If you find yourself moving sluggishly through each day no matter how many hours of sleep you’re getting or how much caffeine you’ve ingested, there could be other factors at play.
Health and wellness expert Laura Newcomer and HealthPerch identified six causes of fatigue that are not sleep-related. If you’re getting seven to eight hours sleep a night, yet still finding yourself feeling tired all the time, consider whether one of the following culprits might be at play:
Anemia. Anemia is caused by not enough red blood cells distributing oxygen throughout the body, which can lead to feeling exhausted all the time, or during physical activity. Other symptoms can include headaches, dizziness, feeling cold and pallor. Consult a medical professional if you think you may be anemic.
Anxiety. Anxiety can lead to exhaustion for several reasons. For starters, it can keep you up at night with racing thoughts and drain your energy during the day. It can also cause muscle tension, which leads to fatigue. You can reduce anxiety through regular exercise, meditation, social activities or enlisting the help of a mental health professional.
Food Sensitivities. If you feel sluggish or fatigued after eating certain foods, your diet may be the culprit. Stomach issues and muscle or joint pain are other indicators of food sensitivity. If you think this might the case, keep a food diary to start tracking symptoms and change up your diet to see if that helps. A medical professional can then do more formal testing.
Seasonal Allergies. Seasonal allergies can do a number on your immune system, which drains your body’s energy reserves. Allergy-induced nasal congestion can also keep you up at night and over-the-counter medications can make you drowsy during the day. To help combat seasonal allergies, try changing your diet and being mindful of the air quality in your home.
Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea causes your breathing to stop and restart throughout the night, leading to exhaustion and increased risk of a host of serious issues, such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and diabetes. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, consult a medical professional immediately in order to get tested and identify treatment options.
Thyroid Disorders. When a person’s thyroid is underactive, it doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones; when it’s over-active, it produces more than necessary. The result either way is a myriad of difficult symptoms, such as exhaustion. If you suspect your thyroid may be over- or under-performing, set up an appointment with an endocrinologist.