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Written by

Anniki Sommerville


Anniki Sommerville is a published author of 5 books including 3 non-fiction books - How to Be a Boss at Ageing, More Orgasms Please and The Big Quit. She regularly writes for Red magazine and Grazia on women's health, ageing and more.

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Why am I so tired?

There are several reasons why you may be feeling tired. Here are a few suggestions in terms of what may be causing your tiredness.

Tiredness can be attributed to a whole range of factors but it definitely isn't something that you need to live with. These factors can be both physical and psychological. Here are some common causes of fatigue:

  1. Lack of Sleep: Not getting enough sleep can lead to feelings of fatigue and low energy levels. Everyone is different in terms of how much sleep they need but it is important to avoid screens if possible before bedtime and develop a set routine so your body and mind understands that it is time to wind down.

  2. Diet: A diet that lacks essential nutrients, such as iron or B vitamins, can result in fatigue. It is worth keeping a food diary so you can reflect on what you eat each day and whether your tiredness is related to specific foods or a lack of nutrients. In the winter many of us don't get enough Vitamin D too so it's worth getting a supplement to help boost levels of Vitamin D.

  3. Dehydration: Not drinking enough water can cause fatigue and even headaches. Make sure you drink water regularly and steer away from too many drinks with caffeine in them.

  4. Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can lead to muscle weakness and fatigue. Make sure you take walks outside and stand up regularly if you are working at a desk or chair.

  5. Chronic Illness: Certain chronic illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune disorders can cause fatigue.

  6. Mental Health Issues: Depression, anxiety, and stress can all cause fatigue. Go and see your GP if you are continually feeling depressed, anxious or like stress is constant and relentless (some stress is normal in everyday life but constant levels are not healthy)

  7. Medications: Some medications can cause drowsiness and fatigue as a side effect. Talk to your doctor if you are prescribed a medication and ask about side effects. You may need to try an alternative medication if the fatigue and tiredness are too pronounced.

  8. Hormonal Imbalances: Hormonal imbalances, such as those that occur with thyroid disorders or menopause, can cause fatigue.

  9. Chronic Pain: Chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia or arthritis, can cause fatigue as a result of the body's constant effort to manage pain.

  10. Sleep Disorders: Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or insomnia, can cause fatigue due to disrupted sleep patterns. Nocturia can also contribute to tiredness as it may keep you awake at night. Nocturia is the need to wake at night to pass urine. It is more common as you get older, and having to get up once at night is considered normal. To read more about how to manage it check this article out.

It is important to talk to your GP if you are experiencing persistent fatigue, as it can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. Also keep a sleep diary to see if there are particular patterns in terms of when you feel tired and this will help when you talk to your GP in terms of identifying the cause.

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