“Doc, why am I so tired all the time?” a patient asks. “I just can’t get going even after a pot of coffee.” Running errands was too much for her, let alone doing the things she enjoyed. Her fuel tank was empty, and she had nothing more to give. Not surprisingly, she’s one of many people who ask this question. Many patients list fatigue as a common symptom when they come to a Wellness Way clinic for their first visit.
A 2018 survey from Accountemps found that 74% of Americans go to work tired. That’s a lot of tired people. Women are even more tired than men. According to the CDC, women ages 18-44 were twice as likely than men to report being “very tired” or “exhausted” in the past three months. Being tired or exhausted can be detrimental to your work, health, and quality of life. So, why are people so tired? 
Why am I so Tired?
There are many reasons so many people are so tired. but you weren’t designed to be tired. However, it’s important to recognize that tiredness is not the natural state your body was designed for. Your body is inherently capable of generating energy, and feeling energized is the norm unless certain underlying factors are at play. Dependence on stimulants to kickstart your day or endure it may indicate an underlying issue worth investigating. If you need external stimulants, it could be a sign something bigger is going on.
If you’re tired all the time, something is off. You need to identify what is draining your energy. If your body is fighting something or working on healing something, it naturally requires more resources, leaving you with depleted energy. Your fuel tank will be empty unless you take proactive measures to replenish it.
8 Factors that Can Increase Fatigue
These are the most common factors that can make you tired and drain your energy. The first step in addressing fatigue is to identify what causes your exhaustion and hampers your energy production. By pinpointing the contributing causes, you can develop strategies to overcome fatigue and restore your energy levels.
1 – Lack of Sleep
This is the obvious one, but it plagues so many! According to the American Sleep Association, over one-third of Americans regularly report getting less than seven hours of sleep. The average person requires a full eight hours of sleep, with women needing even more, typically between eight to ten hours. Unfortunately, many people attempt to function on inadequate sleep, compromising their body’s healing process. Sleep is when your body heals, and without sufficient sleep, your body doesn’t get the time it needs to heal. Prioritizing quality sleep and implementing helpful tips for better sleep can go a long way in revitalizing your energy and overall well-being. Make time for sleep and follow these tips for better sleep!
2 – Stress
Stress is one of the most significant factors ruining women’s sleep and overall health. Nothing depletes a woman’s energy levels like mental stress. Heightened stress levels can elevate cortisol, hindering restful sleep and undermining hormonal balance. Since sleep is crucial for hormone replenishment in women, this disruption can have detrimental effects. The interplay between stress and fatigue can exacerbate tiredness and drain energy levels. It is essential to address and manage stress effectively to mitigate its negative impact on sleep, hormonal balance, and overall well-being.
3 – Electrolyte Imbalance
Your body needs a proper balance of electrolytes to stay hydrated and for various essential biological processes. Electrolytes play a crucial role in facilitating electrical processes, including nerve function, muscle contractions, and fluid balance.
Your body needs electrolytes like salt, potassium, chloride, and magnesium to function optimally, and it’s important to ensure an adequate intake of these electrolytes. Incorporating plenty of green leafy vegetables into your diet and using high-quality salt can help meet your electrolyte needs.
4 – Infections and Illness
When your body is fighting a virus or other infection, it will tell you to get some rest to fight it. It’s a normal immune response. Taking the time to rest and recuperate is essential for effectively fighting off the invader. An inadequate immune response, on the other hand, can allow the virus to persist, leading to ongoing issues like fatigue. Recognizing the importance of supporting your immune system and providing it with the necessary resources and rest is crucial in addressing viral infections and minimizing the impact on your energy levels.
5 – Chronic Inflammation
Chronic inflammation can stem from various factors, including allergies, an unhealthy diet, hormone imbalances, exposure to mold, toxins, and more. Your body constantly fights this inflammation, depleting your energy reserves over time. To assess the level of inflammation in your body, the C-reactive protein (CRP) test can provide valuable information. Determining whether inflammation is the underlying cause of your fatigue is the first step. You can then investigate the specific triggers of the inflammation. Identifying the contributing causes of inflammation empowers you to take measures to address them, ultimately leading to restored energy and well-being.
6 – Medications
Medication can also impact energy levels. It’s important to review the side effects of the prescriptions you’re taking. Remember, the body operates like a finely tuned Swiss watch, where altering one part can have effects on the entire system. Certain common medications are known to cause fatigue, including antihistamines, blood pressure medication, diuretics, statin drugs, and antidepressants. Being aware of these potential side effects can help you understand the impact your medication may have on your energy levels and overall health. If you suspect a medication is contributing to your fatigue, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider to explore alternatives or adjustments to your treatment plan.
7 – Thyroid
Many factors can affect the functioning of your gland and disrupt your sleep patterns. Thyroid hormones play a vital role in regulating your sleep-wake cycle, and any imbalance in their secretion can impact your sleep quality. The thyroid gland is interconnected with other components of your body’s intricate machinery, and an issue with this gland can potentially affect the overall balance. To learning how well your thyroid is functioning, it’s necessary to get complete testing. The knowledge gained through test results will help determine appropriate interventions and support your journey towards better sleep and improved anergy levels.
9 – Anemia
Your body needs adequate iron levels for the production of hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood. When your tissues and muscles don’t receive sufficient oxygen, it can result in feelings of fatigue. If you suspect that your iron levels may be low, it’s a good idea to get tested. Iron deficiency can arise from various factors, such as not eating enough iron-rich foods or poor iron absorption from gut-related issues. Maintaining a healthy gut is crucial, and you can also incorporate certain tips to enhance your iron levels. By ensuring the health of your gut and implementing strategies to boost iron intake, you can support optimal iron levels and promote energy and vitality.
You Don’t Have to Be So Tired
If you’re always asking yourself, “Why am I so tired?” it’s important to find out why. Persistent fatigue not only affects your quality of life but may also indicate an underlying health issue. Identifying the factors contributing to your fatigue is crucial for knowing how to address and mitigate. If you’ve already optimized your sleep, continue exploring other potential causes. Getting coaching from a skilled practitioner who can help you uncover the causes of your fatigue is highly recommended. If you’re experiencing constant exhaustion, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Wellness Way practitioner. We’re here to support you in reclaiming your energy levels!
Learn more about chronic fatigue and these 8 common factors that cause fatigue in the video with Dr. Patrick Flynn: