If you are experiencing frequent fatigue, you are not the only one. Studies predict that more than a third of employed Americans are feeling tired. Approximately 20 percent of adults have been found to be excessively drowsy on three or more days per week.
It is not usual to always feel exhausted in this era. Tiredness that doesn’t improve after getting enough sleep should be looked into by a physician.
A lack of energy, both mentally and physically, known as fatigue, is something that can result from lifestyle decisions, medical issues, sleep paralysis, and psychological issues. There are numerous potential explanations as to why you feel drained and exhausted, for instance, lasting tension, dietary inadequacies, despondency, and sleep apnea.
This piece discusses the probable explanations for why you feel exhausted all the time. This article delves into the specifics of EDS, such as the indicators of it, root causes, and feasible options to reduce exhaustion that has become disruptive to your regular routines.
Symptoms of Excessive Sleepiness
Oversleeping and not getting enough sleep can have a major effect on one’s wellbeing. In most cases, tiredness is not associated with a severe illness such as cancer. However, it could serve as an indicator of grave health issues or be related to other potential issues and concerns.
For instance, inadequate sleep can increase the likelihood of dozing off while behind the wheel. This can result in endocrine disturbances, putting on pounds, or an intensification of ongoing discomfort.
Poor sleep can interfere with your quality of life. Some symptoms of being sleep-deprived can include:
- Difficulty learning
- Increased carbohydrate cravings
- Less interest in sex
- Loss of motivation
- Trouble concentrating
- Weight gain
A lack of sleep for one or two nights, an increase in stress, and an heavier level of activity than usual can cause this feeling in many people. When it’s a constant or regular state, there is likely a cause related to:
- Lifestyle Factors
- Common medical causes
- Sleep disorders
- Medication side effects
The ways you live your life can have a powerful effect on your EDS and vigor. Among the factors that you may want to discuss with a healthcare provider are:
- Sleep habits
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Work schedule
- Stress levels
9 Causes of Daytime Fatigue
1. Low sleep quality
A number of different problems can disrupt your sleep, such as not having enough of it, poor quality, or sleep apnea, all of which can influence your energy levels and metabolism in a damaging way. Sleeping helps keep your body and patterns of wakefulness and sleep in balance, as well as managing hormones responsible for food cravings and appetite (ghrelin and leptin), the body’s stress reaction (cortisol), and the release of growth hormones. Some reasons you aren’t getting stellar sleep can include:
The brightness of blue light emitted from gadgets with screens. Studies have been conducted and published, including one in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, showing that being exposed to blue light near bedtime makes it harder to sleep as well as making it tougher to wake up. You should take steps to reduce the amount of blue light emitted from your phone or computer after sundown. You can do this by turning on the blue light filter on your phone, or downloading an app like f.lux for your computer which will diminish the blue light over time.
Gene Sambataro, DDS, of the Julian Center for Comprehensive Dentistry, has suggested that sleep apnea is correlated with tiredness during the day. Airflow ceases to exist for a period of no less than 10 seconds when an apneic event occurs. Individuals who are diagnosed with sleep apnea experience a great deal of disruption in their sleep pattern, including restlessness and the lack of reaching the deepest stages of resting. The adrenal glands will pump out adrenaline during sleep due to the ‘fight or flight’ reaction from having the tongue and soft palate obstructing breathing, Sambataro notes.
Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD and medical director for the Center of Lifestyle Medicine at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, points out that while drinking may make you feel tired, it can still have a negative effect on your sleep quality.
A deficiency in red blood cells resulting in anemia can happen when the body does not produce enough of them. Dr. Golubic explains that when there is not a sufficient amount of oxygen taken to tissues, it can make someone tire as red blood cells are in charge of transporting oxygen. Fatigue is often the most noticeable indicator that someone may have anemia, and that is particularly true for women of reproductive age who are on their period. Therefore, this is typically the first area to investigate when an individual suggests they may have anemia.
Anemia comes in a variety of forms, ranging from the commonly seen iron and B12 deficiencies, to more rare conditions. Iron can be acquired from leafy greens, legumes, and even dried fruit, yet one’s intake could be reduced if they don’t have sufficient Vitamin C. Additionally, Dr. Golubic states that any individual with an enduring illness is liable to being anemic.
