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Why am I always tired?

09.09.2013

Feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, TATT, which stands for ‘tired all the time’.

At any given time, one in five people feels unusually tired, and one in 10 have prolonged fatigue, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists. 
“It’s bizarre to find anything physically wrong. Most of the time, tiredness is associated with mood and the build up of lots of little stresses in life.
“There are more chances of a medical reason for tiredness if there are other symptoms as well, such as heavy periods, weight loss, a change in bowel habits, hair loss, extreme thirst etc.

If you want to work out how you became tired in the first place, it can help to think about:

Parts of your life, such as work and family that might be particularly tiring. Any events that may have triggered your tiredness, for instance, a bereavement or relationship break-up.

How your lifestyle may be making you tired.

There are lots of health complaints that can make you feel tired. Not just the well-recognised ones like anaemia and thyroid problems, but also more surprising ailments, such as diabetes and food intolerance. Being overweight or underweight can cause tiredness. That’s because your body has to work harder than normal to do everyday activities. If you’re underweight, you have less muscle strength, and you may feel tired more quickly. Pregnancy, especially in the first 12 weeks, can also sap your energy.

Psychological tiredness is far more common than tiredness that's caused by a physical problem.

One key reason is anxiety, which can cause insomnia and in turn lead to persistent fatigue. A survey by the Mental Health Foundation found that nearly a third of the population are severely sleep-deprived, often because of job and money worries. The Foundation’s report, Sleep Matters, suggests a link between insomnia and low energy levels. The worries and strains of daily life can be exhausting, even positive events, such as moving house or getting married. And emotional shock, such as bad news, bereavement or the break-up of a relationship, can make you feel drained.

Mental health problems such as depression or anxiety can make you feel more tired. They can also prevent you from getting a proper night's sleep.

Tiredness can often be attributed to lifestyle factors, such as drinking too much alcohol, or having a bad diet. If you drink alcohol in the evening, it tends to wake you in the middle of the night. And if you drink a lot regularly, it can make you depressed and affect your sleep.  If you have a disturbed sleep pattern – for instance if you work night shifts, sleep in the day or look after young children – it can be difficult to get a good night sleep, and you’ll feel tired during the day.

Follow up on here for more post on how to tackle and manage tiredness.
 

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