Tiredness is one thing. But what’s causing you be to exhausted all the time? And what can you do about it?
While many of us accept droopy lids and constant yawning as a daily reality, your lagging daytime energy could be a bigger deal than you think. Whether you feel lethargic during the day or consistently have trouble falling and staying asleep at night, these symptoms of exhaustion could be indicators of a number of health problems, from over-exercising, to a chronic infection, to depression and many more.
Not sure what’s causing your drowsiness? Here are some of the most common reasons you may be feeling tired all the time.
Whether you stepped up your workout routine to train for a long-distance race (or just swimsuit season) and you feel absolutely spent during the day — or you’re experiencing trouble falling asleep at night — it could be a sign that you’re overdoing it. “The longer you train, the more rest and recovery your body needs,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames. If you don’t provide your body with adequate rest and nutrition, muscles and cells are continuously breaking down, eventually leading to exhaustion.”
You’ve got allergies.
When the small intestines become damaged from inflammation, your body isn’t able to absorb nutrients into the blood-stream, which can lead to malnourishment and fatigue.
Allergies are a common culprit behind daily yawning sessions for the 50 million Americans who suffer from them. Allergies take a toll on energy when congestion interferes with your breathing and ability to get a good night’s sleep or if the antihistamine meds you’re taking to relieve symptoms make you feel groggy.
Anemia can happen when your body isn’t producing enough red blood cells or the red blood cells don’t contain enough iron-rich hemoglobin, says Amy L. Doneen, ARNP, medical director of the Heart Attack & Stroke Prevention Center. That lack of oxygen-rich blood in your body can make you feel exhausted. While iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia, other causes include heavy periods, sluggish bone marrow, vitamin B12 deficiency or a lack of folate in the diet, says Dr. Rindfleisch.
You’re insulin resistant.
Insulin resistance means the hormone insulin isn’t able to get nutrients, particularly glucose or sugar, into the body’s cells. Since your cells aren’t properly absorbing blood sugar, they can’t transfer energy throughout the body sufficiently, says Dr. Rindfleisch. “There’s a strong correlation between body weight and fat levels increasing and your insulin levels increasing, too,” says Dr. Rindfleisch.
Your thyroid is out of whack.
The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck that controls the functioning of many of the body’s organs, including the brain, heart, liver, kidneys and skin. When someone’s thyroid levels are low, it affects energy levels because it alters the chemical reactions that get things moving in the body and can also have an effect on blood pressure, how fast the heart beats, chemical pathways, bowel movements, and it can lead to dry skin, says Dr. Rindfleisch.
You’ve got restless legs syndrome.
The neurological disorder restless legs syndrome can make you feel like you have the urge to move your legs often. You might have a desire to stretch them, bounce them, fidget, or experience aches or pains and feel relief when you get up and walk around. These daytime symptoms might indicate you’re suffering from periodic limb movement during sleep, jerking and twitching throughout the night. This could cause you to wake up frequently or prevent you from going into proper cycles of rest which can affect overall sleep quality and health and make you exhausted.
Those never-ending worries about your finances or job could be zapping your energy. One of the main symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder is feeling tired all the time, according to the University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry. Anxiety creates a sense of alarm in the body and ignites that high-adrenaline “fight or flight response,” which affects hormone levels, creates heart rate variability and blood pressure fluctuations, all of which can lead to fatigue.
Find out how to fix these conditions here.