Of course, the most obvious reason you’re so tired is not enough sleep.
Everyone is so busy these days that it’s not uncommon for women to report sleeping 6 or fewer hours per night for weeks at a time. But if you try to keep up that pace, your body will probably begin to send you some strong signals that you need more rest. However, this reason for tiredness has an easy cure – just get more sleep! Even getting one 7 or 8 hour night of good, uninterrupted sleep can make a world of difference.
And we all know that stress/anxiety can be very insomnia inducing.
But there are other, less obvious causes of unusual fatigue. The good news is there are treatment options for all of them. The following is not a list of all possible tiredness causes on earth (for example, sleep apnea is a topic for its own post) but it is a place to start if you think your fatigue might be caused by something other than lack of sleep or extreme stress.
- Hypothyroidism Having an underactive thyroid gland can cause you to feel as if you have no energy and maybe even cause you to have the blues. Since the thyroid controls your metabolic rate, it stands to reason that if it’s not doing its job, you will feel tired. Your doctor can do a blood test to measure the level of hormones your thyroid is producing. If it’s not working up to par, you can take synthetic thyroid hormones which will allow you to feel back to normal pretty quickly.
- Anemia If your periods are extra heavy you may be losing enough blood each month to develop anemia. Abnormal blood loss causes you to have reduced hemoglobin which carries oxygen through your bloodstream to all parts of your body. You feel tired because your body is not receiving enough oxygen. Besides heavy periods, other causes of anemia can be low levels of iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid, uterine polyps, certain chronic diseases, and fibroids, In addition to fatigue, other symptoms of anemia could be feeling irritable, dizziness, or feeling cold. Again, a blood test can determine whether or not you are anemic. The treatment is eating more iron rich foods and taking iron supplements.
- Too Much Caffeine What?! How can caffeine make you tired? Apparently some people react to ingesting too much caffeine by feeling tired rather than wired. If you drink more and more coffee but just feel more and more tired, you may be one of these people. The only cure is to cut caffeine completely out of your diet.
- Heart Disease If you notice that you feel extremely fatigued after doing something ordinary that never used to bother you, it might be a symptom of undiagnosed heart disease. Notice that I highlighted might because I don’t want you to panic! This is only one of many possible causes of tiredness but it is something your doctor might want to check out if she can’t find any other reason for your fatigue.
If you’ve been getting sufficient sleep and eating a healthy diet but your fatigue continues for more than a week, you might want to consider making an appointment with your doctor to find out if there’s another reason you’re so tired all the time.
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