Why Am I Always Tired?
There are two types of tired; one in need of sleep, the other in the dire need of peace. Which one are you? Are you asking yourself a question that Why am I always Tired?
Everywhere I go, I see people exhausted. They are fatigued. Exhausted. Spent. Drained. Pooped. Tired. Dog-tired. Zombie. But why? Do we have an unhealthy lifestyle to blame or is it the underlying medical condition that is taking a heavy toll on us?
When you ask yourself (and probably a few hundred other people), Why am I always tired? You need to question yourself whether you have an improper diet, are suffering from dehydration or are toiling with laborious working hours?
Or wait a minute; perhaps it’s your late night smartphone obsession that is giving you sleepless nights? (Mea culpa!)
The answer lies in introspection, and, knowledge. By bringing about simple lifestyle modifications and knowing what exhausts you can not only help you overcome stubborn fatigue, it can also give you a peace of mind.
Before I enlist the reasons of what may be making you tired (the list is long, folks), I want you to sit back, take a deep breath and read what tiredness actually is, what may be going on in your body (or head)and what you can do about it.
Why Do We Get Tired?
You have about 700 muscles in your body which are responsible for movement and make up for half of your body weight. Each of the muscles is innervated by blood vessels, tendons, and nerves.
There are two types of muscles in your body; smooth and striated. The striated muscles are further divided into cardiac and skeletal muscles.
The basic function of skeletal muscles is to generate force and bring about movement. A skeletal muscle functions by conducting an action potential and by contracting and relaxing. With each contraction, a muscle is stretched and comes back to its original shape with relaxation. The functional unit of a muscle is a sarcomere which is composed of tubular muscle cells.
Skeletal muscles are of a variety of size and shapes – gluteal muscles are thick and can produce great amounts of force, leg muscles are long and can contract over a greater distance and with high velocity. About 85% of your muscle mass is made up of muscle fibers; remaining 15% is connective tissue. Connective tissue transmits forces from muscles to the bone via tendon. Connective tissue ensures your muscles gets back to its original shape after being stretched.
Fatigue, which is closely related to your skeletal muscles, is a common complaint that affects 6.0 – 7.0% of people in the US and the UK. Fatigue is more common in women.
Fatigue is extremely complicated. It occurs as a result of complex interactions between various systems of your body with the brain.
There are numerous scientific explanations for this. Let us discuss the most plausible ones.
You get tired because your muscles get tired, simple! The exertion comes at the expense of loss of glycogen in the muscles. Glycogen is basically stored glucose that serves as a source of energy for the muscles. Glucose is the fuel for your body and glycogen is the storage house for glucose.
When glycogen breaks down, lactic acid accumulates, reducing your muscles’ ability to contract. Tiredness signals the body to produce serotonin which makes your muscles feel the need to rest and relax.
Another explanation establishes a link between the flow of calcium ions into and outside of the muscle cells and fatigue. When calcium enters the cells, it relaxes the muscles, and when it moves out, it contracts the muscle, this all happens with the help of calcium pumps.
Upon prolonged exertion, the calcium channels that regulate the flow of Ca++ ions become leaky affecting the equilibrium. A period of rest repairs the channels and your body replenishes the energy.
Scientists have long believed that prolonged working or strenuous activity depletes muscle glycogen which in turn depletes or reduces release of calcium from sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). SR is a type of organelle that regulates calcium ion concentration in the cytoplasm of muscle cells. A study by Dr. Trajanovska and colleagues, of University of Sydney, confirms the belief.
Glycogen is stored in the form of tiny granules huddled together in distinct pools in your skeletal muscles. Each glycogen granule has its own metabolic machinery which includes enzymes and proteins.
Neil Ortenblad, an associate professor of University of Southern Denmark, conducted a research where he showed these proteins to be involved in excitation-contraction coupling and release of Ca++ from SR. When Ca++ is released from the cells, contractility and fatigability ensue. Intensive muscular activity declines your performance leading to fatigue.
