It’s normal to feel worn out now and then, but you don’t have to settle for feeling tired all the time. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the common causes of tiredness and how you can combat them to feel more awake.
Common Causes of Tiredness
Stress is something most of us will encounter regularly throughout our lives and is one of the major factors behind people feeling tired all the time. It’s important to remember that stress does not just stem from negative events, but positive ones such as having a baby, getting married or moving house as well, all of which can give you sleepless nights, resulting in you feeling more tired more of the time.
Tiredness and fatigue are just two of the most common symptoms people suffering from both depression and anxiety experience. If you are feeling tired almost constantly, lack energy and are suffering from a low mood, a short temper or any combination of these, then it’s important you visit your GP as you may well be suffering from depression or anxiety.
Being over- or underweight
If you are overweight or obese then your body has to work harder just to perform simple, everyday tasks. This, therefore, saps you of energy, making you feel more tired than you might otherwise do. Similarly, if you are underweight, then you are more likely to lack the requisite muscle strength to perform those same everyday tasks without feeling drained and using more energy than someone with greater muscle strength.
There are a few medical conditions that can themselves be causes of extreme tiredness. Conditions such as anaemia (an iron deficiency), sleep apnoea (where normal breathing patterns are interrupted during sleep) and an underactive thyroid can all contribute to feeling more tired. Furthermore, some medicines have increased tiredness and fatigue as part of their side effects. More seriously, it is also a symptom of carbon monoxide poisoning, so make sure you get that boiler serviced regularly to make sure there are no gas leaks!
Although alcohol is a depressant and therefore makes us feel tired and can help us get to sleep, it can have a serious impact on your sleep patterns and can stop you from sleeping deeply. This means you don’t get all the benefits of a night’s sleep that you would otherwise, meaning you’re more likely to feel tired the next day than if you had gone to bed sober.
Lack of exercise
Being more active pays a key role in a healthy lifestyle in any number of ways. As well as helping you lose weight and improving your fitness, doing more exercise can reduce your risks of contracting certain cancers, heart disease, as well as improving your mental health. Alongside all these, doing more exercise is one of the most effective ways to improve your sleep and, by extension, make you feel less tired.
How to feel more awake
Talk to your doctor
Before taking any steps to try and improve your sleep and remedy your tiredness, it’s important that you talk to your GP first. They can guide you on what the right approach for you is – not everything will work for everyone. A doctor may also be able to spot an underlying issue, such as struggles with mental health or a sleep disorder that you may not be aware of.
Eat and drink more healthily
Enjoying a healthy diet is absolutely vital to improving your sleep and helping you feel less tired. Certain vitamins and minerals, such as iron, vitamin B12, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin D are all central to a healthy diet and will help you sleep well and feel less tired. If your diet is high in unhealthy (saturated) fats, sugars and processed foods, then you’re more likely to feel fatigued more of the time.
Regular exercise, such as going to the gym, taking exercise classes or swimming, is key to ensuring you sleep well and great sleep is the key to not feeling tired. With so many of us leading such sedentary lifestyles, due to changes in what we do for our jobs, how we get about and how we entertain ourselves, it’s never been more important to try and get some exercise outside of these times. Being more active will not only help you sleep better, but it will help you feel better, both mentally and physically as well.