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Do You Feel Tired All the Time? Here Are 12 Possible Reasons Why

Are you always feeling exhausted all the time even after long hours of sleeping? Well, you are not alone in this predicament. There are others like you as well who are in this same condition. According to an American report, every two of five Americans always complain of feeling tired all the time.

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According to research from the CDC, studies show that 1 in 3 adults always fail to get adequate sleep. However, so many people blame their lack of sleep on their busy schedule and lifestyle. From having to juggle between school, work and/or family, as well as other commitments that are many engage themselves in, and it is effortless to conclude that this lifestyle could be the culprit behind you having to feel tired all the time.

If you always have to ask yourself the question of why you are always tired all the time, then probably you don’t need to ignore the problem anymore. If you have changed your lifestyle and it is still the same problem even after a period, then you need professional help.

According to Dr Sandra Adamson, if after rescheduling your lifestyle, changing your schedule, reduced your office workload, and you try to sleep more; however, all these changes don’t seem to have an effect, then it is time to meet with your physician. Some reasons could explain why you are not sleeping well and always getting tired and this is the reason for this article.

1. You are using an old mattress and/or pillow

Having to sleep on an uncomfortable bed and pillow will not make you have a good night sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, they recommend that you change or replace your mattress every nine to ten years and for the pillows, you should change every once a year.

2. Your bedroom is uncomfortably warm

A hot bedroom or a hot environment is very uncomfortable for sleeping. It is difficult to find sleep or stay asleep once you are in an uncomfortable environment and position. It is recommended that you set your room temperature at 65 degrees Fahrenheit once you want to sleep. That is the recommended temperature that is appropriate for rest.

3. Too much time spent on your phone

According to Dr Richard L. Hansler, he told prevention in an interview that once you expose your eyes to light from your smartphones during the evening, it will prevent your body from producing a hormone called melatonin. Melatonin is a sleep hormone that induced by the brain when the body is in preparation for rest and sleep.

For you to rest adequately and properly as well as getting the required amount of sleep your body needs, ensure that your bedroom is phone free or if you use your phones and laptops, ensure you switch them off at least 30 minutes before bedtime.

4. Intake of too much alcohol

When you excessively take in alcohol, it will deter your sleeping patterns. Some even use alcohol as an aid to sleep. Sure, a glass of alcoholic wine can help you sleep, however, when you become dependent on alcohol for your rest, the quality of sleep you would have would suffer.

According to Dr Hansler, for the first few hours, while your body is still trying to metabolise the alcohol in your system, the level of alcohol present in your system at that time, it will induce the production of sleep which prevents the rapid eye movement. This kind of sleep is known as healthy sleep.

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However, after the metabolism has been completed and the level of alcohol reduced to its barest minimum, you are back to where you started… No sleep.

5. Lack of intake of adequate water

Have you ever noticed that if you haven’t had a glass of water in a while, you might begin to feel cranky and irritated? Do not think for a second that that effect is coincidental, No it isn’t. When you are dehydrated, your moods and energy level begins to dwindle and diminish.

Some researchers believe that if you haven’t had water in a while, it can cause some parts of your brain to start diminishing and shrinking. Truth is you don’t need to be exactly over dehydrated for you to begin to feel these cognitive problems.

Once you are a little bit dehydrated, you may begin to feel a bit dizzy, sluggish and uncoordinated. These days, it has been observed that quite a large number of us have replaced drinking of water by taking sodas and this is really not good for our health especially our brain health.

Once a person has dehydration either mild or moderate, it is quite easy to treat. You should endeavour to drink more water every day.

If you have tried each of the above methods- replacing your mattress and sleeping on a more comfy one, going to bed early every night at probably the same time, reduced your alcohol intake and improved your diet but yet you are still feeling tired and exhausted, then there probably is a Medical underlying condition which may be the cause.

If your constant tiredness and fatigue still persist after uterine your lifestyle and schedule, maybe it is time to consider your health factors. There are some health conditions which causes disruption of sleep and the feeling of fatigue and tiredness all the time. Some of them include:

6. Anaemia

Anaemia refers merely to the shortage of blood in one’s body. The tiredness caused by anaemia is as a result of the lack or the reduced number of red blood cells in the body. The function of red blood cells in the body is to carry oxygen (by the haemoglobin present in the red blood cells binds with oxygen) to the body’s tissues and cells.