A new model, published in BMJ in 2004, validates glycogen depletion and lactic acid accumulation to be related to fatigue but it adds, “all changes in peripheral physiological systems such as substrate depletion and metabolite accumulation act as afferent signalers which modulate control processes in the brain in a dynamic, non-linear, integrative manner.”
The model concludes that fatigue is little understood, there is no single regulatory component that controls or triggers it. Rather, there are multiple independent control systems that determine fatigue. More research is warranted.
Energy that you lose with activity is restored upon resting. In some instances, though, rest doesn’t work and fatigue becomes a chronic state. In fact, such people do not even need exertion to feel tired. They are tired all the freaking time. Too tried!
Are you too tired of being too tired?
How Much Tired Is Too Tired?
While some of us get tired of exertion, others get tired even at the mere thought of it. Yes, such people exist; they are called perpetual couch potatoes.
Jokes aside, but do you feel tired all the time? It’s pretty straightforward to pinpoint the cause though. But the question is; is there any index that can actually measure how much tired is too much tired?
If your score is more than 8, you are really tired and need professional help.
It’s now time to check what is giving you the life-stopping fatigue and hurdling with your daily activity.
What Is Fatigue?
Fatigue is a physical and mental state of being exhausted – the point where your body fails to continue functioning with full efficiency, the muscles give up and your legs refuse to budge an inch. The shopping spree that you started gleefully a few hours ago suddenly seems like a drag, and you can no longer trudge up stairs or haul the supermarket bags along.
Fatigue… is… urgg… tiring. Some days you are at the top of your game, the other days you just exist as dead weight on the earth.
But fatigue is normal. We all get tired and every day, and it is perfectly normal. A dose of sleep and proper rest propels us back into the game as we wake up the next day feeling fresh. Problem, however, starts when neither rest nor sleep helps decrease fatigue. You go to bed tired, and you wake up even more tired.
You show up at work looking like a half-dead zombie just dug out of the earth. What is happening in your body? No wonder you keep asking, “why am I always tired?”
People often ask if tiredness is a disease. It is not. It is a symptom – a symptom of something else going on in your body that is manifesting itself in the form of tiredness.
Let us just have a quick look at how your body clock works and then discuss what may be making you oh-so-tired!
It is your number #1 enemy. You are not sleeping enough means you are not giving your body the rest it deserves. As a result, your body cannot function properly. Tiredness is basically your body’s silent cries for the well-deserved rest.
Sleep deprivation, or prolonged wakefulness, takes a heavy blow on your head and, studies have proven, it affects your memory, performance, attention, decision-making skills and all other functions demanding cognition.
Fatigue due to sleep deprivation also increases risk of road accidents by about 16-60% in the US as a study published in BMJ found.
Toss the phone aside, cut down on late night Instagram surfing and Kardashian stalking, trim your social calendar, limit caffeine and alcohol intake, and hit the bed at the right time.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adolescents sleep for 9-10 hours/day and adults 7-8 hours in a day.
Recommendations for other age groups are:
|Age||Recommended Amount of Sleep|
|Newborns||16–18 hours a day|
|Preschool-aged children||11–12 hours a day|
|School-aged children||At least 10 hours a day|
Association Of Mobile Phone With Fatigue
Late night texting, surfing internet and playing video games are the favorite pastimes of youth and a major contributor of sleep deprivation.
So you stalked bae all night on Facebook? No wonder you didn’t rest properly and have woken up lethargic and deprived of energy. You can’t even fool the questioning eyes of your parents since the huge bags under your eyes belie your assurances of adequate rest.
Evidence shows that teenagers who are obsessed with mobile phones and wake up like night owls are prone to disrupted sleep, restlessness, fatigue and lack of energy. Such teenagers perform poorly at schools and also tend to live an unhealthy lifestyle.
Another recent study invited 793 children to fill a self-reporting questionnaire on what excessive use of mobile does to them. Most of the children complained of fatigue and headache with mobile phone use. Fatigue was directly related to the number of hours spent on phone.
Turn your mobile off at least an hour before you go to bed. If you do this, you’re doing favor not only to yourself but to people sleeping in the same room who, goes without saying, get mega-disturbed by the annoying light and clicking-sound of the phone.
