Do you seem to be tired all the time? There comes a point in our lives where we just feel like being tired all the time is just normal and we have to deal with it. We all think we are just too busy and so we are not getting enough sleep or just running too much and thus there is nothing we can do about it. The fact is that being tired all the time is not only not normal, but it is not good for your health.
There are several reasons why you may be tired all the time and each one has it’s own solution. Many of the reasons that you are tired all the time are simple things that you never would have thought about and that you can treat without going to the doctor.
You skip your workout because you are tired. Skipping your workout when you are tired is actually the opposite of what you want to do. Regular exercise actually helps boost your energy and endurance. Those who exercised for at least 20 minutes 3 times per week actually reported more energized after six weeks.
You may be slightly dehydrated. You may think you are drinking enough water, but being even slightly dehydrated can cause you to feel tired all the time and even make it difficult to get out of bed in the morning. You should drink a minimum of 8 eight ounce glasses a day, more if you are active or overweight.
You strive for perfection. If you are a perfectionist you tend to over work and work longer than necessary, increasing your fatigue. You may set unrealistic goals, causing you to work more hours. Set a time limit for projects or delegate tasks so you can save some time, helping you relax.
You worry too much. You worry about a little mistake you made at work, wondering if you will get fired, you worry about money or food, or anything else. This often causes your brain to continue to run and worry about these things at night when you are trying to go to sleep, decreasing the amount of sleep you get every night. If this is you, talk to someone about your worries because sometime this can help you realize that you are worried for nothing. You can also go for a walk.
You skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The food you eat in the morning is your fuel until lunch, the food you ate the night before has already been used. Eating a healthy breakfast can help get you out of your morning funk and get your body energized.
You eat junk food all the time. Eating junk food, or even fast food, causes your blood sugar to rise rapidly, but the glucose from junk food is used rapidly. This causes rapid spikes and fast drops in blood sugar, making you tired. You want to try to keep a consistent blood glucose level during the day to keep your energy up. Eating healthy foods such as salads, chicken, fruit, salmon, brown rice, and others, will help keep your blood glucose levels steady.
You really are busy. Once you throw kids in the mix with working your schedule gets busy and if you have a hard time saying “no” you may stretch yourself thin. As much as you don’t want to, you may have to say no once in awhile for your own health. Remember, you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first.
You drink alcohol before bed. While it may seem like a great way to unwind after a long day, having a drink before bed can actually have the opposite effect, causing you to wake up in the middle of the night and having a restless night’s sleep. You should stop drinking alcohol about 3-4 hours before going to bed.
You rely too much on caffeine. Drinking coffee is not bad for you, in fact, some studies have shown that black coffee is actually good for you, but caffeine can disrupt your sleep/wake cycle. You should stop consuming caffeine at least 6 hours before going to bed, and make sure you watch out for the surprising places caffeine hides, such as chocolate.
You use the computer or smartphone too close to bed. The bright lights of computers and smartphones can actually disrupt your body’s release of melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle. You should try to stop using all technological devices at least 1 hour before bed.
You change your habits on the weekend. Staying up late on Saturday and sleeping in on Sunday makes it harder for you to fall asleep Sunday night, meaning that Monday morning you will be tired. As much as you would like to stay up and sleep in, it is best that you try to maintain your regular schedule on the weekends. If you want to stay up Saturday night, get up around your normal time on Sunday and take a 20 minute power nap in the middle of the day on Sunday.
There are also some causes of your tiredness that you have to see a doctor to be treated.
Sleep apnea is a major cause of being tired all the time. Sleep apnea is characterized by brief interruptions in breathing during sleep and is often accompanied by snoring. Because of the interruptions in sleep, your body has to wake up to tell you to breathe, even if you don’t fully wake up. To be diagnosed with sleep apnea your doctor will have to do a sleep study. If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you will have to use a machine, called a CPAP machine, at night. Usually within the first night of using the CPAP machine people report feeling much better.
You may be anemic. Many people are anemic and they don’t know because typically the only symptom is being tired all the time, which many people just come to accept as normal. Anemia is due to a lack of iron in the blood or vitamin deficiency, blood loss, or other factors. Women are at increased risk for anemia due to the blood loss during menstruation and the increased need for iron during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The tiredness is caused by the lack of red blood cells to carry oxygen to the blood. To check for anemia you have to have some testing done. If you are found to be anemic, you may have to take an iron supplement. If this is the cause of your tiredness, you will notice an improvement within a couple of weeks of starting treatment.
You may have hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism causes fatigue, weight gain, feeling cold all the time, along with other symptoms. Again, the be diagnosed with hypothyroidism you will have to have a physical exam and blood work. If you are diagnosed with hypothyroidism you will be prescribed a synthetic form of thyroid hormone, and you will start to feel better after a couple of weeks of treatment.
Type 2 diabetes can cause you to be tired all the time. When you eat, the sugar and carbohydrates you eat are turned into glucose for fuel. People with type 2 diabetes have trouble using glucose properly, and therefore they notice increased fatigue. There are many other signs that come with type 2 diabetes such as excessive thirst, weight loss, excessive urination, blurry vision, among others. To be diagnosed with diabetes you will have to have several blood tests. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you will start feeling better once you get your blood sugars under control.
If you are depressed you may be tired all the time. Depression is known to affect the way people live their lives. It tends to affect all aspects of your life, from eating to sleeping, and those who are depressed find it hard to get out of bed most days. This is more that just “the blues” that some people have in the winter when they are stuck inside. Depression can last months or years without treatment and can have devastating consequences if not treated. There is no blood test for depression, but your doctor can ask you a series of questions to determine if you are depressed. You will be put on a medication and once the dosage is adjusted to what you need, you will feel a lot better and more energized.
Chronic fatigue is a thing. Chronic fatigue is slightly different from just being tired all the time in that the fatigue comes on quickly after an activity. Often times the fatigue is so strong that they cannot carry on with their normal routine. There are no tests to diagnose chronic fatigue, so your doctor will have to rule everything else out first. There is also no treatment for chronic fatigue, but some medications and therapy may help.
Being tired all the time can cloud your memory and your judgement. There have even been studies in rats that show a lack of sleep can drastically reduce life span and can affect your immune system. Finding the reason you are tired all the time is important. Start with the simple reasons such as dehydration and poor diet. Once you have eliminated those, you can see a doctor to see why you may be tired all the time.
Are you tired all the time? Were any of these the cause of your tiredness?