Why am I tired all the time? Here are the reasons you're sleepy and how to get your energy back

EVERY morning do you drag yourself out of bed despite getting a solid eight hours kip?

You could be suffering with an underlying condition or need to make lifestyle adjustments to get you back to your sprightly self. Here's our guide to help you understand why you feel so exhausted all the time…

Why am I always tired?

Medical causes

If your tiredness stems from more than just a lack of sleep, this could point to an underlying medical problem.

These include:

  • Coeliac disease: You may feel sluggish after consuming gluten
  • Anaemia: One in 20 people have iron deficiency; this is one of the most common medical reasons for feeling constantly run down
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome: This long-term illness can trigger extreme tiredness and sleep problems. Sufferers may also struggle to carry out everyday activities.
  • Diabetes: A result of having an excess of sugar in the blood is feeling overly tired.
  • Underactive thyroid: If your body lacks thyroid hormone (throxine), this is likely to be a cause of exhaustion.
  • Glandular fever: Even though the majority of the viral infection's symptoms clear up in six weeks, patients who have been diagnosed with glandular fever may experience fatigue for several months.
  • Sleep apnoea: This condition interrupts your sleep as it hinders your breathing during the night. Signs of sleep apnoea include restlessness during the night and regular snoring.
  • Restless legs: Willis-Ekbom disease, also known as restless legs syndrome, causes an irresistible urge to move the legs. As the nervous system is constantly battling this overwhelming feeling, shutting down at night can prove difficult.

Of course there are many other medical reasons – some of which are very serious – why you might be feeling tired out, so if you are feeling under the weather and fatigued it's best to visit your GP who can examine you and run tests to get to the bottom of your symptoms.

Psychological causes

Mental disorders can affect your sleep just as much as physical ailments. Here are some conditions that can lead to restlessness…

  • Anxiety – One in 20 Brits are affected by generalised anxiety disorder. Feeling uncontrollably worried can be extremely draining, especially if it stops you from nodding off at night.
  • Depression – A common symptom of depression is extreme tiredness. Not only can it prevent you from falling asleep, it can also make you feel devoid of energy.

Lifestyle causes

Making a couple of small tweaks to your lifestyle could be all it takes to sort your sleep out.

It's likely you will feel knackered if…

  • You regularly consume alcohol: Boozing disrupts sleep and can trigger wakefulness in the middle of the night. To sleep more soundly, try cutting back on alcohol.
  • You have a lack of routine: Working late shifts, enjoying too many wild nights out and failing to stick to a routine can all contribute towards feelings of exhaustion.

How can I get my energy back and tackle tiredness?

The NHS outlines the best ways to fight fatigue:

  • Eat regularly to keep your energy levels high
  • Perk up with exercise to boost circulation
  • If you're overweight, shifting some pounds can help make you feel less sluggish
  • Make more time for sleep
  • Take steps to reduce your stress levels – whether this be seeing a medical professional or setting aside time for relaxation
  • Cut down on caffeine – or cut it out entirely
  • Drink less alcohol
  • Keep your body hydrated with plenty of water

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