Health

The 7 Real Reasons You May Always Feel Tired (plus what to do about it)

Energy tank on empty anyone?

By: Emmy Schneider-Green

Feeling exhausted way more than usual lately? You’re not alone. 

Since the beginning of the general craziness that is 2020, a common complaint across social media has essentially been, “why am I so tired all the time?!” 

If you’re experiencing this too and it’s quite literally dragging you down, read on as we share seven things that may be draining your energy levels, plus tangible action steps to combat tiredness and regain some much-needed energy.

But, it should go without saying, listen to your gut — so if you have a feeling there’s something else going on, or just want to be sure (never a bad idea), go see your doctor. They can do a thorough check-up and rule out any potential underlying causes of your fatigue.

If there are no deeper underlying issues to blame for your sleepiness, though, it could be that some (or all) of these seven common causes of sleepiness are to blame.

7 Must-Knows to Combat Tiredness — Focus on These Today!

Before accepting that daily naps are your fate, take a good look at these seven areas and see if any could be to blame for your sleepiness.

Reason #1: Stress is Wearing You Down

Let’s be real — stress is something we’ve all been dealing with more often lately. So, if you’ve found yourself asking “why am I so tired?” more so than usual, how are your stress levels? 

Take a moment to check in with how you’re feeling both physically and mentally and pinpoint areas in your day where stress may be putting a damper on your overall energy levels. 

Solution

Put up firm boundaries around screen time & news consumption, and don’t be afraid to say no to invites if you feel your personal time is being stretched too thin. We can feel pressured to show up for everyone and everything, but your self-care and relaxation deserves your attention just as much. 

Reason #2 Your Body isn’t Getting The Fuel It Needs

It’s a no-brainer when you think about it, but if you’re just not giving your body the nutrients it needs (which is all too easy to be guilty of when you’re tired AF and don’t feel like cooking) you’re essentially trying to run a car on empty. 

Your body needs fuel, period.

Solution

Our best hack for overcoming the catch-22 of “I’m too tired to cook good food but a lack of good food is making me tired” (ugh, right?)  is to meal prep ahead of time. Work smarter, not harder, and prep ahead so you have the healthy food you know you’ll need (but probably won’t feel like making).  

Need some meal prep inspo? FitOn PRO is a great place to find Nutritionist-developed recipes and personalized meal plans to make healthy eating super easy (and delicious), or check out our top 10 healthy cooking hacks here. 

Reason #3 Your Sleep Schedule Needs Help

One of the biggest no brainer ways to stop being sleepy is to, of course, take a good look at your sleep schedule.

Regularly staying up late, getting up early, sleeping irregularly, too few hours, or tossing and turning all night? Any type of less than optimal sleep can definitely leave you feeling depleted and draggy all day long. 

Solution 

  • Wind down with a book vs. scrolling through social — blue light from all our screens doesn’t do anyone any favors! Instagram will still be there tomorrow.
  • Keep your bedroom cool and dark. 
  • Stick to regular hours of sleep whenever possible, as our bodies are designed to be regular with shut-eye.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol prior to bedtime.

Finally, another sleep hack we love is calming our minds and bodies down for sleep each night with a simple calming stretch like these, designed to be done before bed. 

Reason #4 You’re Overexercising

As you’ll learn in a second, energy begets energy, so sitting around all day can be a big contributing factor for why you’re so tired. But so can overdoing it with your workouts. 

If you’re going ham — which could look like “pulling doubles” with your workouts, not giving yourself at least one rest day per week, or pushing your body when it’s low on sleep or food, may leave your body overworked.

Solution

Schedule a designated rest day (or two) into your week. Your body needs the downtime to repair and rebuild, so take your rest or active recovery days seriously!  

Reason #5 You’re Overly Sedentary

You wouldn’t think sitting all day would wear you out — but in fact, it can do just that. You probably already know a sedentary lifestyle is no good for our overall wellness, but getting more active during the day is also a major way to combat tiredness, making you feel way more energized, like right now.

Solution

Getting more active during the day doesn’t mean you have to change careers — just make it a habit to take regular standing breaks, take calls while on walks (if possible), and get up and move whenever you can. It can all add up to a major change in your energy levels! 

Reason #6 You’re Guzzling Too Much Caffeine

Drink the coffee, then do the things is a saying for a reason. For many, a cup of joe in the mornings is our go-to. 

Ironic, we know, but all that meant-to-be-energizing caffeine may disrupt our sleep-wake cycle, especially when consumed later in the day — this may ultimately end up hurting our energy levels if we are totally wired when we should be hitting the hay. 

Solution

We’re not saying give it all up but cool it on the coffee and caffeine consumption in general. Think one to two cups of coffee a day — and that’s 8-ounce cups. If your caffeine habit is turning into more of an all-day affair, turning to alternatives (like these) is going to be a big piece of how to stop being so sleepy.

Reason #7 You’re Not Getting Enough Natural Light

Our bodies were designed to be out in nature, but for a lot of us, our laptop screensaver of our beach vacation may be the only nature we see regularly. 

Not getting exposed to enough natural sunlight has been linked to things like stress, weight gain, and you guessed it, may have an impact on our sleep and energy levels.

Solution

To combat tiredness in one of the cheapest and most natural ways possible, get natural light! Open your blinds, work outside if you can, and take a daily walk. 

Listen to Your Body to Combat Tiredness!

When we’re feeling worn down, our bodies are trying to tell us something. And like we said, don’t skimp on getting checked out by an actual doctor. 

But if there’s no underlying more serious cause, listen to your body — you likely already know, if you’re being honest with yourself, that it’s your sleep schedule, your eating habits, or any of these other reasons causing your sleepiness. 

The good news? All are totally within your power to improve, and you may feel a huge difference in your overall energy levels as your habits get healthier.