Do You Feel Tired All The Time?
About one-third of teens and adults in the US report feeling some level of chronic fatigue. Being tired all the time can be a symptom of some underlying conditions. In most cases, however, the cause of fatigue is easy to address. Consider these 5 possible causes of low energy and how to fix the condition.
1. You are what you eat
What a person eats can have a significant impact on energy levels. While carbohydrates can be a quick source of energy, eating too many refined carbs can make people feel sluggish. These types of processed carbs cause a spike in blood sugar. The subsequent fall can feel like a big energy crash, leading people to reach for more carbs. To avoid a carb crash throughout the day, choose foods that are rich in fiber and pair carbohydrates with fat and protein, such as eating peanut butter with an apple.
2. Inactivity breeds exhaustion
Some people report feeling too tired to exercise. But living a sedentary lifestyle could be at the root of the exhaustion. Fortunately, even minimal increases in activity can make a difference. Try using a standing desk for a few hours a day or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Over time, these small changes can add up.
3. Sleep problems
Inadequate sleep is perhaps the most obvious reason a person may feel chronically tired. Also, people who work night shifts or sleep during the day may have a disrupted circadian rhythm. In one study, up to 5% of night-shift workers experience a sleep disorder that causes excessive fatigue. If changing shifts isn’t an option, people can try wearing dark sunglasses outside or using blue-light-blocking glasses to try to help the body adjust.
4. Don’t forget to drink
Sometimes, dehydration could be at the root of chronic fatigue. Research has shown that even mild dehydration can lead to difficulty concentrating and low energy levels. Getting eight 8-oz glasses of water daily is an excellent place to start. However, some people may need even more water-based on weight, gender, age, and activity levels.
5. Are you managing stress?
Chronic stress has a significant impact on a person’s energy levels. And stress doesn’t just refer to emotional distress. Not sleeping enough, exercising too much, or drinking too much caffeine can all add up to increased stress on the body. Develop strategies to manage stress in healthy ways, such as practicing yoga, meditation, or journaling.
You don’t have to be tired forever
Often, feeling tired all the time can link back to diet or other lifestyle habits. In some cases, chronic fatigue may point to underlying conditions, such as thyroid issues. For more information about the causes of low energy and to rule out any underlying conditions, speak with a healthcare provider.