Regularly feeling tired is extremely common. In fact, about a third of healthy teens, adults, and seniors report feeling sleepy or tired.
Fatigue is a common symptom of many serious conditions and illnesses, but in most cases, it is caused by simple lifestyle factors.
Fortunately, these are the easiest things to solve.
This article lists 10 potential reasons you’re always tired and provides recommendations on ways to get your energy back.
1. Consuming Too Many Refined Carbs
Carbohydrates can be a quick source of energy. When you eat them, your body breaks them down into sugar, which can be used for fuel.
However, eating too many refined carbohydrates can actually tire you out throughout the day.
When sugar and processed carbohydrates are consumed, they cause your blood sugar to rise rapidly. This tells your pancreas to make a lot of insulin to get the sugar out of your blood and into your cells.
This rise in blood sugar – and the drop that follows – can make you feel exhausted. In the craving for quick energy, you instinctively seek out another serving of refined carbs, which can lead to a vicious cycle.
To keep your energy level stable, replace sugar and refined carbohydrates with whole foods high in fiber, such as vegetables and legumes.
2. Live a sedentary life
Inactivity can be the cause of your lack of energy.
But a lot of people say they are too tired to exercise.
In fact, in a recent study, it was the most common reason given by middle-aged and older adults for not exercising (9Trusted source).
One explanation could be chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is characterized by extreme and unexplained fatigue on a daily basis.
To increase your energy level, replace sedentary behaviors with active ones. For example, stand rather than sit as much as possible, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and walk instead of driving short distances.
3. Not getting enough high-quality sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the most obvious causes of fatigue.
Your body does a lot of things while you sleep, including storing memory and releasing hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy levels (17 Trusted Source).
After a good night’s sleep, you usually wake up feeling refreshed, alert, and energized.
To improve the amount and quality of your sleep, get to bed at about the same time each night, relax before sleep, and get plenty of activity during the day.
4. Food sensitivities
Food sensitivities or intolerances usually cause symptoms such as rashes, digestive issues, a runny nose, or headaches.
But fatigue is another often overlooked symptom.
In addition, research suggests that quality of life may be more affected by fatigue in people with food sensitivity (23 Trusted Source).
Common food intolerances include gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and corn.
If you think certain foods can make you tired, consider working with an allergist or dietitian who can test you for food sensitivities or prescribe an elimination diet to determine which foods are problematic.