No, it’s not just because you didn't get enough sleep last night.
If you are suffering from constant tiredness and exhaustion, you should know right now that you are absolutely not alone. In fact, chronic tiredness, or fatigue, is one of the most common blood disorders in the world. Here in the US, it affects over 3 million Americans, with over 100,000 car accidents a year from exhausted drivers nodding off at the wheel alone.
So many of us are tired for a long list of reasons, but one of the most common reasons you feel drained so often may not be for the reason you think. Below are the top reasons as to why you feel so tired all the time, and how you can try to reverse that droopy feeling.
Oxygen May Not Be Circulating As it Should
For many people, the reason as to why they are not feeling as energized is due to a slight error occurring in their blood.
How the body works is through circulation, and when everything is circulating smoothly is when we are feeling at our best. The culprit that is making you feel so exhausted all the time is possibly in your red blood cells.
Your red blood cells are the parts of your blood that take the oxygen that you breathe in and carry it to your various muscles and extremities. However, when your red blood cells don't carry oxygen around in the right amounts, it can leave you feeling fatigued and drained.
One possible way to reverse this blood anomaly is to increase your iron intake in your diet. Iron is a nutrient that assists in carrying oxygen around in the bloodstream --and more iron would lend a helping hand to your body’s red blood cells.
If you think you may have this issue with your red blood cells, also known as a kind of “anemia”, be sure to check in with your primary doctor, as tests can be run to easily confirm if you may have this condition.
Possible Depression May Be Zapping Your Mental Strength
For those who suffer from depression, there is a constant feeling that any and all energy is being zapped right out from them.
Depression affects a lot more than one's outlook and emotional wellbeing. When you suffer from depression, from light and situational to major depression, the desire to do anything at all dissipates into nothing, often resulting in the sufferer wanting to do no more than lay around all day in the safety of their own bed. Past that, their diet often drops down to nothing, which switches their bodies into starvation mode. Or, their diet takes a complete turn toward comfort food, which contains a lot of fats and unhealthy components --both of which can take a toll on energy and how tired they feel.
A Life-less Lifestyle
Not moving all day actually makes you tired due to the soreness and stiffness caused by immobility. Enough days go by without much movement and that inactivity will leave your body feeling tired all the time, which is exhausting in itself.
When you condition your body to be inactive, you are telling your body that it needs very little energy to operate. For the body that exercises regularly, their bodies are conditioned to hold enough energy to support exercise routines --which on average leads to them having an abundance of energy all throughout the day.
It’s a matter of setting up a minimum energy level --an energy threshold. If you sit all-day every-day, then you are setting up a very small energy threshold, meaning you can tackle very little without feeling exhausted quickly. If you exercise fairly intensely pretty regularly, then your energy threshold is high enough to support your body all day without feeling too tired at any given point because it is prepared to tackle very exerting tasks, like running or lifting weights.
Check in with your primary physician to see what kind of exercise you can safely participate in. The more intense of an exercise you can regularly participate in, the more energy you should eventually reclaim. A brisk walk on a treadmill once a week is not going to push that energy threshold very high, so check in with your doctor about what kind of intense exercise is best for your body. After conditioning your body for regular exercise, your energy threshold will go up.
The Foods You Eat are Not High-Energy Providers
Junk foods are made to satiate, not energize.
The most common reason people suffer from low energy is actually not because their bodies have some sort of disorder --but because they are not fueling their bodies with the energy it needs.
Energy enters into our bodies in the form of food. That means that the food we eat is to be considered as fuel, and all foods provide different amounts of energy. For example, a handful of almonds is going to provide a ton more clean burning energy than a sleeve of french fries.
Even though you may eat regularly and even head to bed at a reasonable hour every night --it doesn't mean that your body is getting all the energy it needs. Being energized starts with how you power your body, and that is optimized by eating only energy rich foods, such as all natural fruits and vegetables.
How to spot energy rich foods is simple: keep it natural, and never processed.
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"How Is Iron-Deficiency Anemia Diagnosed?“. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. 2014.
Rao, T. S. Sathyanarayana et al. “Understanding Nutrition, Depression and Mental Illnesses.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2008.
Katzmarzyk, P. T. "Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, And Health: Paradigm Paralysis Or Paradigm Shift?." Diabetes. 2010.
Webb, M.. "Exercise As A Cure For Fatigue And To Boost Energy Levels." American Council on Exercise. 2011.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here. This article is for general information only.