We live in an era where attention span of adults has fallen below 30 secs. We have an unlimited scroll of infotainment being fed into our devices based on our personality, likes and dislikes. All this being achieved by corporates spending billions of dollars on AI and machine learning algorithms, to keep us plugged for as long as possible. All this screen time is leading to irreparable damage, to our health, body posture, relationships and our sleep cycle.
Uncontrollable yawning, heavy eyelids and powerful urge to doze off during the day are signs of excessive sleepiness. This can affect your performance at work, damage your social life and can be hazardous while driving. There are many reasons for feeling tired or sleepy all the time, which are related to your sleeping, eating and lifestyle choices.
10 reasons you’re always tired or sleepy and how to get over it:
- Sleep deprivation – being hooked on a web series all night and then getting up early for a gym class and other reasons are pushing sleep down the priority list. As per Sleep Research Society adults need 7-8 hours of quality sleep for optimal health and well-being.
Importantly sleep should be restful and uninterrupted so that the brain goes through all 5 stages of sleep cycle.
Being physically active during the day will improve your restorative sleep at night.
Maintain a sleep routine by going to bed roughly at the same time every day. This will help you create an internal body clock which will aid in sleeping well.
- Sedentary life – inactivity, excessive screen time, long office hours, lack of sunlight are all part of sedentary lifestyle. With advancement of technology sedentary lifestyle is becoming a norm and new health issues are cropping up by the hour. Anything can be delivered to your doorstep within hours, except the will to stay healthy.
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is characterised by extreme, unexplained fatigue on a daily basis is caused due to lack of exercise and physical activity.
Give a boost to your energy levels, by replacing sedentary activities with active ones. Like, sit upright instead of slouching, take a break in between long hours of work and go for a walk, take stairs instead of lift, take calls standing instead of sitting.
Read more on how to start working out here.
- Unhealthy eating – eating too many refined carbs, sugar or skipping meals can add to unhealthy eating habits.
Consuming refined carbs and sugar can cause rapid rise in your blood sugar. This signals your pancreas to produce a large amount of insulin to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells.
This spike in blood sugar levels — and subsequent fall — can make you feel exhausted. Making you crave for quick energy and you instinctively reach out for more carbs, which can lead to a vicious cycle.
Several studies have found that minimising sugar and processed carbs in meals and replacing them with whole food like vegetables and legumes can boost your energy levels. Eat healthy, stay active.
- Protein deficiency – inadequate amount of proteins in your body can lead to fatigue. Research has shown that proteins boost your metabolism more than carbs or fats.
High protein consuming societies like Korea and Japan have healthier population, which feels less fatigued during the day and are one of the most productive races in the world.
Athletes/Weight lifters consume a lot of proteins for quick recovery from muscle fatigue, which also helps them avoid injuries and boost energies for the next workout.
Research shows that fatigue may be reduced by branched-chain amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. To keep your metabolism strong and prevent tiredness, consume high-quality proteins in your every meal.
- Lack of hydration – aqua is the purification medium for all. Being hydrated can boost your energy levels and vice versa.
Biochemical reactions, urine, stool and breath result in loss of water. To keep up an optimal level of functionality in your body, you may need 1.5-2 litres of water each day, quantities may depend upon your age, sex, weight and gender.
Research has shown, individuals subjected to a similar kind of activity, felt less fatigued when hydrated.
Always keep yourself well hydrated to avoid sleepiness and tiredness. Signs of dehydration are strong smelling pee, feeling thirsty, dizziness, fatigue and headache.
- Stress – Long-term stress can cause headaches, muscle tension, stomach problems, and fatigue. When under stress, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode. This causes an increase in cortisol and adrenaline, which prepares your body to deal with such situations. In small doses, this response is safe. In the case of ongoing stress, it takes a toll on your body’s resources, leaving you feeling exhausted.
Control stress by eating right, sleeping well, meditating and exercising. While you may not be able to avoid stressful situations, developing strategies for managing stress may help you prevent from feeling exhausted continuously.
- Being overweight – the more pounds/kilos you carry the harder it is for you to complete your daily tasks and chores. Which will eventually take a toll on your body, making you easily exhausted in doing basic tasks like climbing stairs, lifting grocery bags or playing with your pets.
Take care of your weight and fitness, your body can be your greatest friend or the worst enemy, depending on how you treat it.
Learn to manage your weight for high quality life and social well-being.
- Lack of quality sleep – it is one of the main causes of excessive sleepiness and feeling tired through the day. Few causes for lack of quality sleep are – sleep apnea (breathing disorder), Restless leg syndrome (RLS), Insomnia, Circadian rhythm sleep (Egs: jet lag). Any of these factors may be affecting your sleep pattern, which can cause chronic fatigue.
It’s best to sleep during the night, however if you are a shift worker or a frequent flyer between varied time zones, try sleeping wearing dark sunglasses in total darkness. It can be better for your mood and will reduce fatigue significantly.
- High intake of caffeine – market is flooded with brands selling instant energy drinks, combined with fancy coffee shops popping up around your neighbourhood every now and then, which leads to high consumption of caffeine and sugar. Though these drinks give an instant boost in energy, it is temporary and can cause rebound fatigue.
Multiple studies have found that, though energy drinks lead to increased alertness and improved mood, the after effects of these drinks is excessive daytime sleepiness the following day.
You should get out of the habit of quick-fix drinks and limit your coffee intake, it’ll improve your overall health, alertness and symptoms of fatigue.
- Depression – when you feel low and depressed, it follows with lack of interest in the world around, lack of enthusiasm and prolonged tiredness. You don’t want to get out of bed, home or even the clothes you’re wearing. In this condition you should visit a doctor, who may prescribe an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication.
Don’t waste your energies overthinking about what happened or should have happened. Learn from past errors and situations and move on. You’ll come out stronger and more successful.
There may be many medical or non-medical causes for sleepiness and feeling tired often, mostly it is related to your eating, sleeping and drinking habits. However, if you have this condition for a prolonged period don’t hesitate to take medical counsel, as this could lead to severe ailments.
Making few lifestyle changes can go a long way in boosting your energy levels and your zeal towards accomplishing daily tasks. Eat right, sleep well, meditate and exercise – maintain a healthy balance in your life to enhance the quality of living.