Why are you tired?: Common causes

There is always that great feeling after a long workday when you get home and can finally relax. But that great feeling can soon wear off; you find yourself sitting down and you can’t muster up the energy to get up and do anything. Being tired is a common thing for just about everyone and it’s completely normal if you are spending your day putting a lot of energy into your job or other activities. But tiredness is also the body’s subtle hint that you need to take just a little time and re-evaluate your natural balance. This is especially true if your exhaustion is chronic and occurring every day. Below are some of the more common causes of extreme tiredness or fatigue.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Lack of sleep

This one might seem obvious, but many people don’t give their sleep cycle the attention it needs. Most experts agree that the average person needs between 7 and 9 hours of sleep a night. Many people don’t get this full amount. There are also some things that can lower the quality of your sleep that could result in tiredness. This includes charging electronics near your bed as these emit blue light that disturbs some of the deeper phases of sleep. Other things like eating or exercising too close to bedtime may also reduce the quality of your sleep. There is a concept known as sleep hygiene which is essentially a checklist for the various things that can impact your sleep. Have a look at one of these scales and see how you do. You might be surprised.


Anemia is quite a common disorder amongst all sorts of populations. It is essentially a disease where your red blood cells do not have enough hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying protein), or they are too weak to survive in circulation.This results in the body then being unable to meet the oxygen demands of your body. Each of these is as a result of a nutrient deficiency. The most common deficiencies causing anemia are iron, vitamin B9, and vitamin B12. Anemia is common in vegetarians and vegans because these nutrients are mostly derived from animal products. An easy way to spot if you are anemic is to pull down your lower eyelid and see if it is pink or white. Pink is normal while white may be a sign of anemia.

Photo: Unsplash.com


Allergies are also very common. An allergy is basically the body having an immune reaction to something that it shouldn’t, like pollen. This allergic reaction causes the release of various substances in the body that result in swelling and fatigue. If you tend to show allergy symptoms, you may have an undiagnosed allergy that is causing you to feel tired. These allergies are easily treated with antihistamines.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea seems to be quite an inconspicuous cause of tiredness in many people. When you fall asleep, your muscles relax quite a bit more and in certain people, this can cause a small blockage in the throat. The result is that they don’t get enough air while they sleep and wake up many times without realizing it. One of the biggest giveaways that you have sleep apnea is that you snore because that sound is made by air trying to move past the blockage. Sleep apnea is quite difficult to diagnose and requires some specialized tests, but is easy to treat with a positive pressure mask.