Why am I always tired? The main causes of sleepiness and fatigue – Business Insider Australia

Posted: April 10, 2020 at 2:47 am


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If you always feel tired, it may be sleepiness or fatigue and theres a key difference. Sleepy people would sleep, given the opportunity, and it will often give them more energy. Fatigued people tend to have low energy levels regardless of sleep, and generally dont feel like doing much.

There are many causes of sleepiness and fatigue. Whether its lack of sleep, poor sleep quality, a nutrient deficiency, or an underlying condition here are some of the most common reasons why you may be feeling tired.

If you find yourself feeling tired throughout the day, you should first assess whether you are getting enough sleep each night. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults should get seven to nine hours of sleep, while children need more depending on their age. Yet, an estimated one in three American adults dont get the recommended amount.

The quality of sleep is just as important as the number of hours, says Rajkumar Dasgupta, MD, assistant professor of clinical medicine at Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.Sleep apnea, for example, can cause fragmented sleep, preventing you from getting into deeper, more restorative, sleep stages, which can lead to excessive sleepiness during the day.

If you think that lack of sleep, or low-quality sleep is the problem, then sticking to a routine may be helpful, says Stephanie Stahl, MD, a sleep medicine physician at Indiana University Health. Our bodies operate on internal clocks that regulate organ function, and maintaining regular cycles by going to sleep and waking up at the same time helps regulate this internal clock.

If your sleep pattern is frequently changing, your body doesnt know when its supposed to be awake or asleep and other body functions may be thrown off too, Stahl says. Disrupting your internal clock, or circadian rhythms, can result in less restful sleep cycles, making you feel tired.

This is especially important if you have an unusual schedule, like working a night shift. Studies have found that night shifts can be detrimental to overall health and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. By sticking to the same schedule every day and limiting light exposure to create a dark, night-time environment, many shift workers can reset their internal clocks and adapt to their schedules, Stahl says.

If youre not getting sufficient nutrients each day, or not drinking enough water, it may be part of the reason why youre always feeling tired.

You may need to rework certain parts of your diet to boost energy:

The level and type of physical activity each person needs to feel energised depends on many individual factors, Smarr says.

For example, one study found that low-intensity exercise, like walking, reduced symptoms of fatigue by 65% in sedentary people who regularly experience fatigue, and was even more effective than moderate exercise. The timing of exercise doesnt necessarily make a difference in energy levels throughout the day, Smarr says, but staying consistent with regular physical activity can help improve fatigue.

Smarr says a lack of physical activity can also leave you feeling tired, particularly after eating. This is when blood sugar spikes, and if you remain sedentary, those blood sugar levels remain high, which inhibits the bodys ability to convert glucose from blood into cells for energy.

Even the act of standing for a few minutes after your meal radically shortens the amount of time the blood sugar is in your blood, Smarr says.

Though you shouldnt necessarily engage in an intense workout after consuming a meal, moving around a little can help stabilise your blood sugar and reduce feelings of sluggishness associated with high blood sugar.

These underlying medical conditions can cause you to feel tired:

If its not physical, it may be mental. Stress can disrupt sleep at night, which can cause daytime sleepiness, Dagupta says. Prolonged periods of stress can also contribute to fatigue and exhaustion.

Moreover, fatigue is a common symptom of depression, and both depression and anxiety can make it difficult to fall asleep at night, Dasgupta says. This cycle can perpetuate itself, as sleep deprivation can worsen depression and anxiety.

If you think your fatigue is associated with depression or anxiety, talk with your doctor. A health care provider can discuss medication options or help you make lifestyle changes to improve your sleep.

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Why am I always tired? The main causes of sleepiness and fatigue - Business Insider Australia

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April 10th, 2020 at 2:47 am

Posted in Nutrition