Although you enjoy your cup of coffee or can of diet cola, too much caffeine later on can disrupt nighttime sleep, resulting in feeling tired during the day. Sports nutritionist and author Marie Spano, MS, RD, states that certain medications, such as the birth control pill, can cause caffeine to linger in the body for up to 24 hours, and potentially even longer. It would be wise to abstain from consuming caffeine after midday.
4. Poor diet
A major contributor to feelings of fatigue can be attributed to consuming too much sugar. It’s not merely sodas and pastries that are at the top of the list. Sugar can be disguised in supposedly nutritious foods such as dressings and grains, giving you a temporary energy boost, but then making you quickly become fatigued. In order to prevent a surge in your blood glucose levels, which can be caused by consuming covert sugar, you should take in more fruits and vegetables for your carbohydrate requirements, as well as lean protein, nourishing fats, and reducing the quantity of processed foods that you eat.
Eating diets stuffed with bad fats from fried dishes can make you feel exhausted due to the fact that they require a longer time to process. Spano mentions that the blood from the brain and muscles is redirected to the digestive system in order to break down the fatty foods.
Spano also mentions that people who are trying to shed weight must find a healthy balance between eating and beverage intake that gives them enough energy. And hydration is also imperative. Lack of hydration can result in a decline in cognitive capabilities and tiredness due to a smaller form of blood volume, which then results in the body having less water to send to the mind and muscles. Amounts of water intake can differ, but the Institute of Medicine suggests 2.7 liters for females and 3.7 liters for males every day.
Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RDN, from the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute, claims that food allergies can result in feeling exhausted. This could result in inflammation, resulting in a feeling of tiredness. You can determine if you have food allergies by taking a food allergy test, or you can get a more accurate assessment of gluten or lactose-based sensitivities by taking a genetic test, according to the doctor.
5. Low vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is in fact a type of hormone that can be useful in controlling one’s emotion, energy and additional aspects. A study in the North American Journal of Medical Sciences discovered that those who have low levels of vitamin D frequently experience lethargy, which can be remedied by restoring their vitamin D to the recommended level. Go outdoors more often to facilitate the manufacturing of Vitamin D in your body, or take a Vitamin D3 supplement.
6. Chronic stress
It might seem contrary to what one might assume, but stress can actually be helpful, offering motivation and concentrating one’s thoughts to finish tasks. When a person experiences prolonged and unrelenting stress, Dr. Golubic notes, they might be overwhelmed by fatigue and the negative effects of stress hormones. An increasing amount of evidence indicates that practicing stress relief strategies on a regular basis is a major contributor to the alleviation of chronic stress-induced ailments, such as fatigue, heart problems, diabetes, depression, and autoimmune issues.
How to kick the hothead habit? Engaging in activities like meditation and yoga is an effective way of looking after oneself. A report printed in PLOS ONE has uncovered a concrete link between meditation and the activation of genes connected to energy creation, mitochondrial efficiency, insulin secretion, and the deactivation of genes that cause inflammation and stress. Attempt meditating for five minutes three times a week, gradually increasing the duration to 20 minutes a day. Dr. Golubic suggests that you could discover yourself to be much more tough and able to quickly recover from difficult situations.
If you don’t particularly enjoy meditating (or even if you do), Dr. Golubic proposes engaging in conversations with your friends in order to unwind, as well as involving yourself in physical activity. You don’t need to take part in a triathlon, physical activities like walking, jogging, cycling or performing strength exercises will do. He suggests that it should become a regular practice. Every step, every muscle move counts. Discover an activity that you like and locate a period of the day that is suitable for you.
Depression can create disturbances to your sleep patterns, like oversleeping or undersleeping, and bring about other warning signs including worries, that use up your energy. In the past, depression was thought to be related to low serotonin levels, but this idea, which is now fifty years old, has been proven to be incorrect. In regards to fatigue, instabilities in sleeping patterns appear to be the principal tie between depression and weariness.
8. Sleep Apnea
A condition known as sleep apnea can cause breathing to intermittently or completely stop throughout the night. It is possible for it to happen multiple times in an hour, or even a large number of times during the night. It’s typical for these halts to be accompanied by a loud snort and momentary awakening as you crave for oxygen.
