Why am I always so tired?

Why am I always so tired?

If you find yourself yawning throughout the day, it might be caused by something more serious than not getting enough sleep.

Dr. Naresh Upadhyay, a pulmonologist at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, shares three common reasons behind fatigue and how to treat them:

1. Medical conditions
Several medical conditions can lead to tiredness such as thyroid issues, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and certain high blood pressure medications. Kidney problems can also lead to fatigue.

A simple blood test can find out if diabetes, an over- or under-active thyroid, or anemia are the cause of fatigue.

2. Your diet
Eating habits and obesity can also contribute to fatigue. A diet high in sugar, caffeine and simple carbohydrates can also leave you feeling drowsy. Eating simple carbohydrates can cause blood sugar to plummet, which leads to a tired, crashing feeling.

Portion sizes are also key. To treat food-related fatigue, eat smaller meals throughout the day.

“It’s not just the kinds of food you eat but also how much. The greater the quantity of food, the more tired you get,” says Dr. Upadhyay.  “Also, you need to stay active. The less you do, the less you can do. People who exercise are less tired than those who don’t.”

3. Lack of sleep
The most obvious reason for fatigue is related to how someone sleeps and how much.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens from 14 to 17 years old need eight to 10 hours of sleep each night, those 18 to 64  need seven to nine hours and adults 65 and older need seven to eight hours.

Creating a peaceful environment, free from smartphone interruptions, is key for a good night’s sleep.

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About the Author

Carolyn Diana
Carolyn Diana

Carolyn Diana, intern at Advocate Trinity Hospital in Chicago, is a junior at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan who is currently majoring in journalism and spanish. Besides going to school, she is a server at 115 Bourbon Street restaurant and during her free time she likes to read, write for the school newspaper, and watching E! news. Some of her favorite things are Miley Cyrus, the Chicago Blackhawks, and deep dish pizza.