The Relationship Between Fatigue And Light
Not many of you know about the sleep hormone and how it actually works. Your body works just like a clock and has 24-hour sleep-wake rhythm called circadian rhythm or biological clock.
Your biological clock is located in a group of neurons in hypothalamus called suprachiastmatic nuclei (SCN). SCN receives information about whether it is day or night from your retina which has tiny cells – called photoreceptors – that detect light. Once the information about the time of the day is passed on to SCN, the information is quickly interpreted in the form of message and delivered to pineal gland which secretes the sleep hormone – called melatonin.
Melatonin helps you to sleep. If there is light around you, say you’ve switched on the light of the room at night, your body will have trouble recognizing that it’s time to sleep.
Dim the room lights off or turn them off at least 30 minutes before you intend to sleep. This is no rocket science, is it?
For those who work in night shifts, a new study has proven that scheduled evening sleep and enhanced lighting can improve performance and productivity.
Why Does Anemia Cause Fatigue?
Anemia is one of the biggest reasons for unexplained tiredness. It is a condition which occurs when your blood is unable to move oxygen around the body. Oxygen is every living being’s lifeline.
The most common type of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia. Iron is a nutrient that is essential to transport oxygen from blood into the red blood cells. In the absence or deficiency of iron, the red blood cells cannot perform their function efficiently. As a result of which, your body feels deprived of oxygen and energy and tends to get tired with minimal exertion.
Anemia is more common in women, particularly those who are in reproductive age and menstruate heavily.
Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, poor sleep, headache, rapid heartbeat and difficulty concentrating
Tests:Complete Blood Count (CBC) to check the level of iron and blood cells.
What To Know About Thyroid Disease And Fatigue
Those who have it, know what a nuisance a thyroid disease is. Apart from other annoying symptoms that require medications and continuous monitoring, a whacky thyroid gland – a small butterfly shaped glad sitting right in the front of your neck – can give you extreme fatigue and weakness. A simple exercise or climbing up stairs become a struggle for a person with a thyroid disease.
A thyroid disease can be either due to over- or underproduction of thyroid hormones – TSH, T3 and T4. Thyroid hormones help your body use energy. The thyroid gland uses iodine from the food and converts it into T3 and T4, under the influence of TSH released from the pituitary gland, which are then released into the blood and travel to all tissues and organs controlling metabolism and other vital functions such as breathing, heart rate, body weight, glucose utilization, muscle strength, menstrual cycle, body temperature and much more.
It is important that both T3 and T4 levels reach neither too high or too level in the body. Both hyper- and hypothyroidism can give you fatigue. Hyperthyroidism is more common in younger women aged 20 – 30 whereas hypothyroidism hits older women more – those aged 50 and above.
The thyroid hormone also has very important role in managing glucose metabolism as it regulates the expression of genes that are involved in this process. These genes code for TRa and TRβ family of isoform receptors, all of the constitute the metabolic properties of Thyroid hormone.
Muscle soreness, inability to concentrate, slower heart rate, weight gain and constipation, feeling cold (hypothyroidism) and heavy menstrual flow, rapid heartbeat, fatigue, weight loss and diarrhea (hyperthyroidism)
(TFT) Thyroid Function Tests
Fatigue: Warning Signs of Heart Failure
If simple activities, such as climbing stairs, an evening stroll or moving about, are making you tired, it may be time to get your heart checked by a doctor.
Heart diseases may have a tiring effect on your body. Many conditions particularly arrhythmias, hyperlipidaemia and ischemia, contribute to this phenomenon. Your heart may be overworked or under-performing and be the reason behind your fatigue.
During heart failure, your heart cannot pump blood as efficiently as it should. As a result, your body does not get sufficient oxygenated blood and your heart has to work hard to meet body’s demands. Several factors can contribute to heart failure such as narrowed or clogged arteries (as happens in coronary artery disease), high blood pressure or renal disease.
Heart failure has four classes based on how easily you get fatigued:
- Class I – Ordinary physical activity doesn’t fatigue you and you have no limitation in physical activity.
