Do you find yourself feeling tired all the time? While many of us simply feel the natural effects of a busy day in the hours before bed (especially as we get older), tiredness and fatigue to varying degrees can actually be a real problem for others – and a sure sign that something is not quite right.
If you are feeling tired all the time and you’re getting 6-9 hours of sleep every night, it’s crucial you look into it – because proper rest is so important. In the worst cases, chronic fatigue or tiredness can actually be a sign of disease or that something is wrong and you’ll want to know about that today rather than tomorrow.
“Why am I tired all the time?” Let’s investigate with the 4 questions you need to ask yourself:
1. Is It Your Diet?
If you’re getting enough sleep but you have a bit of a habit of skipping meals, you might just be lacking calories – and therefore energy. In fact, you shouldn’t just eat your meals, but also a banana or a few crackers if you’re uncomfortably peckish between meals. Not eating enough, or not eating enough of the right sort of foods, can leave you deficient in key vitamins like D and B-12, as well as iron, potassium or magnesium. In a recently published study1 “Problems with vitamins and minerals translate into effects on cognitive and psychological processes including mental and physical fatigue” The first step for overcoming the most common reasons for tiredness of all? Ask your doctor for a blood test.
2. Are You Overweight?
It stands to reason that the more weight you’re carrying around, the harder your body will have to work to get up those stairs or through your duties at work or home. So while food gives us energy, too much can rob us of it, so try shedding a few extra kilos with something easy like a daily walk or swim, and cutting down on calories. Counter-intuitively, an overly sedentary lifestyle won’t leave you particularly rested, it will leave you sluggish and sleepy. Also, swap out some of those ‘bad’ snacks like chocolate and chips with fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Are You Stressed?
When you’re overly stressed, your body spends way too much time making extra cortisol and adrenaline and flicking into ‘fight or flight’ mode – leading to headaches, tension, gastric problems … and tiredness. When that stress becomes chronic, a little tiredness can turn into chronic exhaustion, no matter how much rest you’re getting.
According to a study in the Nature journal2 “Stress-related neuromuscular fatigue is accelerated in obese individuals”. So stress and obesity are additive and worsen tiredness.
Have you tried meditation? Have you talked it over with your doctor? Your ‘stress’ might actually be depression, but the good news is that it can be treated.
4. Do You Have A Sleep Disorder?
Unfortunately, sleep disorders are common but can be treated if diagnosed. Did you know you could snore a little (or a lot) too much, or even have sleep apnoea (take the sleep apnoea test to find out), without you or your partner knowing much about it? In that case, your next move could be to a sleep specialist to figure out what’s going on with your breathing and body when you’re tucked up in bed.
Constant mini-sleep interruptions, or not feeding your brain and body with sufficient oxygen when it needs it the most during crucial sleep, can leave you chronically tired. If left untreated, sleep apnoea can also lead to diabetes, excessive blood pressure and even heart attack or stroke. According to WebMD3 there are 11 ways sleep apnoea can harm your health
Always Feeling Tired? SleepWise Can Help!
Did you also know that one of the most effective, safest and simplest solutions to snoring and sleep apnoea is a custom-made oral appliance? Many people believe a CPAP machine or even surgery is the only truly effective treatment, but the sort of custom appliances made just for your mouth with state of the art 3D technology is actually widely recommended by sleep physicians, ENT surgeons, GPs and dentists – with results that are scientifically proven.
Many studies are demonstrating that oral appliances are as effective as the CPAP machine, yet far more comfortable to use. In fact, a recent major study published in Sleep 20214 concluded that “oral appliances represent an effective alternative treatment in severe sleep apnoea patients intolerant to CPAP or who prefer alternate therapy.”
To get you started, why not get on top of your tiredness today by getting in touch with the friendly team?
2 Mehta, R. (2014) “Impacts of obesity and stress on neuromuscular fatigue development and associated heart rate variability”, International Journal of Obesity, 39(2), pp. 208-213. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2014.127.
4 Trzepizur, W. et al. (2021) “Health outcomes of continuous positive airway pressure versus mandibular advancement device for the treatment of severe obstructive sleep apnea: an individual participant data meta-analysis”, Sleep, 44(7). doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsab015.