Most of the time, we tend to blame lack of sleep for our chronic fatigue. Yet other causes should be factored in, too. Addressing them could help us avoid or treat our constant feelings of tiredness.
Poor rest is certainly one of the reasons you may feel tired, but it is not the only one. It is natural to feel tired when you have slept only a little, but why might you feel tired after a night of 8-9 hours of sleep?
Behind the permanent state of fatigue, there may be underlying health problems or unhealthy habits that are part of your lifestyle, without you even realising their importance.
Here is a list of the most common causes of chronic fatigue:
Not exercising when tired
When you are tired you are least likely to exercise, because you feel that you will get even more tired. A study from the University of Georgia showed that participants (sedentary adults) who adopted a 20-minute a day exercise program, 3 days a week, felt less tired after 6 weeks and actually full of energy, writes health.com. Regular exercise improves endurance, the functioning of the cardiovascular system and provides more oxygen to the whole body, making it more energy efficient.
Doing too much sport
The reverse can also be harmful. When you exercise too much and especially endurance sports, permanent and extreme fatigue, which can prevent you from having a restful sleep, can be an alarm from your body, signaling it has reached its limit. If there is no balance between sports and rest, you can suffer from physical stress, which causes chronic fatigue, according to prevention.com.
Not drinking enough water
Dehydration causes a decrease in blood volume, which thickens the blood. Therefore, the heart pumps with more difficulty, which means that oxygen and nutrients reach the tissues and organs at a slower rate, thus sabotaging the energy level.
Having an iron deficiency
Iron deficiency especially affects women, especially during the fertile period, but men are not entirely exempt. Iron is involved in the production of red blood cells, which are responsible for storing and transporting oxygen in the blood. If their number is not right, the organs and tissues will not receive the required amount of oxygen, according to nhs.uk.
Iron deficiency translates into a permanent state of drowsiness, fatigue, lack of energy or irritability. To avoid it, foods rich in iron and those rich in vitamin C are recommended, as the latter contribute to the absorption and assimilation of iron.
Being a perfectionist
Perfectionists tend to work harder than others to achieve their goals, which are often unrealistic. Not reaching them leads to a feeling of frustration, dissatisfaction or stress, which deprives them of adequate rest.
If you are one of those people who always fears the worst, imagining all sorts of negative scenarios that could happen in their lives, you are probably experiencing anxiety. It paralyses you and exhausts you mentally, which contributes to permanent fatigue.
Breakfast is a very important meal—it can either make or break your day. A healthy breakfast gives you energy for a good part of the day, which increases your efficiency.
Consuming junk food
Junk food contains large amounts of simple sugars and carbohydrates, which contribute to a rapid rise in blood sugar, providing a significant dose of energy in a very short time. But as soon as your blood sugar drops, you feel extremely tired; repeated increases and decreases in blood glucose levels cause fatigue.
There are people who do not know how to say “no”, which is why they engage in many activities and tasks and have an endless list of things to do. This often causes stress. Cortisol, the stress hormone, increases excessively when stress becomes chronic, keeping the body alert at all times. As a result, sleep disorders occur, both in terms of duration and quality.
Using digital devices before bed
The light from these devices can disturb your circadian rhythm by reducing your melatonin level. Experts recommend avoiding the use of technological devices from at least 2 hours before bedtime.
These are just some of the causes that can lie behind chronic fatigue. There are situations where much more serious factors are at stake and where fatigue is a predictor for certain ailments or diseases. In any case, a healthy lifestyle is recommended, which includes sufficient hours of rest, a quality diet and regular exercise.