- Class II – You have a slight limitation in physical activity and you get tired easily. But a period of rest restores energy.
- Class III – You get tired with less than ordinary activity that markedly limits your physical activity. However, you get comfortable upon resting.
- Class IV– You get tired even when you are resting. Any and every physical activity gives you discomfort and takes your breath away.
Arrhythmias, on the other hand, are an abnormal rhythm of the heart. Normally the cells in your heart generate an electrical signal that travels through the heart causing the muscles to contract and make a heartbeat.
In arrhythmias, the heart does not beat in a proper rhythm, giving you pain in chest, shortness of breath, fatigue, dizziness, and palpitations. Arrhythmias are a medical emergency; you can die of a heart attack.
About 1 in 100 children have a heart disease making their parents extremely concerned about the safety of playing outdoors and participating in physical activities. But doctors believe your children can be independent and play competitive sports. If you have any concerns, talk to your child’s cardiologist.
Shortness of breath, easy fatigability with minor activity, pain in chest, sleep apnea
Blood tests, ECG, Chest X-rays, Stress Testing, Echo
Depression Anxiety And Stress
Depression weighs heavy – both on your brain and body. The profound sadness manifests itself in a variety of symptoms, one of which is fatigue. Look at any patient of depression and you will notice they look drained, spent, exhausted and, of course uninterested in life.
Depression is more than a feeling of immense sadness. It is a disorder that affects nearly every part of your body from brain to immune system. It may put you at an increased risk of other illnesses or may itself manifest as a result of other illnesses.
Many physical changes occur in your body when you are depressed – for instance there is a decreased production of serotonin – a mood stabilizer – in your body which leads to poor sleep, feeling of emptiness, tiredness and a loss of libido.
Depression also increases the production of stress hormone – cortisol – which explains why a depressed person is always tensed and stressed out. Cortisol affects your metabolism and makes you put on weight by slowing down digestion and increasing sugar rush. A depressed person tends to find comfort in food and bloats as a result of overeating.
Depression weakens your immune system making you an easy target for opportunistic infections. Even vaccines may be less effective if you are depressed. Depression also increases the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis (MS), stroke and arthritis.
Depression leads to oversleeping, a lack of interest in physical activities and overeating. On the contrary, depression may lead to insomnia as well.
If you too feel down for more than two straight weeks, be alerted! This might be a sign of depression. This state in which the patient feels at loss of power and energy is termed as anergia
Stress and anxiety, too, put your body in a great unrest and elicit fatigue.
Lack of energy, motivation, and interest, fatigue, headache, insomnia
Seek medical advice, try to calm yourself with 10-15 minutes of daily meditation, download CBT Self-Help apps.
Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)
Ahh, now comes the real culprit – chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or systemic exertion intolerance disease (SEID) – that has troubled as many as 836000 to 2.5 million Americans andperplexed doctorsfor decades with its complexity. Nobody knowns its underlying cause but a viral infection or psychological stress is said to play a role.
Fibromyalgia, or pain in muscles, is another a musculoskeletal disorder that affects 2% of Americans. It most commonly accompanies rheumatoid conditions – 25-65%. The prevalence is higher in women. Scientists do not know the exact cause of fibromyalgia but amplified painful sensations are said to affect the way the brain processes pain signals.
Fibromyalgia most commonly occurs when you’ve had a trauma, infection, and surgery or undergone extreme stress. In some cases, however, there may be no triggering factor at all.
Many people with fibromyalgia have headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, unexplainable pain all over their body and extreme fatigue.
Even resting doesn’t lessen the fatigue of fibromyalgia and CFS because they have physiological reasons underlying the cause thus, prompting you to schedule an appointment with the doctor.
A recent study has shown a link between CFS and cardiac abnormalities and suggests that since both heart disease and CFS cause fatigue and exhibit other similar symptoms, a common therapeutic target can be set.
Widespread pain, fatigue, psychological stress, numbness in hands and feet, morning stiffness, sleep disturbances
Blood test (FM/a), urine test, sometimes X-rays
Add mild exercise, such as swimming in shallow water in your routine, to de-stress your body.
