WORK-LIFE BALANCE / APR. 28, 2015
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7 Reasons Why You’re Tired All The Time

Are you one of the 20 percent of people who complain of feeling constantly exhausted or drained of all energy? If so, this post is for you TATTs (tired- all- the- timers). It reveals the most common causes of your tiredness, according to medical experts, reasons that range from perfectionism to low hormone levels. Read on to find out what the seven reasons are, and what you can do about it!

See Also: Haven’t Slept? How to Spend Your Workday Without Feeling Tired and Sleepy at Work

1. Perfectionism

“Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor” is an apt quote by American Author Anne Lamot. And it’s an oppressor that will drain you of your energy. Perfectionists have been shown to worry more, sleep less, ruminate and cogitate more than their less perfectionist counterparts in their drive to be seen as being ‘error free’ – an impossible notion. Perfectionists are often plagued with self-doubt that can lead not only to exhaustion but also to anxiety and depression. Furthermore, they find it difficult to make progress as their perfectionism gives way to doubt about their abilities. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is typically prescribed for perfectionists.

2. Excessive coffee intake

The caffeine in coffee is a stimulant that, taken in small amounts, can result in a brief ‘energy high’. However, it can lead to a condition known as ‘adrenal fatigue’ when taken in excess, leading to a number of unwanted effects such as tiredness and irritability. According to medical experts, caffeine is a “false friend” that will take you on a road of highs and lows (a spike in blood sugar levels followed by a crash), where you end up “chasing energy”. Watch the video for some ideas on how to give up coffee.

3. Sleep Apnoea

If you wake up feeling tired regardless of how much rest you think you’ve had, you may have sleep apnoea. It affects nearly 18 million American adults and is characterised by short interruptions of breathing when asleep. According to WebMD, "snoring, gasping and excessive sleepiness" are three of the warning signs of sleep apnoea. The first step of treatment is usually a "sleep study", conducted in a sleep clinic.

4. Not eating enough protein

We often reach for a sugar hit when we’re feeling tired. However, it could be that what we’re in fact lacking is protein. Protein consumption leads to a slow release of energy, preventing the typical mid-afternoon slump. If we have not eaten enough protein at lunchtime, we will experience the tiredness we invariably feel towards the end of the day, according to nutritionist Nicola Shubrook, a nutritionist at Urban Wellness Clinic in London. Snacking on protein throughout the day, such as, cheese, yoghurts, nuts and cheese, will help keep energy levels steady.

5. Indulging in 'comfort carbs'

Do you frequently snack on ’comfort carbs’: sweets, cakes and cookies? There’s the reason for your tiredness, right there. According to Dr Marilyn Glenville, speaking to the Daily Mail, these carbs cause highs and lows in blood sugar levels that result in a person feeling tiredness later on in the day. Dr Glenville recommends eating low GI foods which allow energy to be released at a slower pace and eating small amounts of food frequently in order to keep blood sugar levels on an even keel, and in so doing prevent tiredness.

6. Low Hormone Levels

In men, low levels of testosterone have been linked to tiredness, accompanied by other effects such as loss of libido and loss of hair. Low hormone levels can also lead to a loss of muscle mass that can result in tiredness. According to endocrinologist Mark Vanderpump, speaking to the Daily Mail, it is possible to have testosterone replacement therapy to correct the symptoms.

7. An underlying condition

A number of underlying conditions list fatigue as one of their symptoms. These include chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, anaemia, hypothyroidism, infection, kidney disease, depression, anxiety and fibromyalgia. It’s important to see your doctor if your exhaustion is baffling to you, in order to rule out any underlying conditions.

See Also: A Lack of Sleep Can Ruin Your Career

Fatigue is a symptom, not a disease, and people will experience tiredness in different ways. However, if you suffer from constant exhaustion, the chances are that your tiredness has a detrimental impact on your quality of life. Try to figure out the underlying cause of your tiredness with the help of your doctor, so you can take the right steps to recover.

Are you constantly tired? Do any of the symptoms mentioned above sound familiar to you? Your thoughts and comments below please...

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