Always Tired During the Day? This Could Be Why
Ever wake up in the morning and feel like taking a nap a half an hour later. Then, when 3 o’clock hits, the yawning begins and its nap time once more. You realize that the last time you were able to take so many naps, you were a toddler. This daily fatigue isn’t going to work with your schedule, not without getting fired from your job.
If you are feeling fatigued all day, it is wise to get checked by a doctor. It can signal an underlying medical problem, such as anemia, diabetes, hypothyroidism or hepatitis C, among other conditions.
Other hidden causes of fatigue may include:
A junk food diet: Diets that are high in trans fats, saturated fats, processed foods and added sugars can sap your energy. It would be a wise idea to switch to a diet high in good sources of protein — mainly fish, nuts, seeds and beans — with eight to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.
Watch out for grains: Complex carbohydrates affect insulin. Insulin is the storage hormone that makes us heavier. The heavier we are, the higher our blood sugar becomes, and the more insulin resistance (prediabetes) we develop.
Lost/missing nutrients: To enjoy the greatest benefit from the foods you eat and to optimize your energy, make sure you’re always eating a healthy, well-balanced diet — and never skip meals.
Not enough omega-3: There is evidence that omega 3s help to reduce depression, which can make you feel fatigued. Foods rich in omega-3 include seafood, cold water fish, leafy greens, chia seeds and ground flax seed. Try to work more of these foods into your diet.
Vitamin D deficiency: Research suggests a link between low levels of this vitamin, low energy and depression. Vitamin D is made in our skin through sunlight and is one of the few vitamins not available in food. If you live in an area with low levels of sunlight, consider vitamin D supplements.
Poor sleep: Reasons for lost sleep include increased work responsibilities, living with teens, aging parents and stresses of daily life.
Menopause: For women, menopause and perimenopause are also factors. Falling levels of progesterone (a female hormone that helps with sleep) and hot flashes can cause insomnia.
Too much caffeine at night: Stimulants, such as coffee and tea, can also affect your sleep. A daily 30-minute walk is the best thing you can do to promote better sleep at night, so you won’t feel as tired during the day.
A sedentary lifestyle: If healthy changes in your diet and sleep don’t alleviate your fatigue, look at how much time you spend sitting. Ironically, not getting enough exercise can make you feel tired. Incorporating daily exercise into your life will boost your energy, as well as your mood and your fitness level.
Stress: Stress can make you feel fatigued. Sometimes you can reduce the stress in your life. Relaxation training, a meditation or yoga practice, and other techniques can help you manage stress, relieve tension and enjoy more peace.
Take Care of Yourself and Try to Get Quality Sleep at Night. Be sure to take heed of the things described above and to try to get some quality sleep at night. If you feel sick (or are experiencing fatigue throughout the day) and it’s not an emergency, please call us at Prosperity Internal Medicine at 703-876-9300 for an appointment. Our group uses the latest advances in medicine, offering our patients access to innovative health management technologies, proactive team-based care, and an evidenced-based, patient-centered approach.