Sleep Apnea Possible Cause Of Extreme Fatigue
If you have sleep apnea, you are already in hell. No wonder you wonder – why am I always tired?
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that, according to National Sleep Foundation, affects nearly 18 million Americans. If you have sleep apnea, your breathing punctuates several times during night propelling you out of sleep. It happens when the muscles in your throat fail to keep your airway open.
Sleep apnea leads to restlessness and poor sleep and prevents you from going into deep sleep (REP). It also increases your risk for heart disease, memory and mood problem.
Extremely poor sleep, tiredness, poor memory, drowsiness in the day
Sleep Study (polysomnogram) – to record brain activity, eye movement, heart rate and blood pressure as you sleep. It also records blood oxygen level and air movement through your nostrils.
Use a device called continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) when you sleep.
Muscle Tension Syndrome
Muscle Tension Syndrome (MTS) or Tension Myositis Syndrome (TMS) is another musculoskeletal disorder that most often causes pain in back, neck, knee, arms and wrists.
TMS occurs as a result of psychological stress. It stems from repressed emotions – anger, guilt, or rage –which ultimately build up stress in your body and lead to a myriad of conditions including TMS, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), plantar fasciitis, depression, anxiety, acid and reflux etc.
TMS develops when you are unable to accept or process your emotions.
Symptoms: Pain and stiffness in the back, fatigue, weakness, tingling, numbness
Tests: Physical examination of tender points and imaging studies.
Is It Insulin Resistance?
Insulin resistance (IR) or metabolic syndrome is a condition in which your body fails to respond to insulin and becomes desensitized. Insulin – a hormone produced by the pancreas – is vital to carry glucose into the cells where it serves as the chief source of energy. Insulin resistance is the preliminary stage of diabetes – prediabetes – though it doesn’t always lead to it. IR is the biggest risk factor for type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
The biggest cause of IR is an increased intake of carbohydrates, a genetic defect in insulin receptors, autoantibodies to insulin and increased insulin degradation.
When glucose does not enter your blood, you cannot derive energy and get by the day. Hence the fatigue.
Tiredness, dark patches of skin especially under armpits and neck, obesity
Fasting Blood Glucose Test, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test
The American Diabetes Association says that 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. As we speak, more than 9.3% Americans are diabetic. And tired.
When you have diabetes, glucose – which is the main source of energy – does not enter your cells making you run out of energy pretty quickly. Diabetics get fatigued quickly.
If you are diabetic and are persistently fatigued, it’s time to see a doctor.
Symptoms:Fatigue, low energy, dizziness, sudden hunger, frequent thirst and urination
Tests:Fasting Blood Glucose Test, Oral Glucose Tolerance Test, HbA1C
Affecting over 52 million Americans, rheumatoid arthritis is another reason you may be feeling excessively tired.
But how does RA tire you? The inflamed joints make it tough for you to walk as effortlessly as a normal person would. Walking comes at a heavy price for you. Not only moving around becomes a day-to-day challenge, it does so at the expense of energy. And you get drained quickly.
Symptoms:Fatigue, morning stiffness, trouble walking, joint pain, inflammation
Tests:ESR, blood tests for C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), rheumatoid factor and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), x-rays, DEXA scan to measure bone density
Solution: Take NSAIDs and DMARDs. Use a stick or another walking aids.
Yes, Allergies Do Cause Constant Fatigue
Common allergies, such as hay fever, asthma, pollen allergy, mold allergy, food allergy etc. cause stiffy nose, watery eyes and fatigue in countless Americans.
Millions of Americans have allergy of one or another sort – about 10 million have asthma and 11 million have skin allergy. Allergy inevitably causes fatigue, even if other symptoms are mild. Many individuals with allergy do not realize that their mood swings, fatigue and irritability are due to allergy.
Dr. Hoffman, founder and Medical Director of the Hoffman Center in New York City and author of numerous books writes, “From pollen wafting on a summer breeze to molds growing on a shady, damp porch, elements of the natural world can wreak havoc in the lives of allergic individuals. And yet there are effective solutions to this extremely common cause of fatigue.”