For each installment, you transition into more relaxed stages of sleeping. You may arise from your sleep and then drift off again without being conscious of it. You often experience disturbed rest, leading to Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) and its accompanying signs. Other symptoms of sleep apnea include:
- Dry mouth and sore throat in the morning
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Morning headaches
- Sexual dysfunction
- Frequent nighttime urination
9. Circadian Rhythm Disorders
You may experience numerous types of circadian rhythm disorders that can make you excessively drowsy during the daylight hours. Your body’s internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, is responsible for organizing your activities in accordance with the amount of light and dark in your surroundings. If your body clock is out of sync, you may experience extreme drowsiness during the day.
Six common circadian rhythm disorders are:
- Advanced sleep phase syndrome: The distinguishing feature is falling asleep and waking up earlier than you want, usually by about 3 hours.
- Delayed sleep phase syndrome: Similar to insomnia, this causes difficulty falling asleep and makes it extremely hard to wake up.
- Irregular sleep-wake rhythm: Occurs when the circadian rhythm becomes completely disconnected from the natural day-night cycle. Sleep is fragmented, with short spells scattered throughout the day.
- Jet lag: A temporary rhythm disorder associated with travel across several time zones. To adjust, it may take one day for every time zone you crossed.
- Non-entrained (non-24) disorder: This usually occurs in visually impaired people. The sleep cycle is typically a little longer than average and thus becomes more out of sync every day.
- Shift-work sleep disorder: Poor sleep is caused by working at night and sleeping during the day. This can lead to increased accidents and possibly a higher risk of some forms of cancer.
Treatments that are successful in addressing circadian rhythm disorders include light therapy, supplementation with melatonin, using sedative or stimulant medications, and making modifications to one’s sleep habits.
Medications That Cause Drowsiness
Feeling sleepy, being exhausted, and having difficulty staying awake are typical reactions to taking medicines. If you often feel fatigued, your doctor will likely investigate what drugs you are taking. Drugs that can make you tired include:
- Analgesics: Painkillers including opioids such as Vicodin (hydrocodone-acetaminophen), OxyContin (oxycodone)
- Anticonvulsants: Seizure prevention drugs such as Neurontin (gabapentin) and Lyrica (pregabalin)
- Antidepressants: Tricyclics and SSRIs/SNRIs including Elavil (amitriptyline), Prozac (fluoxetine), Cymbalta (duloxetine)
- Antiemetics: Drugs for nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness such as Dramamine (dimenhydrinate), Anzemet (dolasteron), Zyprexa (olanzapine), Reglan (metoclopramide)
- Antihistamines: Allergy medications including Zyrtec (cetirizine), Claritin (loratadine), Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
- Antipsychotics: Drugs for schizophrenia, psychosis in bipolar disorder, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease including Abilify (aripiprazole), Risperdal (risperidone), Seroquel (quetiapine)
- Benzodiazapines: Tranquilizers and sedatives such as Librium (chlordiazepoxide), Valium (diazepam)
- Blood pressure drugs: Diuretics, ARBs, calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers including Lasix (furosemide), Avapro (irbesartan), Calan (verapamil HCL), Toprol-XL (metoprolol succinate)
- Muscle relaxants: Including Soma (carisoprodol), Lorzone (chlorzoxazone), Flexeril (cyclobenzaprine)
- Sedatives: Non-benzodiazepine sedative/hypnotics such as Ambien (zolpidem), Sonata (zaleplon), Lunesta (eszopiclone)
- Statins: Especially fat-soluble drugs including Lipitor (atorvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin)
- Steroids: Used for inflammation, allergies, skin diseases, certain cancers, and after organ transplants. Some may cause insomnia, including prednisolone, methylprednisolone, dexamethasone
Fatigue and tiredness are common symptoms of many illnesses. In certain scenarios, exhaustion may result from a disorder like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or an autoimmune illness. In cancer, both the illness itself and its treatment could be responsible for causing tiredness and a phenomenon called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
In many circumstances, a lack of sleep or sleep deprivation due to underlying sleep disorders can cause tiredness and excessive daytime sleepiness. Additionally, medical conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome can bring about these symptoms as well.
Start by talking to your healthcare provider. A simple check-up can discover numerous treatable conditions that could be the source of fatigue, such as depletion in iron or vitamin D levels, thyroid problems, or diabetes. A sleep study can rule out a sleep disorder.
Making modifications to one’s daily habits such as adding more fresh produce to one’s diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and creating an ideal environment for sleeping can help reduce fatigue during the day. They’re healthy decisions in their own right. When further help is required, there are therapeutic methods available to assist in recovering from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome.