Why Am I Always Tired?


We live in a hectic world with many demands on our time and attention. Many people find they feel tired a good deal of the time and may wonder if some underlying condition is causing the fatigue. Tiredness is a symptoms of many diseases, but it can also mean you need to review your lifestyle to make some changes.

Sleep Discouraging Habits

Sleep problems are among the most common reasons for ongoing fatigue. Often, people eat heavily before bedtime or consume foods that are too stimulating and may keep them awake. Eat lightly before bedtime and only consume foods that encourage sleep, such as milk or turkey that contain tryptophan. Avoid exercising right before bedtime, which acts as a stimulant and can make it difficult to fall asleep. Avoid alcohol, as well, which can impair deep sleep. Caffeine may keep you awake and lead to fatigue during the day. Only drink decaffeinated coffee and soft drinks after 6 p.m. In fact, it's best to avoid all liquids in the evening so that your sleep won't be disturbed by trips to the bathroom.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person has one or more pauses in breathing during sleep or shallow breathing while sleeping. It causes poor quality of sleep that results in fatigue during the day. Your physician may advise you to use a continuous positive airway pressure device, or CPAP, to help keep your airways open to induce more restful sleep. Many people report reduced fatigue in as little as 3 weeks of using the breathing device.


Dealing with stress can cause enormous fatigue when the person feels overwhelmed and unable to solve problems. The person may be unable to fall asleep or may awaken after a short period and be unable to fall back to sleep. Stress can cause many physical symptoms and can lead to serious illness if not managed properly. Exercise, meditation and counseling can help people deal with stress to achieve better sleep and better health.


Anemia is a condition that occurs when the blood contains insufficient amounts of iron. Iron is needed to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen throughout the body. When not enough hemoglobin is available, the body becomes oxygen-deficient and fatigue results. If blood tests determine that your body is low in iron, you can increase the amount of iron-containing foods in your diet, such as red meat, eggs, lentils, liver, dried fruit and green, leaf vegetables. If you cannot consume enough iron to correct the problem, your physician may recommend iron supplements.


Depression is a mental disorder that has many physical symptoms. It can demonstrate as a constant fatigue and inability to resume normal activities. The person may sleep for a long period of time, but not feel refreshed. This type of fatigue may need psychological therapy or medication in order to improve.


Ongoing feelings of fatigue can also be associated with diabetes. High blood sugar levels can slow circulation and prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to all parts of the body. Low glucose levels because there is not enough fuel for the body's tissues and cells. In addition, those people with diabetes may have other conditions that further undermine their body and cause fatigue, such as infections, thyroid problems, undiagnosed heart disease and side effects of medications. If you have diabetes and constantly feel fatigued, consult your doctor to determine if a change of medication is needed.

Heart Disease

Fatigue can also be a symptom of heart problems. When the heart does not pump blood to all parts of the body efficiently, the person can feel profound fatigue. Blockages in the arteries can reduce blood flow and cause this feeling of chronic fatigue. Women, in particular, may experience fatigue when they are having a heart attack. You should always consult your doctor about any unusual feelings of fatigue or weakness.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome is a disorder that causes fatigue, which cannot be explained by any other physical condition. The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is not known, but may be due to viral infections or psychological stress. Though there is no single test to determine chronic fatigue syndrome, physicians diagnose the disease through a combination of signs and symptoms. Treatment focuses on alleviating symptoms and includes antidepressants, sleep medications, graduated exercise and psychological counseling.

Always consult your doctor for any condition that last longer than a few days. Your physician will give you a thorough physical examination and do blood work to determine if an illness is at fault.