It is normal to feel tired every once in a while because life can be hectic sometimes. However, being tired all the time is different. Being tired is often a vague complaint because it can mean anything from sluggishness and physical fatigue to burnout and emotional distress. Regardless of the reason, tiredness is your body’s way of telling you to pay attention to it because something is going on. Read on for some usual causes of tiredness as well as some practical tips to help overcome them.
Lack of Enough Nutrients
Skipping meals can cause tiredness because your body needs food to turn into energy for use throughout the day. Make sure to eat enough during meals, and invest in healthy snacks for when you get hungry in between major meals. Good snack options include nuts and fresh fruit.
Other nutrients important for any diet include iron and different vitamins. Most protein sources are rich in iron, while vegetables and fruit are among the best sources of vitamins. Therefore, the best way to avoid nutrient deficiencies that lead to tiredness is to eat a balanced diet with the necessary food groups: carbohydrates, protein, vegetables, and fruits, and enough water intake.
Lack of Sleep
Because we need enough sleep to allow the restoration of strength, lack of sleep manifests as tiredness during waking hours. Sleep allows both brain and body to recover from the day’s events and prepare for the next one. It should occur mostly at night because our natural body clock makes sleep hormones and releases chemicals for cell repair at this time. People who sleep during the day and are awake at night confuse their body clocks and eventually have a harder time falling asleep. Therefore, getting six to eight hours of sleep at night is considered ideal.
However, the quality of sleep also matters. In people who have medical conditions such as sleep-disordered breathing, getting long hours of sleep does not improve tiredness because they typically do not reach the level of sleep considered restful.
Lack of Movement
You may think that tiredness means you should move less, but that is not exactly true. The body responds well to movement – but the less you move, the less it wants to move. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to slowness and tiredness because the body feels no need to move. It is therefore encouraged to have some movement at least once every one or two hours, especially when working while seated. A quick walk to the restroom or break room and back to your desk can help blood circulate better and help you feel less tired. Simple stretching exercises are also encouraged. Regular exercise throughout the week is also advised because exercise done right can also help with improving sleep.
Undiagnosed Medical Problems
Medical conditions can also cause tiredness, such as when you have low red blood cells or an overactive thyroid. Sometimes, undiagnosed cancer also presents as constitutional symptoms like fatigue and fever. Paying attention to other signs and symptoms you may have such as frequent headaches, lightheadedness, weight loss or gain, changes in bowel function, and intolerance to heat or cold are important in considering certain medical conditions over others. Schedule a visit with your physician when tiredness occurs more often, occurs with other symptoms, or begins to impact your daily functioning. If medical causes are ruled out, other issues that can cause tiredness include psychiatric problems such as depression.
Depending on your condition, the doctor will give you specific advice and medications as necessary. They will also typically order blood tests or other examinations and schedule follow-ups to check the progression of your condition.
Too Much of the “Bad Stuff”
Smoking, excessive drinking, and the use of illicit drugs can lead to a constant feeling of fatigue. Any comfort or high is dulled by the sense of tiredness that comes with these vices. In these cases, tiredness will be relieved by quitting and staying clean. Although easier said than done, getting in touch with treatment facilities such as a drug rehab Phoenix residents go to is a start to solving your tiredness.
Too Much Physical and Emotional Stress
Long hours of doing manual labor or chores the whole day definitely cause physical fatigue. Being stressed can also lead to problems with sleep because hormones released by the body in times of stress can interfere with the normal sleep cycle. Thus, you may find it harder to fall asleep or maintain sleep when you are constantly under a lot of physical or emotional stress. Finding ways to relieve stress by taking some days off of work, catching up with friends or family, and getting into hobbies during your free time can help you feel less tired.
Too Much Weight
Being heavier, especially being overweight or obese, means the body has to work harder to carry all the weight. This can lead to feelings of fatigue from doing everyday activities such as climbing stairs or doing chores. Taking active steps toward weight loss such as eating more balanced and healthy meals in adequate amounts and getting enough exercise are bound to improve the symptoms of fatigue.
Now that you know that tiredness is a symptom that can come from a variety of causes, you are also better equipped with simple ways on how they can be managed. Try making these changes in your life today, and see the improvements for yourself!