This is a serious question and something I’ve struggled with throughout my health and fitness journey. I never slowed down when I was in high school – I was always on the go. In fact, I don’t remember ever feeling “fatigued” that wasn’t simply the cause of pushing myself to the limits in sports or activities. But once I hit University, I fell in love with the nap.
Don’t get me wrong, I still nap often (although not nearly as often as I used to) and I do recommend a great caffeine power nap when you need a little extra focus and drive, but I don’t need them to get through the day like I used to. I don’t hit a wall anymore. I rarely wake up tired after a good night sleep anymore (probably the worst feeling in the world).
I was lucky that a lot of this stuff sorted itself out once I figured out what combination of food and exercise made me feel good. I didn’t have to play around with too much figuring out why I was so damn tired and running out of energy all the time. I’ll highlight some of the reasons why you might always feel tired and what are a few small things you can do to test and see if it helps. Some of these were game changers for me, but your milage may vary – test for yourself and see how it works out.
1. Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
I suspect this is a big cause for a lot of people and why they feel fatigue – especially both first thing in the morning AND when hitting the afternoon wall. Your lunch probably spikes your blood sugar a little more than required, which can lead to a “crash” effect of sorts that will put you into that afternoon lull. For me, this was making sure my lunch contained a protein source, lots of vegetables, and a very slow digesting carb – I really enjoy some black beans for lunch because I find they give me the most consistent source of energy to get through the afternoon.
Likewise if you wake up in the morning feeling tired or with a headache, you might want to think about adding something very small right before bed – a piece of apple with some peanut butter on it should do the trick. It will give your body a little boost so that you’re not waking up with such low blood sugar levels.
2. Restless sleep (or lack of sleep)
Think you’re getting a good night sleep? Is it possible to measure? Sort of. There are a number of devices like the Fitbit and Jawbone Up that will track your sleeping patterns. You can even get an iPhone app that will use the accelerometer to gauge if you’re moving around a lot throughout the night.
I’m not suggesting you go out and spend a hundred bucks on some gadget just to track your sleep – but it’s important to consider that you might not be getting as good of a night sleep as you think.
3. Lack of exercise
“But I get tired after I work out.” No shit. In fact, you likely get pretty exhausted and sore and feel like you never want to do it again. The problem is that you might use that as a reason to never do it again and if you do – the next time you try to exercise you’re going to get the same feeling.
I guarantee that incorporating a moderate exercise plan into your daily and weekly routine will be extremely beneficial in not feeling so tired.
4. You’re simply passing time
This is a big one and might be more of a reason than you give it credit. Sleeping to pass time is very popular – dangerous, but popular. It often goes hand in hand with simply being bored and not having the best use for your time. It’s very important that you pay attention to this if it’s happening because it can be the cause of, or eventually lead to some other issues such as depression and anxiety.
5. Anxiety or stress
“I’m not stressed.” Very common response from someone when they are asked if they are stressed out. The issue is that stress comes in a lot of different shapes and forms. Just because you don’t have an upcoming deadline in a project doesn’t mean you might not have other stressors in your life.
Is your family coming in from out of town and visiting for a few weeks? That can cause the body stress regardless of how excited you may also be about it. Car in the shop and you had to find a different way to commute back and forth to work? That’s an added stress.
You don’t need to be in full-blown anxiety attack mode for your body to have stressors – try to figure out what may be causing you unnecessary stress in your life and try to remove them as best as possible.’
Why do you feel so tired? I’m not sure. The above points are some of the things that I noticed were factors for my fatigue, but your milage may vary. But if you’re struggling with being tired all the time it might make sense to start paying attention to your daily routine and find out some of the influences and factors that could be attributing to the problem.