When people want to know why they’re so tired, they often turn to the internet. When they do, they get the same answers multiple times. Articles tell them that they don’t sleep enough, that they don’t practice good sleep hygiene, or that they’re consuming too much caffeine.
These responses are often frustrating. If the answers were that obvious, people wouldn’t need to search for them in the first place.
Without answers, people sometimes turn to drastic measures. For example, some people may even develop a cocaine addiction or another stimulant addiction because their morning coffee isn’t enough to keep them awake anymore.
So, what if you’re going to bed on time, you’re limiting screen time and caffeine, and you still feel tired all the time? The culprit could be one of the following reasons.
To feel rested during the day, it’s not enough to get the right amount of sleep. You also need high-quality sleep. If you sleep for a solid eight hours but never enter deep sleep, then you probably won’t feel refreshed when you wake up. One thing that often interferes with quality sleep is breathing difficulties.
Some breathing-related disorders, such as seasonal allergies, can cause fatigue directly. Others may not directly cause fatigue, but they can interrupt quality sleep.
Sleep apnea, for example, causes people to wake up multiple times throughout the night.
People may or may not remember waking up, which is why many people with sleep apnea might not realize that they have it.
If you deal with allergies, asthma, and similar problems during the day, those issues could be keeping you awake at night, too.
If you’re not sure whether you deal with breathing difficulties at night, pay attention to how you feel in the morning. For example, do you wake up with a dry mouth? That could mean that you were breathing through your mouth instead of your nose, which can be a sign of nighttime breathing issues.
Anemia is a common blood disorder that often causes fatigue. People with anemia have low levels of red blood cells.
Anemia can be caused by an underlying illness, but it is also often caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency, especially a lack of iron or vitamin B12.
These nutrients are most commonly found in red meat, so vegetarians and vegans may need to add a vitamin or mineral supplement to their diets. However, you should always talk to your doctor before starting any new supplement, especially iron. While iron is crucial to healthy blood cell formation, it is also toxic in excessive amounts.
Also Read: An Expert Decodes Adrenal Fatigue
Medication Side Effects
Some medications cause fatigue as a side effect. Some common examples include pain relievers, blood pressure medication, and antidepressants. Antihistamines are another common culprit, which can be especially frustrating for people whose fatigue is caused by allergies.
If you suspect that your medication is making you tired, talk to your doctor about your options. Your doctor may adjust your dose, prescribe a different medication, or suggest a better time of day for you to take your medicine.
Some disorders, such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and narcolepsy have sleep-related symptoms. They have some separate symptoms, such as chronic pain from fibromyalgia and the “sleep attacks” of narcolepsy.
However, when it comes to sleep and wakefulness, symptoms often overlap.
These symptoms can include:
- not feeling well-rested after a full night’s sleep
- daytime sleepiness
- inability to focus due to feeling tired
- difficulty falling asleep at night
Other medical disorders may affect sleep as well, even if sleep disturbances are not the primary symptom.
When To Talk To A Doctor?
Fatigue can be frustrating, especially when you don’t know the cause. You should discuss your concerns with your doctor if your fatigue has lasted for more than two weeks, has persisted in spite of lifestyle changes, or if it is interfering with your day-to-day life.
Call 911 right away if your fatigue includes:
- chest pain
- severe back, pelvic, or abdominal pain
- shortness of breath
- irregular heartbeat
- thoughts of harming yourself or someone else
- thoughts of suicide
It can be difficult to find the cause of fatigue, but when people do pinpoint the cause, they can often make changes that increase their energy and give themselves more control over their health.