Are you tired all the time? Let’s examine a few of the most common causes of fatigue and how to beat them, courtesy of Real Simple magazine:
- A vitamin or mineral deficiency. Internist Dr. Grace Keenan says that low levels of iron, vitamin B12, or vitamin D can make you feel tired and anxious, and cause muscle weakness and pain. In fact, a lot of experts believe most of us don’t get enough vitamin D. The fix: Get a blood test. In the meantime, make sure you eat a well-balanced diet.
- Another cause of fatigue: Having the blues. Studies show that people who are depressed are four times more likely to suffer from unexplained fatigue than those with a happier outlook. The fix: Get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days. Studies show that’s an effective way to treat mild to moderate depression. You could also be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, getting 20 minutes of natural light a day – even if it’s cloudy - can boost your mood and help you sleep better.
- Chronic stress can also make you tired, because it keeps your adrenal glands pumping out fight-or-flight hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. After awhile, your glands produce fewer hormones, leading to daytime energy dips, and nighttime sleep interruptions. The fix: Relieve stress by getting plenty of exercise. Exercise isn’t a long-term cure – you have to do it every day for it to work, just like taking a pill.
- The final reason you’re always tired? You need medical attention. Intense tiredness can be caused by various medical issues, including an underactive thyroid, sleep apnea, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, which can lead to poor sleep quality, brain fog and muscle pain. If that describes you, talk to your doctor.