Symptoms:Runny or stiffy nose, watery eyes, sneezing, tingling or itching in eyes or mouth, hives, wheezing, abdominal pain, diarrhea, swelling of lips, tongue or throat, fatigue
Allergy tests – skin test, ALCAT, allergy blood test
Take antihistamines, cover your nose when pollen count is high, avoid common irritants and allergens.
Sedentary Life Style
Sedentary life style leads to muscle weakness resulting in fatigue. If muscles are not used, fibers in muscles are replaced by fats; muscles become flabby leading to wasting eventually. Thus easy tiring happens whenever you try to do things (even the easier ones).
Prolonged sitting or long-hour desk jobs are also one of the most common causes of lower back pain. On the other hand, prolonged standing also tires you. If your job requires you to stand for prolonged hours, blood flow to leg and back muscles becomes disrupted and oxygen supply hampered, as a result of which lactic acid (a metabolic waste product) starts to accumulate in the muscles leading to stiffness – a condition called static muscle loading – which naturally tires your body.
Try not being a couch potato. Be active, indulge in physical activities.Do your own work. Use stairs instead of elevator.Study proves low-intensity exercise reduces fatigue by 65%.
Dr. Christopher A. Oswald, a Canadian chiropractor and the author of “Stretching”, suggests in people with long-hour desk job to stretch every hour for 2-3 minutes if they want to ward off tiredness and increase work efficiency.
If you stand for extended hours, Dr. Oswald suggests stretching muscles 2-4 times a day for 2 minutes.
The proper technique to stretch is to tilt your head or any other body part (say an arm or leg) to the right, hold and take deep breaths for 30 seconds. Relax. Breathe normally and repeat on the other side.
Emotional fatigue appears with your anti-social behavior.Showing a “Don’t Care” attitude, reduced motivation to work, ignoring your performance and having poor interaction with people around you result in to further isolation.
But amid all this emotional battle, you may be feeling physically exhausted as well? This may be happening due to low psychological energy and is interpreting by brain as fatigue.
Research has identified the link between mental exertion and fatigue. Scientists believe that organs fail when humans are made to stay in isolation.
Try to be social. Talk to someone you like can be helpful. Friends are very important, even if they are Facebook friends.
Fatigue And Aging
Fatigue is age related too. As you age, your energy expenditure (EE), total energy frequency (TEF), resting metabolic rate (RMR), and organ mass decrease making you prone to easy fatiguing and health threats. If you want to know how your body functions, you need to understand what EE is.
EE is the amount of energy you need to carry out physical functions such as breathing, walking, and digesting food etc. EE comprises of three units; RMR, activity energy expenditure (AEE), and energy due to thermic effect of food. Together all of these give you information about energy metabolism. Metabolism is a process of generating energy from nutrients.
RMR – whole-body metabolism when you are resting –is responsible for your energy balance called homeostasis.
Aging is associated with a decline in RMR at the rate of 1-2% per decade. This decline is coupled with a decrease in whole body fat-free mass (composed of metabolically active tissues and organs).
As you age, total energy frequency (TEF) begins to fall so rapidly that an older adult aged 75 years has the energy of a 7-11 years old.
People may think adolescents and young adults have the highest energy but study shows that middle-aged individuals – those in early 30s – have the highest energy and are best equipped to fight stress and health risks.
Take strategic naps, rest, and exercise. Taking vitamins and supplements prescribed by the doctor can be helpful. Staying active gives you energy. Being constantly busy gives you an energy boost. Find yourself an interesting activity.
Aftermath Of Sexual Exhaustion
Sex is a lot of fun but it can leave some of you exhausted. If you are healthy and feel tired after having sex, it is absolutely normal. But sex can have a different meaning in old age. As you age, your body starts undergoing a lot of changes, one of which is the reduced production of hormones.
