Do you constantly feel like you’re dragging in the morning? It’s difficult to wake up, and when you finally do feel awake, you’ve got a solid few hours until you feel like crashing again around 2 in the afternoon.
Do you regularly wonder, “why am I tired all the time?”
Your tiredness may be related to lifestyle factors that you can easily resolve, a sign of more serious health problems, or it may be a signal that you aren’t sleeping enough.
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Common Causes of Tiredness
Feeling tired may the result of a health condition or a problem interfering with the quality of your sleep. Adults should aim to get seven hours of sleep each night. Fatigue can result from many health conditions or lifestyle factors.
Anemia is when your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells and is common in women who have heavy menstrual periods. Iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia. If you are a vegetarian or don’t eat much red meat or iron-rich foods, you may experience anemia. Dizziness and irritability are other signs of anemia. Your doctor can diagnose it with a blood test and recommend a solution. Sometimes, taking supplements or adding in more iron-rich foods to your diet can increase your energy.
Medication side effects
Medications for stroke, cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol, and many other conditions can cause you to feel tired or fatigued. If you’ve noticed that your energy levels have dropped dramatically after starting a new medication, you may want to talk to your doctor. Antidepressants and other treatments for mood or neurological conditions can also cause fatigue. Your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative medication if the tiredness is interfering with your daily activities.
People with obesity also tend to have more tiredness during the day than people at a normal weight. Obesity increases the risk for sleep apnea, but research has found that even without sleep apnea, those who are excessively overweight still have more daytime fatigue. Obesity combined with lower physical activity may also increase tiredness.
Depression, chronic anxiety, or day-to-day stress
When you suffer from depression or even stress because of things going on at work or home, your sleep habits can suffer. Depression and sleep problems, particularly insomnia, can put you in a difficult cycle, where one problem compounds the other. Having a physician who addresses both problems can help you get the best results.
Not sleeping enough can leave you feeling tired, grumpy, and less productive. Common sleep disorders, including sleep apnea, insomnia, and restless legs syndrome, can interrupt your nightly sleep, leaving you to feel less than refreshed in the morning.
Make sure to keep a regular sleep schedule each day. Irregular bedtimes can weaken your body’s internal clock — so your body doesn’t know when to wake or rest.
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Getting Help for Sleep Trouble
Talk to your doctor if you feel tired often. He or she may be able to find the cause or refer you to a sleep medicine specialist for a more detailed analysis. Once you understand the cause and get treatment, you can begin to rest easy again. Healthy sleep habits are an important part of your overall health.
About Sleep Medicine
Getting a good night’s sleep is a crucial part of living a healthy life. But that’s a problem for millions of Americans dealing with sleep deprivation. The UPMC Sleep Medicine Center diagnoses and treats numerous sleep conditions or disorders. We also provide help to people suffering from lack of sleep because of other health problems. We recognize a lack of sleep can cause problems during other times of the day, including alertness, memory, and health immunity. We hold sleep studies and lead clinical trials, all in the name of helping you sleep.