Do you feel like no matter what you do, you can’t catch up on sleep? As a solution, you may adjust your sleep/wake schedule, power up on caffeine, or take cold showers in the morning to kickstart your day. But after everything, you still feel exhausted and slightly more frustrated that your efforts didn’t work. We hear you, but there could be several underlying reasons why you feel tired all the time. Thankfully, no matter the cause there are solutions.
7 Reasons You Feel Tired All The Time
1. Chronic stress
The cause: While some stress is normal, chronic stress takes a toll on the body and causes fatigue. For example, you may experience stress-related insomnia, or you can’t sleep enough. In addition to frustrating exhaustion, you may also combat other symptoms of stress, including difficulties concentrating, slowed reflexes, lack of motivation, headaches, and moodiness.
The solution: If stress-related fatigue is the cause behind your low energy levels, it’s important to begin a lifestyle change. Address the sources of stress in your life and create a system of coping mechanisms to deal with stressors throughout the day, like cognitive defusion to learn how to unhook from negative thoughts and guided meditations for beginners. Both techniques will calm your nervous system and help you learn how to respond versus react.
2. Mental health challenges
The cause: Like stress, depression, anxiety, and burnout can all cause chronic fatigue. For example, depression can make it more challenging to sleep, either experiencing insomnia or a need to oversleep. It can also lead to increased stress, lack of motivation, anhedonia (reduced ability to experience pleasure), and generally affects your daily routine and diet. While anxiety leaves the body and mind in a consistent state of fight-or-flight, causing fatigue and several other symptoms.
The solution: Each condition mentioned above requires its own treatment plan based on your individual factors and lifestyle. For example, with depression, create a mindful morning routine that boosts motivation and triggers your brain’s reward system. Maybe you can make the bed and complete a few yoga poses for stress relief that will help reduce anxiety and depression.
3. Out of alignment
The cause: Did you know feeling bored and unfulfilled can cause fatigue? Indeed, if you’re unaligned with your deepest desires and values, you can feel like you’re sleepwalking through life, only achieving the bare minimum to get by. Furthermore, it creates a sense of overwhelm that feeds stress-exhaustion and depleted energy levels.
The solution: To determine your purpose or purposes (we can have more than one!), ask yourself the following questions:
- What makes me truly happy?
- What dreams do I have in life, and how am I on track to achieving them?
- How can I use my current talents to help others?
Sitting down and reflecting on the answers to these questions will provide you the much-needed 1:1 time to unlock your dreams, values, and desires and create a subsequent plan of action.
4. Vitamin deficiencies
The cause: Our diet plays a significant role in our overall health. Even if you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep each night, hidden nutrient deficiencies could be one of the top reasons you feel tired all the time. While iron deficiency anemia is certainly the most common, affecting 30% of the world’s population, there are other culprits.
- Vitamin D. This sunshine vitamin provides several benefits, including muscle and bone strength and energy.
- Vitamin B12. If you’re low in B12, your body can’t generate an adequate production of red blood cells it needs to maintain your energy levels.
- Magnesium. Did you know this essential vitamin plays a role in 80% of our metabolic reactions? It’s true, and one of the most important is our energy production.
- Other vitamins include riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), and folate (vitamin B9)
The solution: First, receive a full blood work panel from your doctor to rule out deficiencies. Then, as a rule of thumb, always take a multivitamin since it’s pretty difficult to receive everything we need from our diet. If you are low in iron, consider eating iron-enriched foods to prevent and treat iron deficiency.
5. Sleep concerns
The cause: While it may seem like an obvious culprit, it’s worth mentioning even if you understand the importance of sleep. However, often the biggest challenge for most is falling and staying asleep. Whether it’s stress, poor sleeping environment, or consuming caffeine throughout the day, many wake up frequently throughout the night and struggle to enter the necessary stages of non-rapid eye movement and rapid eye movement.
The solution: If it’s within your budget, invest in a fitness tracker or smartwatch that tracks your sleep. Monitoring and knowing what days you’re receiving adequate sleep will help you analyze the factors contributing to poor sleep on the days you feel exhausted. Additionally, learn how to get more deep sleep naturally by moving your body throughout the day and prioritizing journaling or seeking support to decompress.
6. Sedentary lifestyle
The cause: Do you work from home chained to your desk all day? If so, a sedentary lifestyle could be the persecutor behind your chronic fatigue. Indeed, we are not designed to sit for long periods, and doing so tells your body it’s time to sleep. Additionally, we tend to blink less frequently when staring at a screen which causes eyestrain and headaches, potentially causing a sleepy mood.
The solution: If you work from home or at an office, take walks for bursts of energy throughout the day, or stand up to stretch your body once an hour, if possible. And as a long-term solution, prioritize at least 20 minutes of fitness each day, whether it’s a long walk, a quick gym session, or a couple of 10-minute morning workouts.
7. Gut health
The cause: Did you know more than 40% of the worldwide population suffers from chronic gastrointestinal problems? Indeed, how we live our lives (stress and diet), including factors outside our control (genetics), affects our gut health. Interestingly, the vast majority of our serotonin production lies in our gut giving truth to the saying, “Your gut is your second brain”. So, an unhealthy gut can cause insomnia and fatigue if unaddressed.
The solution: First, speak with your doctor to complete gut microbiome testing. Additionally, take living probiotics and prebiotics to balance your gut and maintain its flora. You can also eat prebiotic foods for gut health to ensure you’re receiving more than enough friendly bacteria to boost your mental and physical health.
While this list provides a few reasons you feel tired all the time, if you notice your energy levels are still depleted, it’s worth seeking help. As mentioned earlier, it could be a result of physical or mental concerns, and a professional will create a treatment plan tailored to your individual circumstances to help you get back on track.
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