In older adults, the level of sex hormones and libido is low. When the level of sex hormones drops, significant physical and mental changes ensue, such as post-coitus fatigue. In women, hormones drop quickly after menopause but in men, the process is bit a slow. Testosterone levels drop by about 1% in men each decade, beginning in late 30s.
Also, having sex when you are tired can give you a headache – sexual headache (it may sound like a joke but headache after sexual activity – HSA – is a term. Don’t believe me? Check what British Journal of Medical Practitioners says). Sexual headaches are usually benign but can sometimes last for weeks to months.
Try to get some sleep after sex. In fact, the hormones released after orgasm will make you sleepy. Sleeping replenishes your energy.
As for how often you should have sex – the answer is simple – as often as you would like. Some suggest that sex once in a week is best if you want to build and strengthen the bond with your partner. However, this is not a rule. What works for one couple may not be acceptable for another.
Quality of sexual life plays an important role in your life and health. Two large US studies that confirmed that middle- and old-aged men who are interested in sex and indulge in activity live a healthier life.
However, you need to be cautious. If you are old – 65 and above, you should not exert much during sex. It has a detrimental effect on your heart. Evidence suggests older men should reduce the frequency of sex to once or less in a week.
Inactivity And Boredom
You may become bored to the point of fatigue when your work is monotonous or your life is dull. This may sound strange but this is true – boredom can spark fatigue.
If you’ve lived an active life, you may feel lost when you have retired. Waking up in the morning with no plans for the day can be extremely boring.
Scientifically speaking, boredom is a combination of a subjective psychological state of disinterest, dissatisfaction or frustration and objective lack of neurological activity. It is an astoundingly dissatisfying state.
Boredom is unpleasant. It makes you dull and uninterested in life and, of course fatigued. Boredom can make you slip into depression as well. On the other hand, when you are depressed, you find it hard to initiate activities. It’s a vicious cycle you do not want to be stuck in.
Practice work life balance in your organization. Add indoor and outdoor games in your routine. As far as work is concerned, interval relaxation is good.
Try cooking for fun, it is a stress relief, and satisfies your tummy. Because hey, we are all foodies at the end of the day.
Gardening and reading help kill boredom.
Work overload causes physical and mental fatigue. Your body has limitations and it’s very important that you understand them. Read about your body’s structural composition and capacity if you want to keep working efficiently.
One in five workers in UK works overtime – for about 20 hours a day that according to Professor JM Harrington, of University of Birmingham, not only affects circadian rhythm, it also has bad effects on their efficiency, sleep, health, performance, family and social life. He writes,
“Fatigue is a common complaint among those working abnormal hours. It is particularly noticeable after the night shift, less so on the morning shift, and least on the afternoon shift. On balance, the duration of shift should not be extended to 10 or 12 hours as complaints of fatigue are greater on the long shifts.”
To begin with, give yourself a break. While being hard working is good, you should not do it at the expense of your health. Excessive work, if done for a long period of time seriously, hampers your health and puts you at a risk of plethora of problems including headache, backache, sciatica (pain in back, hips and outer legs due to a nerve compression), scoliosis (abnormal curvature of spinal cord), and bursitis (inflammation of bursa – fluid-filled sacs located between bones, joints, tissues where they serve as cushions).
Go easy on your body and muscles. Take power naps to improve alertness and performance. National Sleep Foundation recommends short naps of 20-30 minutes.
Improper eating and diet, lacking in nutrition causes fatigue. Eating disorders such as bulimia nervosa & anorexia nervosa are frequently observed, especially in girls. Former is characterized by binge eating and purging i.e. consuming excessive amount of food and trying to get rid of it by vomiting etc. Later is characterized by food restriction with the obsession of not gaining weight. Individuals restrict the amount of food they consume. Furthermore, a diet lacking in nutrition can leads to various deficiencies.
- Vitamin A deficiency causes night blindness.
- Vitamin B complex deficiency causes beriberi, cheilosis, glossitis, pellagra and macrocytic anemia
- Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy
- Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets in children, osteomalacia and osteoporosis in adults (mostly women).
Eat healthy and rich nutritious value food. And seek psychotherapy.
