Feeling tired all the time is incredibly common. For some people, a few good nights of sleep will solve this problem. For others, frequent fatigue can become an ongoing problem that interferes with daily life. Here are a few of the common causes for chronic tiredness.
1. Eating Too Many Sugars and Refined Carbs
Carbohydrates can be a quick source of energy. However, eating too many refined carbs can cause you to feel tired throughout the day. When you consume sugar and processed carbohydrates, your blood sugar rises rapidly. Your body signals to your pancreas to produce insulin to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells. The spike in sugar levels can make you feel exhausted.
To keep your energy levels stable, replace sugar and refined carbs with whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Sugars and refined carbs are the most common cause of frequent fatigue for people.
2. Lack of Vitamin D or B12
A Vitamin D deficiency can be a root cause. In fact, this was the cause of my fatigue.
Your body produces Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. You can also find this vitamin in tuna, salmon, sardines, and trout and in milk, fortified orange juice, and breakfast cereals. Take a supplement of 2,000 to 3,000 IUs of Vitamin D per day if you are feeling drowsy throughout the day.
I personally use Vitamin K2 + D3 with Organic Coconut Oil by Sports Research.
Your body also needs sufficient vitamin B12 to produce healthy red blood cells.
These blood cells in turn move oxygen throughout your body and regulates your circadian rhythms. The vitamin can be found in dairy, eggs, meat, sardines, tuna, trout, and salmon.
You can also get it from supplements here.
3. Too Little Exercise
Inactivity can also be the root cause of your low energy. This may be counter intuitive, but habitual movement is important for feeling energized. Regular aerobic exercise benefits hear and lung function, making tiring and demanding activities easier.
4. Too Much Exercise?
On the other hand, exercising too often can deplete energy levels and cause fatigue. It is good to be active, but there comes a point when your body needs to recover through sufficient sleep.
Generally, an hour of high-intensity exercise per day is more than enough.
5. Depression or Anxiety
Mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety can cause symptoms like sadness that can drain your emotional energy.
Chronic stress and anxiety cause elevated levels of cortisol, which leads to fatigue and pre-mature aging. This condition is then exacerbated by sleep disruption and lack of physical activity.
To solve this, I recommend meditating for 15 minutes a day the first thing in the morning.
6. A Thyroid Problem
Once you rule out basic lifestyle causes like lack of exercise and poor nutrition, your thyroid may be the cause of your chronic fatigue.
The thyroid produces hormones that energize cells and regulate bodily functions like metabolism and blood pressure. If your body is struggling to produce enough of these hormones, your body compensates with sleep. This condition is called hypothyroidism.
7. Medications and Alcohol
Many over-the-counter and prescription medications have side-effects of drowsiness and fatigue. You might sleep better with NyQuil, but some of these over-the-counter mediation have residual grogginess that lingers until the next morning. Anti-anxiety medications can lead to fatigue and inhibits activation and excitement. You may feel more mellow, but could also get sleepy.
Alcohol and marijuana can have a similar effect. You may get an initial buzz, but you generally end up getting more tired later on. Fatigue is likely to increase with regular substance use.