Do you feel tired all the time and don’t know why? Here are 7 common issues that could be causing your fatigue – and how to fix them!
You’re not getting enough sleep
We all know that getting a good night’s sleep is important, but too few of us actually make those 8 hours of sleep a priority. If you’re constantly tired, the answer but might be as simple as that you’re just not resting enough. If you’re having trouble falling asleep, try drinking tart cherry juice twice a day. It might seem random, but research has actually shown that thanks to the hormone melatonin and amino acid tryptophan in cherries, doing this makes you sleep an average of 90 minutes longer each night. Pretty impressive! And, if you’re not a cherry fan, try eating two kiwi fruits an hour before bedtime instead. This has been shown to increase sleep time by 13% and decrease mid-sleep waking periods by 29%.
Want even more sleeping tips? Check out our full guide here!
You’re stressed or anxious
Stress and anxiety is naturally tiring and can cause both low and high levels of fatigue, leaving you feeling completely drained. Stopping tiredness is difficult because it’s your body’s way of resting when it feels it needs to rest. Instead you need to take care of the root of the problem, whether it be by seeking professional help or just cutting down on whatever is making you feel stressed and anxious.
You’re eating too much junk
Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs have a high glycemic index, which is an indicator of how rapidly the carbohydrates increase your blood sugar. Therefore, eating junk food – or just bad sources of carbs – causes constant blood sugar spikes followed by sharp blood sugar drops, making you feel tired throughout the day. These types of foods typically also contain very little of the nutrition that your body needs to be healthy and balanced, which makes you feel even worse. Your body simply doesn’t have the right energy to work the way it’s supposed to. Try to incorporate more wholesome, nutritious foods with a lower glycemic index. Some good options are fruit, vegetables, lentils, oats and sweet potato.
Dehydration causes a reduction in blood volume which makes the blood thicker. This makes it harder for your heart to pump efficiently, which reduces the speed at which oxygen and nutrients reach your muscles and organs and in return makes you feel tired and weak. But being dehydrated doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not drinking enough, it just means that you’re not drinking enough of the right fluids. When you start to feel thirsty that means that your body is dehydrated and wants water. Drinking soda, juice or other sugary beverages might cure your thirst, but it doesn’t cure your body’s dehydration. All it needs is water, so try to stick to just that.
A great way to give your water an extra boost that helps balance your energy levels and treat dehydration, is by adding electrolytes to it. There are tons of different varieties out there, including electrolytes with added natural flavors. While these might not be the healthiest electrolyte options, they do make it easier to drink if you’re not a fan of the taste of water.
You’re not moving enough
If you’re tired and fatigued, you may feel tempted to skip exercise. But, this actually works against you. Exercise does wonders for your energy levels by releasing endorphins, boosting your stamina and delivering oxygen and nutrients to your tissues. Plus, it lifts your mood and helps you sleep better. So if you feel tired, exercise might be just what you need!
You have a vitamin or mineral deficiency
Having low levels of iron, vitamin D or B12 can make you feel tired and weak. We’ve listed some of the best sources for these nutrients, so if you think that you might not be getting enough of these foods, it could be a good idea to try to incorporate them into your diet – or take a supplement.
Iron: meat, seafood, tofu, beans, peas, nuts, spinach, broccoli
Vitamin D: fatty fish, fortified dairy products, egg yolks, shiitake mushrooms + sunshine
Vitamin B12: meat, fish, seafood, dairy products, eggs, nutritional yeast
You’re drinking too much caffeine and alcohol
Caffeine and alcohol both sabotage your natural sleep pattern, but in different ways. Caffeine makes you instantly alert, making it difficult to fall asleep even if you stop drinking it in the afternoon. This means that you’ll wake up tired, causing you to drink even more caffeine. Relying on caffeine to balance your energy levels can easily get you caught in a vicious circle. Try to limit yourself to one to two cups a day, stopping at noon.
Alcohol on the other hand has a reverse effect, since it initially depresses the central nervous system and makes you fall asleep more easily. But as the night goes on your body will spend less time in its deep sleep mode, and more time in the less restful REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. So while alcohol does help you sleep, it’s not the kind of sleep that makes you feel rested. We recommend staying away from alcohol at least 4 hours prior to bedtime.