12 Hidden Causes of Fatigue That Is Draining Your Energy

Do you feel wiped out most of the week? Well, you are not alone. Experts say one in three adults doesn’t get enough sleep, which makes them feel tired all the time. Between juggling personal and professional lives, it is easy to blame your busy life for constantly feeling fatigued. But if you have managed to revamp your lifestyle by making healthy changes like sleeping well and managing stress, you shouldn’t be overtired. If you are, you need to speak to a healthcare professional. In today’s post, we’ll be talking about the reasons you feel tired and fatigued all the time. Stay tuned and read until the end. Let’s begin the discussion.

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This one needed no guessing. You probably knew sleep would be at the top of our list. Sleep is perhaps the most important function of your body. While high performers may show disdain for lost hours of productivity during sleep, it is necessary in the long term to rest your body and mind. Sleep is not simply a matter of resting. Your body uses the downtime to make repairs and regenerate cells. This is why you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. It is recommended that you get at least 7 hours of sleep every day. If you’re not getting enough sleep, you will wake up tired because your body has not been able to complete its critical tasks. Those who have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep likely have insomnia. You should check with your doctor for treatments so that you can rest fully and wake up without suffering fatigue.


You heard that right. Your lack of attention to your daily diet could be making you feel tired all through the day. Every healthcare expert recommends eating well-balanced meals. This means you include a variety of foods in your diet to help your body get all the nutrients it needs to function at its best. But if you are feeling tired even after getting a good night’s rest, it is probably because of certain nutritional deficiencies. Not getting enough of the B vitamins, such as riboflavin, folate, and niacin, can cause fatigue. Wondering what vitamin B complex-rich foods you can eat every day? You can start by including fruits like bananas and oranges in your diet. They are loaded with vitamin B1, commonly known as Thiamin. Mushrooms, milk, and eggs are excellent sources of vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin. To get enough vitamin B3, or Niacin, through your diet, you’ll need to eat more fish and meat. And of course, no healthy food recommendation is complete without an honorary mention of green, leafy vegetables. Spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are great choices if you are looking to get more folate. If your diet does not give you enough iron and magnesium, it can also cause tiredness. For magnesium-rich foods, you can rely on quinoa, almonds, edamame, and avocado. Throw in some liver and organ meats, shellfish, and pumpkin seeds to get more iron. If you are experiencing fatigue frequently, you need to check with your doctor to test for nutritional deficiencies. Once the nutrient deficiency is addressed, you will feel a lot more energetic.


Ever had days when you didn’t lift a finger but still felt tired? Were those days also the same ones when you were dealing with a breakup or some other personal problems? You’ll find there’s a strong link between getting stressed and fatigue. Stress is physically tiring. See, don’t get me wrong. No one can live a stress-free life. It is normal to feel a little stressed during day-to-day activities. But if you have chronic stress, it could lead to several serious health challenges, including fatigue. Chronic stress can even lead to a medical condition called exhaustion disorder. This is a condition where you show signs of both physical and psychological exhaustion. When you’re under constant stress, you also end up causing damage to your brain. You could have chronic inflammation, which again results in fatigue. Dealing with stress can be difficult, irrespective of whether it’s at the workplace or in your personal life. However, taking the help of a therapist can be useful in devising ways to manage the stress you feel. There are a few stress management techniques you can try on your own. Taking deep breaths, stretching, and meditation are some of them. You’ll be surprised to know how beneficial exercise is for bringing your stress levels down. It’s also important that you don’t bottle up your feelings. Talk with people you trust about your feelings and problems. It will help you get relaxed, and as a result, you won’t be too tired all the time. Stress is harmful to you. What if you could manage it by making changes in your diet?


