9 surprising reasons you're always tired

Tired despite getting a full night of sleep? Here's why. 

Photos: ING Image
Photos: ING Image
28 Sep 2015

Photos: ING Image

You’re exhausted, and it’s not just lack of sleep. In fact, you might get a full night’s rest but still experience daytime drowsiness. You’re nodding off at your desk, in meetings, on the bus, and you might have even dozed off during a date. Mid-sentence. Between bites of food. All your friends joke that you’re a grandma. You wonder if they’re right and your energy and youth really did abandon you for good.

There are many culprits that could be draining your energy. Watch out for the common reasons you’re always tired, and put the spring back in your step with some simple lifestyle changes. 

You’re not drinking enough water.
You’re not drinking enough water.
28 Sep 2015

You’re not drinking enough water.

The next time you’re sapped of energy, take a sip of water. Dehydration decreases blood volume, and not getting enough circulation to your brain and body could leave you feeling run-down. Other than plain H2O, you can also replenish your body with fruit, smoothies, soup, and healthy flavoured water (barley, grass jelly, water chestnut, etc.).

Forget the 8-glasses-a-day rule. Our daily hydration needs differ, depending on the weather, our physical activity, and our condition (for example, those who are sick, pregnant or breastfeeding require additional fluids). Want to know if you’re well hydrated? Take a look at the colour of your urine. Relatively clear, light yellow urine is optimal. If the colour is dark and concentrated, it’s time to top up your fluid intake. 

Your morning coffee.
Your morning coffee.
28 Sep 2015

Your morning coffee.

“But first, coffee.” You might claim you can’t function till you’ve downed your cup of joe, but it could be the culprit for your fatigue if it’s the first or only thing you drink upon waking. Coffee has a dehydrating effect, which doesn’t help matters when you haven’t had anything to drink all night. As mentioned above, dehydration causes tiredness. Enjoy your coffee in moderation after or with a full glass of water. That way, you’ll stay hydrated and avoid the crash from too much caffeine. 

You’re sharing a bed.
You’re sharing a bed.
28 Sep 2015

You’re sharing a bed.

Sharing a bed is great for intimacy, not so great for quality sleep. You get woken up by your bedmate’s snores, your baby’s foot in your face, or your dog’s whimpers. Like cuddling? We do too. But after a while your body gets overheated or one of you wakes up when the other moves. If you’re sharing a bed with someone, get a big enough mattress. Consider letting your pet sleep in another room. And cope with your partner’s persistent snoring by getting a white-noise machine, earplugs, or a doctor’s help (especially if you suspect your partner has sleep apnea).   

You can’t say no.
You can’t say no.
28 Sep 2015

You can’t say no.

Even when you’ve already got a full plate, you keep agreeing to more requests. You’re flattered to be the go-to person; you want people to like you; you’re scared of missing out. Whatever the reason, your inability to utter the single dreaded syllable is causing undue stress and exhaustion. Avoid making commitments far in advance;  “later” always seems less busy than “now” so you’re likely to overbook yourself. To prevent biting off more than you can chew, be extra picky about what you agree to. Will doing it enhance your life in any way? 

You’re not getting enough sunlight.
You’re not getting enough sunlight.
28 Sep 2015

You’re not getting enough sunlight.

If you’re lethargic, you might be in need of more vitamin D. The best way to obtain this energy-boosting vitamin is through sun exposure, so shoot for at least 15 minutes a day. As we get older, our skin becomes less efficient at making vitamin D in response to sunlight, which is why it’s even more important to spend time outdoors. A dip in the pool, a relaxing stroll, more fun at the beach – who can say no to that? 

You’re consuming too much salt and/or sugar.
You’re consuming too much salt and/or sugar.
28 Sep 2015

You’re consuming too much salt and/or sugar.

Keep track of the foods you eat and how they make you feel afterward. As hearty as restaurant-served ramen is, you might find that it sends you straight to a food coma. That’s because the thick, silky broth is packed with sodium. Eating salty foods, including junk food, could increase water retention, causing a heavy, tired feeling. A high-sugar diet could also make you sluggish after the initial high wears off. 

You’re not getting enough iron in your diet.
You’re not getting enough iron in your diet.
28 Sep 2015

You’re not getting enough iron in your diet.

When you’re iron-deficient, your body doesn’t form enough red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen around your system, which causes you to feel tired and weak. Eat iron-rich foods such as lean red meat, nuts, beans, and dark leafy greens. Pair them with foods high in vitamin C to improve iron absorption.

 

You need more exercise.
You need more exercise.
28 Sep 2015

You need more exercise.

After a grueling day at work, you only have enough energy to eat takeout in front of the T.V. The gym is the last place you want to be. But studies show that skipping workouts can actually make you more tired. Next time, bypass the remote control and reach for your gym bag instead. Fight fatigue by getting a move on and finish up a few hours before bedtime to properly wind down. 

You stay up late and sleep in on weekends.
You stay up late and sleep in on weekends.
28 Sep 2015

You stay up late and sleep in on weekends.

Party all night, sleep in the next day – that’s your weekend routine. But when you wake up at noon on Sunday you’re bound to have trouble falling asleep that night. Then you’re facing Monday morning with a huge bout of “I can’t even.” To avoid this, don’t stray too far from your normal bedtime. You can stay on top of your social life AND start the day earlier on weekends by meeting friends for breakfast or morning runs.   

Report a problem