Are you always tired? Do you often feel like you don’t have the energy to complete daily tasks, much less exercise? Feeling tired and having low energy is very common. In fact, approximately one-third of adults report feeling fatigued on a regular basis.
Fatigue can be caused by a variety of things, from minor medical conditions to more serious illnesses, but more often than not, it’s usually caused by lifestyle choices. Many of these causes can be easily fixed so that you can feel less tired and get your energy back.
Here are five possible reasons you may feel tired all of the time and simple suggestions to help you combat fatigue.
1. Diet. How often you eat and what you eat can affect your energy levels. If you tend to skip meals, you may not be getting enough calories, which leads to low energy. If you’re eating a diet full of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and junk food, it can make you feel fatigued and lethargic.
An easy way to get your energy back is to overhaul your diet. Replace sugar and refined carbs with healthier whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure you are eating enough and not skipping meals. Some people find eating several small meals or snacks several times a day helps their energy levels, while others prefer three square meals and a couple of healthy snacks. Find what works best for you, just be sure you’re consuming enough calories, getting proper nutrition, and limiting the junk food.
2. Vitamin deficiency. Sometimes feeling tired all of the time is a sign of a vitamin deficiency. Low levels of vitamin D, B-12, iron, potassium, or magnesium can all cause fatigue. To determine if this is the cause of your lack of energy, see your doctor who can perform a routine blood test to see if you are deficient in certain vitamins. If you are, your doctor may recommend taking supplements, but you can also increase certain foods in your diet such as red meat and leafy greens for low iron, or fortified dairy products or fatty fish for low levels of vitamin D.
3. Lack of sleep.
Too little sleep and/or poor quality sleep is another reason you may feel tired during the day. Adults need seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Stick to a sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on weekends. Be sure your bedroom is dark and cool, and turn off all electronic devices including phones and TVs.
Try to avoid using electronic devices right before bed as well—instead, do another activity that will help you relax and promote healthy sleep such as reading, taking a warm bath, or meditating. If you continue to not sleep well after making these changes, see your doctor, as you may need to be tested for sleep disorders like sleep apnea that can disrupt sleep and cause excessive tiredness.
4. Sedentary lifestyle.
Lack of exercise can leave you feeling tired and sleepy. Engaging in some form of daily activity can boost your energy levels. Even incorporating as little as 20 minutes a day a few times per week can make a difference in how you feel during the day. Start out slowly, with an activity such as walking, and work up to 30 minutes per day most days of the week, and you’ll start to feel more energetic during the day.
Too much stress can cause all sorts of physical ailments such as headaches, digestive issues, and fatigue. Chronic stress can cause your body to go into fight-or-flight mode, which causes an increase in cortisol and adrenaline. This type of response is not concerning when it happens occasionally, but when it becomes chronic, it can take a big toll on your body, leaving you feeling exhausted all of the time. Learning to manage the stress in your life can help you improve your energy levels and make a difference in how you feel.
There are numerous ways you can relieve stress and manage stressors in your daily life. For example, you can set limitations to your time and prioritize obligations and responsibilities. Practice positive self-talk and stress-reducing techniques such as deep breathing and meditation.
If you’ve tried making all of these lifestyle changes and are still feeling excessively tired during the day, it may be time visit your doctor to rule out other causes behind your lack of energy