Hence, if there is a reduced number of red blood cells, the oxygen rate of tissues and cells will be low because there is no carrier. This will, therefore, cause you to keep feeling weak and out of breath most of the time.

What then causes Anemia? Anaemia is caused when there are iron and vitamin deficiency in the body. This deficiency could be due to blood loss, internal bleeding, some chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and/or kidney failure.

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According to Dr Lawrence Corash who is the adjunct professor of laboratory medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, he stated that women who are within their childbearing age are also at risk of developing anaemia due to the amount of blood lost during menstruation as well as the body’s required need for iron during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

What are the symptoms you would exhibit if you are having anaemia?

If you are having anaemia, you would always be feeling tired all the time. You would also be extremely weak and yo and would experience difficulty in sleeping and concentrating. Other symptoms include rapidly beating heart, chest pains and severe headaches. When you walk for a short distance or do a less stressful chore, you are always tired and exhausted.

Anaemia isn’t a disease, and it is a disorder. It can also be a symptom that there is an underlying disease within your body system that needs to be treated and resolved. For you to effectively treat this disorder, you will need to treat the underlying condition.

You may need to start eating foods that are rich in iron, but you need to see your doctor to know the cause of the anaemia and the best type of treatment that you should undergo.

7. Thyroid problems

Now, there is something known as thyroid hormones and when they are out of place, even your typical day to day activities will tire you out excessively. Your thyroid gland is just about the size of your tie’s knot.

The thyroid gland is found in front of the neck, and its function is to produce hormones that help in controlling your metabolism.

When there is a speedup in your body metabolism, it means that the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid gland has skyrocketed, and this condition is known as hyperthyroidism while whenever there is a reduced rate of your body’s metabolism, it means that the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid gland has declined and this condition is known as hypothyroidism.

What are the symptoms of thyroid problems?

The symptoms of thyroid problems depend on the kind of thyroid problem it is. For hyperthyroidism, the symptoms include:

  • Muscle weakness and tiredness which will be first noticed in the thigh. Exercises which were once very easy for you to do now becomes a problem. Minor activities such as riding a bike or just climbing the stairs will soon become a great chore for you.
  • Unexplainable loss of weight
  • Intense internal heat which will cause you to feel warm all the time even in cold temperatures
  • Increased heart rates
  • An irregular menstrual flow that is shorter and less frequent
  • Increased thirst due to dehydration.

According to Dr Robert McConnell, he says that records show that hyperthyroidism is commonly diagnosed in women who are within their 20s and 30s. This doesn’t mean however that older women and men are left out of the equation. They also can experience hyperthyroidism

For those who have hypothyroidism, the following are the symptoms they would notice or experience:

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  • Excessive tiredness
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Muscle weakness and pain with any little activity
  • Gaining weight excessively due to water retention in the tissues of the body
  • Feeling cold and shivering all the time even in a warm temperature.
  • More massive menstrual flows which occur more frequently than usual
  • Constipation.

Research studies have shown that hypothyroidism is more common in women who are above the age of 50. According to Dr McConnell, on an average, 10% of women who are above 50 will experience mild hypothyroidism. This means that every 1 in 10 women have mild hypothyroidism once they are above the age of 50.

Treatments for these thyroid diseases depends on the kind of thyroid problem it is. Mostly triode problems are treated with medications and surgery, but in extreme cases, the person may need therapy which includes the introduction of radioactive iodine.

8. Diabetes

Diabetes is a significant factor that can cause fatigue and tiredness. According to statistics, more than a million people are diagnosed with having diabetes type 2 every year.

However, there are so much more people who don’t even know they are living with diabetes or they are prone to it. Glucose often referred to as sugar is a significant fuel that the body uses for energy.

For people with type 2 diabetes, this is a significant problem for them because their bodies can’t absorb glucose very well neither can it make use of it. Now, they are taking in sugar, but the body can use this effectively. This would cause there to be a buildup of glucose in the blood.

Remember that their body can’t use this glucose, so it is as good as being useless to them. Hence, people who have diabetes have no glucose to use as fuel for the body’s day to day activities, and this would cause them always to feel overly tired and exhausted.

According to some researchers at John Hopkins hospital, one of the very first signs a diabetic patient would notice is severe fatigue. Asides them feeling tired all the time, they would also experience excessive thirst for water, frequent urination, hunger, excessive loss of weight, irritability, vaginal yeast infections for the women who have the disease and blurred vision.

