Why Am I So Tired: Fatigue Causes and Symptoms

tired

Why am I so tired? If you’re asking yourself this every day, know that the causes of fatigue can be simple, like not drinking enough water, or more serious, like an underlying heart condition. You can change some things about your sleeping routine and lifestyle habits that will not only increase your energy, but give you a better quality of life. Use the quiz and the checklist below to narrow down your fatigue causes and symptoms.

Fatigue Symptoms Quiz

Doctors use the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, a simple questionnaire with eight situations where you score yourself, based on a scale of 0-24.  See your doctor if you score over a 10 on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale. You can take it yourself below:

sleep-apnea-scale

Fatigue Causes Checklist

Fatigue can be caused by infinite factors. The most common is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea happens when your soft palate collapses into your airway while sleeping and obstructs your breathing. Most people don’t know they have this condition until they get it diagnosed. It can be dangerous, so your doctor will want to figure out if you have this right away.

If your doctor rules out sleep apnea ask yourself if you are getting a good night’s sleep. Do you need an alarm to wake up in the morning? Are you sticking to the same bedtime every night? A wearable for sleep tracking can give you insight into your sleep cycles. This Huffington Post writer liked the Jawbone.

Jawbone UP Bracelet
Jawbone UP Bracelet

If you’re sleeping well enough, use this checklist to rule some other things out:

  • Dehydration. Not drinking 8-10 glasses of water per day
  • Not exercising regularly
  • Anemia: Not eating a diet rich in iron, like spinach and red meat
  • Poor Nutrition: Not taking a daily vitamin
  • Poor Diet: Eating or drinking too much sugar
  • Poor Diet: Drinking more than one cup of coffee per day
  • Feeling depressed
  • Hormone changes during your cycle
  • A possible infection (sinus, UTI, kidney)
  • Possible Allergies (to food or environment, like dustmite)

If nothing on the checklist applies to you, you could have an underlying medical condition. By living a healthy lifestyle you can regain your energy, mental alertness and increase your happiness. Instead of asking ‘Why am I so tired?’ take a proactive approach by ruling out fatigue causes like poor sleeping and lifestyle factors that you have the power to change.