Fatigue is a frequent symptom of many conditions and severe diseases, although usually caused by simple lifestyle factors. Fortunately, most of these issues are simple to resolve.
Medically reviewed by Dr K on 30th May 2022.
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10 Causes of Constant Tiredness
It is fairly typical to feel exhausted on a frequent basis. In fact, around one-third of healthy adolescents, adults, and elderly people report feeling tired or sluggish.
Fatigue is a frequent symptom of many conditions and severe diseases, although it is usually caused by simple lifestyle factors.
Fortunately, most of these issues are simple to resolve.
This article discusses ten possible reasons why you’re constantly tired and offers suggestions for how to regain your energy.
Source - Calm Clinic
Consuming An Abundance Of Refined Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates can provide a rapid source of energy. When you consume them, your body converts them into sugar, which can then be utilised as fuel.
However, consuming too many refined carbohydrates might make you drowsy throughout the day.
When you ingest sugar and processed carbohydrates, your blood sugar quickly rises. This causes your pancreas to create a big quantity of insulin in order to get the sugar out of your blood into your cells.
This surge in blood sugar levels, followed by a dip, might leave you feeling exhausted. You immediately go for another helping of refined carbohydrates when you need instant energy, which may lead to a vicious cycle.
Several studies have demonstrated that limiting sugar and processed carbohydrates during meals and snacks usually results in more energy.
In one research, children who ate refined carbohydrate snacks before a soccer game felt more fatigued than children who ate a peanut butter-based snack.
Fortunately, research indicates that some foods can help protect against weariness.
Both okra and dried bonito broth, for example, have compounds that may reduce exhaustion and enhance alertness.
Replace sugar and processed carbohydrates with whole foods that are high in fibre, such as vegetables and legumes, to keep your energy levels steady.
SUMMARY: Consuming refined carbohydrates might result in unstable blood sugar levels, which can cause fatigue. Instead, opt for entire meals that have a minimal impact on your blood sugar.
Sedentism As A Way Of Life
Your lack of energy might be due to a lack of movement.
However, many individuals claim that they are too exhausted to work out.
In fact, according to one recent survey, this was the most prevalent reason given for not exercising among middle-aged and older people.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), characterised by excessive, unexplained lethargy daily, might be the cause.
According to research, patients with CFS have reduced strength and endurance levels, restricting their ability to exercise. However, a review of research involving over 1,500 individuals found that exercise may alleviate tiredness in individuals suffering from CFS.
Studies have also demonstrated exercising reduces tiredness in both healthy individuals and those suffering from various diseases such as cancer. Furthermore, even slight increases in physical activity appear to be helpful.
Replace sedentary behaviours with active ones to increase your energy levels. For example, whenever feasible, stand rather than sit, use the stairs rather than the elevator, and walk rather than drive short distances.
SUMMARY: Sedentism may cause weariness in healthy people and those who have chronic fatigue syndrome or other health issues. Being more active might help you feel more energised.
Not Getting Enough Good Night’s Sleep
One of the clearest justifications of lethargy is a lack of sleep.
While you sleep, your body conducts various activities, including memory storage and the release of hormones that manage your metabolism and energy levels.
You usually wake up feeling refreshed, alert and invigorated after a good night’s sleep.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society, adults need an average of seven hours every night for better health.
Sleep should be peaceful and undisturbed for your brain to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle.
In addition to receiving adequate sleep, a consistent sleep regimen seems to help reduce weariness.
According to one research, adolescents who went to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends reported less exhaustion and difficulties falling asleep than those who remained up later and slept fewer hours on weekends.
Physical activity throughout the day may aid in getting more restful sleep at night. One research on older adults reported that exercise improved their sleep quality and reduced exhaustion levels.
In addition, sleeping may assist increase energy levels. Napping has been demonstrated to reduce sleepiness among pilots, who often feel exhaustion due to extended working hours and jet lag.
Go to bed at around the same time every night, relax before sleeping, and get enough movement throughout the day to increase the quantity and quality of your sleep.
If you have trouble falling or staying asleep and feel you may have a sleeping condition, talk to your doctor about getting your sleep-tested by a professional.
SUMMARY: Inadequate or poor-quality sleep is a frequent source of exhaustion. Getting many hours of consistent sleep enables your body and brain to rejuvenate, enabling you to feel more energised throughout the day.
Symptoms of food sensitivities or intolerances include rashes, stomach issues, a runny nose, and headaches.
However, fatigue is another sign that is sometimes disregarded.
Furthermore, evidence shows that tiredness may have a stronger impact on the quality of life in those with food sensitivities.
Gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and corn are common dietary intolerances.
If you feel that specific foods are causing your fatigue, see an allergist or a nutritionist who can test you for food sensitivities or prescribe an elimination diet to discover which foods are causing your fatigue.
SUMMARY: Food intolerances may result in exhaustion or a lack of energy. A food exclusion diet can help decide which foods you are sensitive to.
Not Consuming Enough Calories
Exhaustion may result from eating too few calories.
Calories are energy units found in food. They are used by your body to move and fuel actions such as breathing and keeping a consistent body temperature.
When you consume too few calories, your metabolism slows down to preserve energy, leading to weariness.
Your body can operate within a certain calorie range based on weight, height, age, and other variables.
Most individuals, however, need a minimum of 1,200 calories per day to avoid a metabolic slowdown.
Although metabolism slows with age, experts on ageing say that older adults may need to consume at the upper end of their calorie range to accomplish regular duties without feeling fatigued.
Furthermore, when your calorie intake is too low, satisfying your vitamin and mineral levels isn’t easy. Fatigue may also be caused by a lack of vitamin D, iron, and other essential minerals.