Sadly, there is no cure for this disease just yet. One can only manage his/her symptoms by having to change diets, oral medications or a frequent intake of insulin shots.

9. Depression

Depression is an illness that affects everything about us. Right from the way we eat, sleep, talk and feel about ourselves others. One might even be living with depression for weeks, months and years without knowing it.

One funny thing about depression is that there are no general symptoms. This means that it is likely for no two persons to experience depression in the same way. One common trait you would, however, find in depressed victims is the lack of energy, drastic changes in eating and sleeping patterns, difficulties in concentration and memory problems, alongside the feelings of negativity, hopelessness and loss of self-worth.

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No blood or laboratory test can detect depression. However, your doctor would ask you a series of questions that can help identify if you are depressed or not. Most people who struggle with depression can overcome it through the use of medications and therapy.

10. Chronic fatigue syndrome

This is a condition that causes the sudden onset of severe tiredness. People who have chronic fatigue syndrome always feel too tired to carry on with their daily activities. They are easily exhausted with any little chore or exercise.

The cause of this syndrome is unknown, however, asides the tiredness you would feel, if you have chronic fatigue syndrome, you would always headaches, muscle and joint pains, extreme body weakness, swollen and tender lymph nodes as well as they would have severe difficulties in concentrating on anything.

This disease just like diabetes sadly doesn’t have a cure, but you can manage it by taking medications such as painkillers for the pain, energy boosters can also help in maintaining the condition.

11. Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea means having breathing problems while sleeping. You could have this condition if you always notice that you feel tired every time you wake up no matter how many hours you spent relaxing.

The symptoms of sleep apnea include always having interruptions in your breathing cycle while sleeping. There is a common type of sleep apnea most people experience while sleeping and it is the obstructive sleep apnea.

According to Dr Roseanne S. Baker who was the former medical director at Baptist sleep institute in Knoxville, she said that for those who experience obstructive sleep apnea, your upper respiratory tract closes for a few seconds, and this causes your brain to be at alert in order to wake you up so you could continue breathing again.

Someone who has obstructive sleep apnea can end up stop breathing dozens or hundreds of time before the day breaks. Sleep Apnea causes snoring and is generally followed by severe tiredness the next day. Sleep Apnea could also lead to heart conditions such as hypertension, and stroke.

If you think you are experiencing this sort of sleep disturbance, it is important you visit your doctor for a test. He or she would tell you-you to have to undergo a polysomnogram. This would require you to sleep at the hospital, however, and they would monitor you closely. This polysomnogram is a painless brain test that would track your sleep patterns, breathing changes and brain activities during sleep.

If you are diagnosed with sleep apnea, you would be treated based on the severity of your condition. In less severe conditions, you would be prescribed to have a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device.

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This device is in the form of a mask that is to fit over your nose and mouth and blow air into your airways while you are asleep. If your condition is however very severe, you might be asked to come in for a surgery that can help correct the situation.

12. Insufficiency or deficiency of vitamin B12

One of the most crucial brain vitamins you can have is vitamin B12. Asides your brain health, Vitamin B12 is also essential in helping to improve your metabolism and your immune system. As we grow older, the ability of our bodies to absorb this significant vitamin declines.

According to Dr Lisa Cimperman, one of the first signs of vitamin 12 deficiency is severe fatigue. There are some certain diseases such as Crohn’s disease, and digestive disorders can cause your body to be unable to absorb vitamin B12.

Asides disease, your body, might not be able to absorb vitamin B12 due to some certain medications you are taking in. Medications such as heartburn medications and diabetes drugs might hinder your body from being able to absorb Vitamin B12 from your food.

Likewise, if you are a vegetarian, you are at risk of also having this deficiency, and this is because you only take in plant-based foods whereas vitamin B12 is naturally gotten from shrimp, meat, eggs, shellfish and so on.

Asides the intense fatigue you would be bound to feel if you have this disorder, you would also have other symptoms such as tingling in both the upper and lower extremities, memory lapses, dizziness, vision impairment and severe anxiety and depression.

If you realise that you have this disease or you suspect you are, you would need to visit your doctor for a checkup, and once he confirms this is using a blood test, you would be placed on dietary supplements as well as a change of diet in worse cases.

Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker

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