A couple minutes ago, we talked about nutritional deficiencies. But there’s a lot more to it than just focusing on getting nutrients or adding nutritional supplements to your routine. You also need to make significant dietary changes to keep your body fueled with energy to go about your day. And to feel energetic consistently, you need both the right nutrients and enough calories. When you don’t eat food that has enough calories or protein, your body will take alternate measures. It will break down the fat stored in your body and the muscle to meet its requirements. If that happens frequently, you will start to lose muscle mass and drop weight. This could, in turn, trigger fatigue in the body. You should also control your diet to keep ultra-processed foods to a minimum. Foods high in sugar can end up giving you high blood glucose and insulin levels. It can cause sleep disturbances, which will again be a source of fatigue. You should ideally be eating foods that are dense in nutrients. These include veggies, legumes, and fruits. Remember to get enough protein from healthy sources.


So many of us cannot think about starting the day without a hot cup of coffee. The caffeine boost helps wake you up from the drowsiness of sleep. It also makes you alert and active. While one cup of coffee is not harmful, an overreliance on caffeine can be. People look to energy drinks and coffee to keep their energy levels going through the day. These beverages give an instant boost of energy but can be destructive to your overall health. When you have a lot of caffeine throughout the day, you won’t be able to sleep properly at night. You will wake up the next day without getting the required rest. And by now, I don't need to tell you what lack of sleep can do to you.

Hint: You are about to start your day tired! Since you won’t have the energy required for your workday, you end up having some more coffee and ornery drinks to keep you active. This cycle of poor sleep and fatigue will continue until you do something concrete to break it. Another reason why you need to stay away from energy drinks is that they are exceptionally high in sugar, not just caffeine. You should avoid them as much as possible. You can still enjoy coffee and caffeinated beverages like green tea in moderation, as they have a few health benefits.


Do you drink enough water throughout the day? Or, are you like me, who mistakes thirst for hunger and ends up stuffing in more calories through snacks? I have become more self-aware about increasing my water intake, and so should you if you’re trying to escape feeling constantly tired. All the critical functions that your body does all day to keep you going require water. The water in your body is expelled in various forms, such as urine, sweat, and even through your breath. But if you don’t replace the depleted water levels, you will get dehydrated. When that happens, you will have lower energy levels and find it difficult to concentrate. You should drink eight glasses of water every day to make sure you remain hydrated. But that number can change based on how active you are, your age, and your weight. You can also look out for other signs of dehydration, like dizziness and headaches.

Still struggling with increasing your water intake? You can try these tips: You can keep a reusable water bottle with you throughout the day. This motivates you to drink more water in any setting, whether you’re running an errand, commuting to work, or working on your laptop. A water bottle near you is a visual reminder that you need to stay hydrated. It’s the era of technology. So, why not put your smartphone or smartwatch to some use? There are various apps available that send you timely reminders to hydrate yourself. For example, you can set a reminder to drink a glass of water every hour. This is especially helpful if you are too busy to drink water. You can replace other drinks, like soda and sports drinks, with water. This way, you are drinking more water every day and cutting down on your calorie intake. Awesome way to boost your health.

Isn’t it? Feeling hungry? Before you munch on your favorite snacks, drink a glass of water. This increases your daily water intake and also prevents you from mistaking thirst for hunger. If you dislike the idea of drinking plain water, infuse it with natural flavors. There are so many amazing fruit-infuser water bottles available on the market. You can try the cucumber-lime combination or strawberry-kiwi. I particularly love fresh lime-flavored water. You can also eat foods high in water, like watermelon, cantaloupe, and cabbage. Zucchini and celery are also good options.


Obesity is not good for your health and can result in chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. It could also cause heart-related issues as well as certain types of cancer. Obesity is also one of the reasons you struggle with chronic fatigue. It can lead to a dangerous sleep condition called sleep apnea. Those who have this disorder stop and start breathing repeatedly during their sleep. Since you are unable to get uninterrupted sleep because of the disorder, you are not refreshed when you wake up. This ends up causing daytime fatigue. People with sleep apnea wake up in the morning and still feel tired. Obesity also affects your sleep cycle, irrespective of whether or not you have sleep apnea. This is why you tend to get tired a lot more easily. It is important to maintain a healthy body weight. It not only helps with getting good sleep but also contributes to higher energy levels.