Even if your objective is to lose weight, avoid extreme calorie reduction to maintain your energy levels.
SUMMARY: To execute everyday tasks, your body needs a certain quantity of calories. Consuming insufficient calories may cause tiredness and make it harder to satisfy dietary requirements.
Sleeping At An Incorrect Time
In addition to getting little sleep, sleeping at the incorrect time might deplete your vitality.
Sleeping during the day rather than at night interferes with your body’s circadian rhythm, which is the biological changes that occur in reaction to light and darkness during a 24-hour period.
Chronic lethargy can occur when your sleep schedule is out of sync with your circadian rhythm, according to research.
This is a prevalent issue for those who work shifts or at night.
According to sleep experts, 2–5 percent of all shift workers suffer from a sleep disorder defined by excessive drowsiness or interrupted sleep for a month or longer.
Furthermore, even staying up at night for a day or two might lead to tiredness.
In one research, healthy young men were given either seven or slightly under five hours of sleep before being kept awake for 21–23 hours. Their weariness levels rose both before and after sleep, regardless of how many hours they slept.
When possible, try to sleep throughout the night.
If your job requires shift work, however, there are techniques to reset your body clock, which should increase your energy levels.
In one research, shift workers who were exposed to bright light pulses wore dark sunglasses outdoors, then slept in complete darkness reported significantly decreased weariness and improved happiness.
People who work shifts may benefit from wearing blue-blocking glasses.
SUMMARY: Sleeping throughout the day might disrupt your body’s normal cycle, causing weariness. Attempt to sleep at night or reset your body clock.
Inadequate Protein Consumption
A lack of protein might exacerbate your weariness.
Protein has been demonstrated to increase metabolic rate more than carbohydrates or fat.
This may help reduce exhaustion as well as aid in weight reduction.
In one research, Korean college students who reported eating high-protein meals such as fish, pork, eggs, and beans at least twice a day had considerably lower self-reported fatigue levels.
Other studies have shown that high-protein diets can reduce tiredness in weight lifters who do resistance training.
Furthermore, research shows that branched-chain amino acids, the building blocks of protein, may reduce tiredness.
Aim to take a high-quality protein source at each meal to maintain your metabolism intact and minimise tiredness.
SUMMARY: Consuming enough protein is essential for maintaining your metabolism and avoiding weariness. At each meal, include a high-quality protein source.
It is critical to stay hydrated to maintain a high level of energy.
The many metabolic reactions that occur in your body daily result in a loss of water that must be restored.
Dehydration happens when you don’t consume enough fluids to replenish the water lost through your pee, faeces, sweat, and breath.
Several studies have shown that even mild dehydration can lead to falling energy levels and a reduced capacity to focus.
In one research, men who worked out on a treadmill and lost 1% of their body weight in fluid experienced greater exhaustion than when they did the same activity while being well hydrated.
Although you may have heard that you should drink eight 8-ounce (237-ml) glasses of water each day, you may need more or less depending on your weight, age, gender, and level of exercise.
The trick is to drink enough water to stay hydrated. Thirst, weariness, dizziness, and headaches are common signs of dehydration.
SUMMARY: Mild dehydration might diminish energy and alertness. Make sure to consume enough fluids to compensate for fluid loss over the day.
Over-Reliance On Energy Drinks
There is no shortage of drinks that claim to give instant energy.
Popular energy drinks often include the following ingredients:
- The amino acids
- B vitamin supplements at high concentrations
Because of their high caffeine and sugar content, these drinks may deliver a short energy boost.
Research of sleep-deprived healthy people, for example, found that drinking an energy drink resulted in moderate gains in alertness and mental performance.
Unfortunately, as the benefits of caffeine and sugar wear off, these energy drinks are likely to set you up for residual fatigue.
According to one evaluation of 41 studies, although energy drinks boosted alertness and mood for several hours after use, excessive daytime drowsiness commonly followed the next day.
Although caffeine concentration differs widely between brands, one energy drink can contain up to 350 mg, and certain energy drinks can contain up to 500 mg per can. Coffee, on the other hand, generally contains 77–150 mg of caffeine per cup.
Even at lower doses, though, consuming caffeinated drinks in the afternoon can interfere with sleep and result in poor energy levels the next day.
To interrupt the loop, consider reducing your use and gradually weaning yourself off of these energy drinks. In addition, restrict your consumption of coffee and other caffeinated beverages at the early hours of the day.
SUMMARY: Caffeine and other components in energy drinks may give a momentary energy boost but often result in residual fatigue.
High Levels of Stress
Chronic stress may significantly impact your energy levels and overall quality of life.
Although some stress is natural, some studies have linked severe stress to weariness.
Furthermore, your stress reaction might impact how exhausted you feel.
One research of college students discovered that delaying dealing with stress led to weariness.
While you might not have avoided stressful events, learning stress management methods can help you avoid feeling entirely fatigued.
Extensive evaluations of research, for example, show that yoga and meditation can help ease stress.
Engaging in these or comparable mind-body techniques may help you feel more energised and better equipped to deal with stress in the long run.
SUMMARY: Excessive stress can lead to weariness and a decrease in your quality of life. Practising stress-reduction tactics may help you feel more energised.
The Bottom Line
There are several potential reasons for persistent fatigue. Because exhaustion often accompanies the disease, screening out medical issues first is critical.
On the other hand, feeling extremely tired might be tied to what you eat and drink, how much movement you receive, or how you deal with stress.
The good news is that by adopting a few lifestyle modifications, you may find that your energy levels and general quality of life improve.