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5 reasons you’re always tired (and what you can do about it)

5 reasons you’re always tired (and what you can do about it)

Have you ever wondered why you’re so tired all the time?

You’re not alone. Around 1 in 5 people report feeling tired most of the time (1).

Here are 5 reasons why you’re always tired, and what you can do about it.

1. Not getting enough sleep

While it may sound obvious, a lack of sleep can make you feel tired.

However, 1 in 3 adults consistently gets fewer than 7 hours of quality sleep (2, 3).

If you’re struggling to fall asleep, here are some things you can try:

  • Have a regular sleep schedule
  • Exercise early in the day, not late
  • Avoid electronics late at night
  • Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before bed
  • Try taking a relaxing bath or shower before bed
Summary

A lack of sleep is a big reason why many people always feel tired. If you struggle to fall asleep, try some of the strategies above.

2. A lack of exercise

When you’re tired, exercise is probably the last thing you want to do.

However, a regular exercise routine can help you feel less tired in the long run.

A study on adults with fatigue issues found that simply doing low-intensity exercise (like walking) three times per week reduced fatigue by 65% and increased energy by 20% (4). 

If you’re new to exercise and don’t know where to start, try going for a 30–45-minute walk a few times a week. Increase the intensity and frequency as you feel more comfortable.

Summary

Regular activity can help you feel less tired. If you’re just getting started, try walking a few times a week and increase the intensity as you feel comfortable.

3. A poor diet

If you constantly feel tired, it’s time to take a look at your diet. 

For starters, make sure you’re eating enough calories for someone of your sex, age, weight, and activity level. Eating too many or too few calories can make you feel sluggish.

If you eat a lot of sugary foods and processed carbs, it’s time to cut back. Although these foods give you a short burst of energy, they leave you more tired later on.

Also, make sure to eat a variety of vegetables, especially those high in the minerals iron, zinc, and magnesium. These minerals all play key roles in keeping you energized (5).

Lastly, make sure to drink plenty of water, because dehydration can make you fatigued (6).

Summary

Poor nutrition can leave you feeling tired. Make sure you eat the right amount of calories, cut back on sugary and junk foods, eat plenty of vegetables, and stay hydrated.

4. You’re too stressed

While some stress is normal, too much stress can make you tired.

When your body is stressed, it releases cortisol — the stress hormone — which can alter your daily hormonal cycle, disrupt your sleep patterns, and cause fatigue (7, 8).

Stress can also affect your physical and mental health, which are tied to tiredness (9, 10).

If you find yourself constantly stressed, try a few of these activities:

  • Go for a walk
  • Practice mindfulness
  • Trying yoga or meditation
  • Spend more time with loved ones 
  • Take time away for yourself to relax
Summary
Too much stress can affect your hormonal balance and make you feel tired. If you find yourself constantly stressed, try a few of the strategies above.
5. You may have a health condition

In most cases, feeling tired all the time is likely due to your lifestyle.

However, in some cases, it could be due to a health condition.

Some health conditions that could make you feel tired include: 

  • Anemia
  • Diabetes
  • Coeliac disease
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Sleep apnea
  • Food intolerance

If you’re worried that a medical condition is making you feel tired, you should speak with your doctor about it as soon as possible. 

Summary

If none of the lifestyle changes work for you, your tiredness could be due to a health condition. If that’s the case, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor.

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Blog written by Ryan Raman MHSC, RD
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