Dehydration makes you feel sluggish and light headed. It happens when your body loses fluid faster than it is receiving.
Our body consists of 65-75% of water. Every day we lose water in the form of sweat and urine.But when you have a disease such as diarrhea and vomiting, you can lose excess of water and carry a risk of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Dehydration can drain you both physically and mentally. It can be devastating for the elderly, as the National Institute on Aging puts. Older adults have decreased thirst perception and increased vasopressin – the anti-diuretic hormone that decrease urine output – which can lead to dehydration, altered blood volume, body fluid derangement and fatigue.
Have water frequently. Although there is no established recommended daily intake of water but you should drink enough water to prevent dehydration. The minimum amount of water your body needs equals the amount it loses every day.
Best way to keep your body hydrated is to drink water, fluids, and beverages, and have soups and moisture-rich fruits such as water melon.
Is Electrolyte Imbalance Making Me Tired?
Electrolyte imbalance results in fatigue. The balance of electrolytes is constantly shifting due to fluctuating fluid levels in your body. Electrolytes are necessary for body-fluid balance and nerve and muscle function.
Sweating as a result of exercise and hot weather; diarrhea and vomiting, all result in loss of electrolytes. So you need to replenish them to prevent dehydration and fatigue. Sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride and calcium are the necessary electrolytes. Sweating loses Na and Cl in large conc. while K, Mg and Ca in low concentrations. (Hponatremia in athletes)
Excessive vomiting for a prolonged period leads to loss of water and electrolytes (Na, K, Mg, Cl) and bicarbonate from body.
Diarrhea leads to loss of Na, K, Mg and Cl.
American Council on Exercise (ACE) illustrates the recommended intakes for electrolytes, ORS one sachet can help in one liter water (only If you have no medical condition related to heat, diabetes, kidney etc.) Food items that replace electrolytes include:
- Sodium= Table salt, soup, tomato juice
- Chloride=Table salt, fruits, veggies (tomato, lettuce, olives)
- Potassium=Plain yogurt, banana, Potato with skin.
- Magnesium=Halibut, spinach.
- Calcium=Dairy, collard greens, sardines.
A condition that causes fatigue, sleep deficit and petulance. It occurs following long flights through several time zones when your body’s internal clock or circadian rhythms are out of sync.
Make simple behavioral adjustments before, during and after arrival at your destination. Our bodies automatically adjust at rate of one hour/day approx. Medications (benzodiazepines & non-benzodiazepines) are prescribed to frequent travelers that are bothered by jet lag.
Why Am I Always Tired? Is It Over Training?
Over training i.e. continuous strenuous exercise for more than 40 minutes leads to fatigue. ‘Cortisol’ level is raised. Normal interaction b/w body’s ANS (Autonomic Nervous System) and hormonal balance is disturbed and body is in a state of athletic “Jet Lag”.
Overtraining Syndrome (OTS) is a term used to describe athletes underperforming for no apparent reasons and suffering from prolonged tiredness. A review by British Olympic Medical Center explains OTS to be typically seen following a competition or a period of heavy training. It can last for at least wo weeks. The underlying cause of OTS is the stress. Alongside tiredness, athletes suffering from OTS are also susceptible to infections.
Keep cortisol levels normal by interval training i.e. intense exercise followed by periods of light.
Taking proper rest, 3-5 weeks, is the key to overcoming OTS.
Why Am I Always Tired: Is It Multitasking?
Many a times you involve your five senses to complete a task. Working on your assignment on laptop while listening to some music and having a cup of coffee seems relaxing. But in real you are completing three separate tasks at a time. Your brain, working hard to complete these jobs at same time, experiences fatigue. Neuroscientists say multitasking drains your energy.
A latest research published in BMJ also shows that multitasking increases the risk of errors. In simple words, it reduces your efficiency.
What’s the rush, then? If it is tiring your body without giving any benefit?
It has become a necessity and habit to multitask at one time. But it is very important, you keep relaxation and working on separate ends. Enjoy, relax your mind and body completely and prefer multitask at work only. Stay smart, act smart.