Do you struggle with chronic diseases? It could be the reason you feel so tired. Some medical conditions can end up causing fatigue. Kidney disease, hypothyroidism, and cancer are known to cause tiredness without any explanation. If you are feeling tired regularly even though you have not physically strained yourself, you should check with your doctor for any underlying medical conditions. Even mental health-related issues can cause fatigue. People with anxiety disorders and depression usually don’t get a lot of sleep and are perpetually exposed to a higher level of stress. It all adds up and causes chronic fatigue. Being frequently fatigued is abnormal. You shouldn’t get tired from a bit of exertion. If that’s happening to you, then you should take steps to figure out the cause.


It’s so relaxing to unwind after a long day at work with a glass of wine. But if that one glass of wine multiplies into several, you could end up with chronic fatigue over time. It seems counterintuitive because alcohol has sedative effects. So, ideally, it should help you sleep better and wake up relaxed. Alcohol produces other physical responses in your body that can interfere with quality sleep. Several hours after you have had alcohol, it raises your body's level of epinephrine, which is a stress hormone that increases your heart rate and generally stimulates your body. This can result in nighttime awakenings. As if this wasn’t enough, alcohol can also worsen your sleep apnea. It relaxes your throat muscles, which can worsen sleep-related breathing problems and contribute to sleep apnea. No, that’s not all. Alcohol disrupts your sleep by increasing the need to urinate during the night. All of these factors, combined, make you feel tired the next day. If you don’t check your alcohol intake, it can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome.


It seems ironic to feel tired when you haven’t worked at all during the day. But it’s true. A sedentary lifestyle could be the reason you feel fatigued and lethargic the entire day. So many people complain of feeling too tired to exercise. But in reality, it is the lack of movement and exercise that deconditions your body’s musculoskeletal and cardiovascular systems. As a result, you feel depressed and fatigued. A study was conducted to determine whether physical activity and a sedentary lifestyle interact to influence feelings of energy and fatigue in women. Results demonstrated that physical activity did boost energy and help reverse chronic fatigue.

Do you have questions about how to combat the fatigue that comes from a sedentary lifestyle? After all, it does seem like a vicious circle. You are way too tired because you don’t move much. And because you don’t feel energetic, you aren’t motivated to get active. You can try some of these tips to reduce the amount of time you spend being sedentary.

  • Walk for ten minutes after your meals
  • Take stairs instead of elevators if possible
  • If you are going someplace near walk instead of driving there
  • You can stand instead of sitting in public transport
  • If you work from home, invest in a standing desk
  • Set reminders to stand up and walk every one or two hours
  • Take calls outside and walk around at the same time
  • Spend more time doing chores around the house


A hormonal imbalance could be one of the surprising reasons you feel tired all the time. Confused about how these are related? You need to first understand your physiology. You have an endocrine system that works like a factory where hormones are produced. Hormones are the chemical messengers your body relies on to thrive. Now imagine what would happen if there was something wrong with the messengers or the messaging system. It will definitely impact how your body reacts and can produce changes in sleep patterns, moods, and energy levels. In fact, one of the most common symptoms of hormonal imbalance is fatigue.


Do you work irregular hours? Rotating shifts and night shifts could cause a circadian rhythm sleep disorder that is characterized by sleep problems like insomnia. People who work irregular hours often have difficulty falling and/or staying asleep. This leads to fatigue. Shift work can also cause fatigue and reduced alertness due to excessive sleepiness at work during the night or early morning hours. It could lead to alcohol dependence, as many shift workers self-medicate with alcohol or drugs to improve their sleep. It could also lead to unhealthy eating habits. All of these contribute to tiredness and lethargy. If you find yourself struggling with an unexplained lack of energy, your working hours could be the reason.

Looking for ways to boost your energy levels? Interestingly, there are both foods that can boost your energy and those that can kill your endurance and stamina.

Let’s keep the conversation going with a couple more videos on foods and their impact on our energy levels. Do you feel tired constantly? Let us know in the comments below!

The information I provided in this blog is for educational purposes only and does not substitute for professional medical advice. You should never use content in my writing as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or another qualified clinician. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if indicated for medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. I am not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information in this blog. Thank you.

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