Woman Sleeping with Head Resting On Train Table

Why Am I Always Tired? Common Causes of Fatigue

Many of us think that daytime fatigue is part and parcel of adulthood. But actually, some really common lifestyle choices compound the problem. Don’t panic, they’re easy to tweak and manage. 

Take a look at these 6 common causes of fatigue and our suggested solutions, and get those energy levels boosted!

1. You’re a couch potato

Are you a self-confessed couch potato? Would you prefer to sit on the sofa than venture outdoors? This may be why you’re feeling tired. When you’re feeling sluggish, the last thing you want to do is get active but numerous studies show that a little exercise throughout the week can boost your energy levels, which can improve many physical and mental concerns, including fatigue.

The solution

Light physical activity, even just 20 minutes three times a week will boost your strength, endurance and energy. Even a stroll around the neighbourhood is worthwhile or choosing to walk instead of driving when going about your standard daily activities.  So, the next time you start feeling a little sleepy switch the slippers for trainers!

2. You’re a bad sleeper

Regardless of how long you sleep, if your quality of sleep is poor you’re going to wake up feeling tired.Your sleeping environment is an important factor in determining whether you have a 'good sleep’ or ‘bad sleep’. 

The good stuff is when you sleep deeply for long, continuous periods. This allows your body to rejuvenate, so you feel refreshed when you wake up. Bad sleep is just the opposite – stirring or waking up frequently during the night, and feeling sluggish and tired the next day as a result.

The Solution

Although this could be a sign of a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnoea, your restless night likely has a simple solution. There are lots of quick and easy edits to your bedtime routine which can positively impact your quality of sleep:

Avoid sugar, caffeine, spice and heavy foods close to bedtime

Switch off electronics and read a book, to reduce your exposure to stimulating ‘blue light’

Ensure your bed is comfortable and supportive, allowing your body to fully relax and rest when you nod off. A memory foam mattress can provide exactly that. 

3. You’re a coffee addict

Coffee and fatigue are a dangerous combination, Yes, initially coffee will boost your energy but then a few hours later you will crash and burn. People get stuck in a rut of drinking too much caffeine to combat their chronic fatigue syndrome, but end up in a very vicious cycle that can seem hard to break.

So, what are the alternatives instead of reaching for a cuppa?

The Solution

You don’t have to cut out coffee altogether (it’s far too delicious for that kind of drastic action). All praise the scientists who have discovered that 3 cups of coffee a day can be beneficial for your health. 

However, if you’re experiencing regular fatigue, try to cut down and swap some of your coffee hits with herbal teas. You’ll be amazed at how easily you find the switch. For most of us, it’s the comfort of having a hot drink on our desk rather than the coffee itself. Plus, tea contains a small amount of caffeine too so you’ll still get the energy boost your body is craving.

4. You’re dehydrated

Another drink to reach for instead of a coffee - good ol’ water!

Being dehydrated heightens several chronic fatigue’s common symptoms, including a drop in blood pressure, fairly vicious headaches, leave you feeling tired and unable to concentrate on work or other tasks.

The Solution

Surprisingly, we’re not going to suggest drinking 2 litres of water a day, because that’s not the advice of health professionals. Take a refillable bottle to work with you and aim for about 1 – 1.2 litres. The remainder of the 2-litre target comes from your food and other drinks (the list of which might surprise you):

The study also found that cola, diet cola, hot tea, iced tea, coffee, lager, orange juice, sparkling water and sports drinks were just as effective … “It’s a common belief that coffee and tea don’t count towards the recommended daily intake of water because they are diuretics, but it's an erroneous one … The diuretic action is small and these beverages can make a useful contribution to meeting daily hydration needs” - Professor Maughan, Delicious Magazine.

5. You’re a workaholic

There’s a difference between being a hard-worker and a workaholic. Piling unnecessary pressure on yourself at work and letting it eat into your life outside of the office takes its toll on your wellbeing and intensifies new or already existing symptoms of fatigue. Everybody needs some downtime, so finding a healthy work/life balance is essential.

The Solution

It’s not as easy as just saying you’re going to switch off. You need to schedule in some ‘me time’. Take the dog for a walk, meet up with a friend or just treat yourself to an hour in the bath. 

With something to actively take your mind off work pressures, you’ll notice a change in your mood, attitude and energy levels. You should find that you sleep better too, without your mind whirring late into the night.

6. You skip breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why? 

For most of us it’s the smallest meal, so how can it be so important? Well, breakfast wakes up your body and kick starts your metabolism for the day. Skipping breakfast can mean your energy levels are on the back foot right from the outset.

The Solution

Even though it might seem like a chore at first, pick up some breakfast ingredients during your next shop and set your alarm 10 – 15 minutes earlier in the morning. It might be difficult to leave your bed at first, but trust us once you get into the routine of having a nutritious and filling breakfast before you leave the house you’ll never look back. It’s so much more satisfying than grabbing something on the go and sets you up for the day ahead. 

7. You need to change your mattress

Sleeping on an old, lumpy, uncomfortable mattress won't help you get a good night's sleep. This is often the reason for feeling tired or poorly rested. 

The Solution

Getting a replacement is a good idea - this may help you get the night's sleep you deserve. Buy a mattress online here. 

8. Underlying Medical Conditions

Most of the time, your chronic fatigue can be traced back to one of your daily habits, especially a lack of exercise. 

So, before you start to worry, make some of the very small changes to your daily routine that we have mentioned above and we’re super confident you’ll be feeling your best and running off 8 hours of sleep in no time!

Some of the common medical conditions that cause daytime fatigue include:

  • Iron deficiency; can be detected through a blood test to check your amount of red blood cells, and solved through regular iron supplements
  • Sleep apnea
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Even a food allergy can cause fatigue!

If you make the appropriate lifestyle changes and find your symptoms don’t improve and you’re still battling a night of uneasy sleep, talk to your doctor and they can help you find a solution. 

Back to blog