an important component of your sleep and health. When you feel tired or fatigued, it’s a possibility that your diet or food intolerances could be to blame. This is especially true for daytime fatigue when you should be more energized.
Here are some potential reasons why your diet may be leading to feelings of fatigue.2
You’re Drinking Too Much Caffeine
Even though caffeine is an energy booster, it can also cause crashes which can have adverse effects and cause tiredness and fatigue. If you find yourself drinking caffeinated beverages, like coffee or energy drinks, you could be negatively affecting your body.
If you drink caffeinated beverages every day, you can develop a physical dependence on it.3 In other words, you can’t fully function without the help of your morning coffee or caffeinated drink.
If you grow dependant, your morning cup of coffee may not keep you awake like before. It’s a vicious cycle because then you just reach for more caffeine to wake you back up.
Since caffeine is a stimulant, it can increase your heart rate. With the potential increase in heart rate, drinking caffeine can worsen your chance at a good night’s rest.4 Cutting back on caffeine can be highly beneficial for restorative sleep. Stop drinking caffeine 6 hours before going to bed. If you’re used to a later cup of coffee, switch to decaf.
You Might Have A Food Intolerance
Your diet is linked to your overall health. If you find yourself tired and fatigued, even if you’ve been able to get a full night of rest, there could be something wrong with your diet. You might not be getting enough of the right nutrients or you may suffer from food intolerances.
Food intolerances to dairy or wheat can cause fatigue. If you’re feeling fatigued after consuming certain foods, it’s likely that you have an undiagnosed food intolerance. This may also be accompanied by unexplained weight loss.6 Consult with your doctor and ask to get tested.
You Might Have A Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamin deficiencies might also be the culprits behind your tiredness and fatigue.
An iron deficiency could be to blame. This means that there aren’t enough red blood cells in your system to meet your body’s needed amount of oxygen. Blood cells carry hemoglobin, which is a protein needed in the body. Fatigue is a common symptom of iron deficiency.
If you’re unsure about an iron deficiency, have a medical professional check your vitamin levels.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to getting the nutrients your body needs. Ask your doctor for recommendations on how to balance out your diet and get the right nutrients, especially if you have been diagnosed with food intolerance. They may recommend changing your diet, taking dietary supplements, or both.
Shoot for foods like…
- Leafy greens
- Unrefined carbohydrates
- Healthy oils/fats5
What Other Conditions Might Lead To Lack Of Energy? Stress, Sleep Issues, And More
Other health issues may be leading to your tiredness and fatigue. Whether you feel it or not, the body is an intricate system that reacts to different physical changes. From stress to vitamin deficiencies, each factor could be playing a role leading to your sleep issues.
Your Stress Might Be Leading To Feelings Of Exhaustion
In a work-driven society, you might experience tiredness and fatigue when dealing with work-related stress. This stress or any stress or that matter, can lead to burn-out, which can lead to a lack of productivity, tiredness, and fatigue.
It’s hard to control stress. As a result, your body may feel the effects of burn-out and other work-related stressors.7
It’s important to give yourself breaks from work and get professional help when needed. This is especially true if you are experiencing prolonged stress or stress that is affecting your overall well being. The sooner you do so, the sooner you can get back to feeling like yourself again.
You Might Not Be Getting Enough High-Quality Sleep
Typically, deep rest occurs during REM sleep, where rapid eye movements are common. For people who are able to fall asleep regularly, a normalized circadian rhythm is present. This circadian rhythm is what regulates the sleep-wake cycle in your body. So, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, it could be that your sleep-wake cycle is not regulated.
If you find yourself having trouble falling asleep, but not staying asleep, it could be due to a lack of melatonin.
Melatonin production is an important part of fostering sleep.9
Something you might try is introducing some physical activity during your day. You may be able to tire yourself out by the time you make it to bed. Just be sure to plan your workout for earlier in the day rather than right before bed. This can actually make it more difficult to get to sleep.
Know When To See Your Doctor
If you exercise, maintain a healthy diet, and still have trouble falling asleep… you might be experiencing something a little more serious.10 If this is the case, speak to your doctor immediately. The following issues need to be diagnosed and addressed by a medical professional.
Glandular Fever – A viral infection that can lead to fever, sore throat, and fatigue. Even after the infection is gone, patients often feel the fatigue for weeks after.11
Sleep Apnea – A sleep disorder that restricts oxygen from you while asleep. Symptoms are choking while sleeping, snoring, and excessive daytime sleepiness.12
Thyroid – Your thyroid may be making too much or too little of a hormone. When this happens, the body can react by feeling fatigued. This is often common in women.13
Diabetes – If you experience blood sugar issues, you may be unable to regulate your blood sugar. This may be accompanied by frequent urination and tiredness or fatigue.14
Foster Good Sleep Habits and Get A Good Night’s Rest
At the end of the day, there are a ton of reasons that could be causing your low energy levels. When considering your diet, sleep habits, and possible sleep issues, definitely check in with a primary health professional.
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