We’ve all battled fatigue now and again, but if you find yourself tired all the time with no reasonable explanation, it may be time to dig deeper and uncover the real issue. Low energy levels wear us out over time. From concentration problems to mental health issues, lack of sleep poses a variety of risks that make treatment all the more important.
If you struggle to fall asleep, can’t stay asleep or simply feel worn out no matter what you do, here are three possible reasons why you’re tired all the time.
1. You Eat a Poor Diet
Our nutrition plays a vital role in our entire well-being. Many people only pay attention to their diet when they start to gain weight, but we should constantly be aware of what we’re putting in our bodies and how our food influences our lives.
There are a few ways that a poor diet can impact your energy levels even if you sleep soundly throughout the night. First and foremost, it’s not just about junk food. Even people who eat plenty of fruits and veggies can be malnourished.
Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar, vitamin deficiencies and less energy. Everyone has different caloric requirements, and your age, weight, gender and activity level will impact how much food you need to eat to feel your best.
Adult females who live a sedentary to mildly active lifestyle should eat 2,000 calories a day, while a male who fits the same criteria should consume 2,400. Athletes will need to eat even more to compensate for what they burn.
Whether you’re just not a fan of breakfast, work through lunch or skip meals to lose weight, you should make sure that you maintain a regular eating schedule.
Focus on eating whole foods. Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, and cut back on fats and dairy. Avoid going overboard on sugary energy drinks, which can worsen sleep problems, and make sure you’re getting enough lean protein with chicken, salmon, nuts and seeds.
2. You Don’t Move Enough
Working at an office means hours upon hours sitting behind a desk. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. The Center for Disease Control lays out physical activity recommendations for all age groups; the average adult should partake in at least 175 minutes of physical activity a week or 75 minutes of a more intense exercise routine.
Thyroid disease affects up to 60 million Americans, and one of the primary symptoms is excessive fatigue. Your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate many important metabolic processes including heart rate, brain development, mood and more.
An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) can cause you to feel depressed, frequently cold, always tired and even gain weight.
You can get a blood test to check your thyroid levels. If you’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism, your doctor can prescribe medications that will make up for the decreased hormone levels and help you feel like your old self.
Related reading: Detox Your Thyroid For Thyroid Problems
Treating Chronic Tiredness
First, check your sleep environment. Do you sleep on a firm mattress in a dark room that isn’t too hot or too cold? Are you frequently woken up in the middle of the night by children, pets or a snoring partner?
Many people find that even if they sleep for eight hours a day, the quality of their sleep is so poor that they don’t feel refreshed in the morning. It’s important to cultivate the right atmosphere to sleep well. Avoid electronics at least an hour before bed, and make sure your bedroom is optimized for sleep.
If nothing you try on your own seems to do the trick, it might be time to get feedback from a professional. Talk to your doctor about your sleep troubles and inquire about a sleep study. Sleep studies can be done at home, though they’re often conducted overnight at a sleep center.
Sleep studies help identify problems by monitoring your brain waves, oxygen levels, eye and leg movements while you sleep.
You may ask yourself, “how much does a sleep study cost?” Overnight sleep studies cost $1000-2000 on average, but most centers accept major health insurance policies. Your health insurance provider may require that you have an at-home sleep study before they cover in-lab testing, but the conditions will vary depending on the type of plan you have and your provider.
Getting to the Bottom of Your Sleep Problems
Ultimately, if you can’t seem to feel refreshed and sleep well on your own, seeking medical help is the best step. A doctor can identify any physical ailments causing you to feel tired all the time as well as screen you for any mental health disorders that can cause excessive fatigue.
It’s hard to make it through the day when you’re always so tired. You know your body, so trust your gut and reach out for help if you believe that your fatigue has reached its limit.