Being tired because you haven’t had enough sleep is one thing, but constant exhaustion and feeling drained when you’ve had enough kip is frustrating. Sometimes called TATT (Tired All The Time), it’s really common –though not normal - and there are a number of physical and emotional reasons it can happen.
Common reasons for tiredness
Ignoring chronic fatigue is a bad idea, as it could be a sign you have a medical condition. Anaemia and thyroid problems are the most common but tiredness is also a side effect of other illnesses, such as diabetes. If you’ve been feeling tired for over two weeks, head to your GP for a checkup. If nothing else, it will put your mind at rest.
[Related article: How to pay off your sleep debt]
Food is our fuel so when we’re not using it efficiently, our energy dips. This can be caused by anything from dieting too hard to eating foods you are intolerant of (but may not realise) it. If you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you’re doing it at a steady, healthy rate and keep a food diary that you can show your doctor. This will help you work out if particular foods worsen your tiredness or give you other symptoms.
If you’re over or underweight you’re more at risk of TATT because your body has to work harder to behave normally. Being overweight puts strain on your joints, heart and lungs, and being underweight means your muscles have to work harder.
[Related article: What your sleeping position means for your relationship]
Anxiety and depression
Sleep is hugely affected by your mental health. Anxiety and nerves can cause insomnia, which over time can become chronic and leave you constantly fatigued. If you’re depressed you may find you want to sleep all the time but never feel refreshed. If you’re stressed and feeling down for a few weeks, it’s important to ask for help.
Too much booze
A bit of alcohol can make you nod off but using it as a sleep-aid means you’re avoiding the root of the problem. Plus, too much alcohol can cause you to wake up in the night, giving you a disturbed sleep. Even a little disrupts your sleep pattern, so drinking right before bed is a bad idea. Much too much alcohol and your body will replace its normal nightly routine of repair and rest with processing and getting rid of it from your system (and probably leaving you with a cracking hangover).
One of the most common reasons women find themselves constantly fighting fatigue is simple to solve. Just rehydrate yourself. Try drinking a big glass of water when you get up and have two glasses with every meal. This could be enough to make the difference. Add the odd herbal (non caffeinated) tea and fruit juice throughout the day and your energy levels may instantly perk up.