Reviewed by: Erica Grandjean, APD, BNutr&Diet
You’re working out, eating well and putting your phone down an hour before your 9pm bedtime… yet you’re still tired!
While chronic tiredness can have many root causes – some of them requiring a trip to your GP – there are some simple lifestyle factors that may be contributing to your fatigue.
Here are 5 lifestyle factors that may be making you tired:
1. You’re drinking too much coffee
Weirdly, yes. Too much caffeine has been shown to increase general tiredness, due to the ‘comedown’ your body undergoes after a big hit.
Over time, the more coffee you consume, the more your body struggles to stay normal, and the bigger the crash.
Solution: While everyone’s tolerance is different, aim for no more than two shots of coffee a day.
2. You’re doing too much exercise
Overtraining can fatigue the body very quickly. If you’re not allowing your body to recuperate properly after a hard session, it will start to wear down.
Solution: Always have a rest day once a week, and try and mix up your workouts so you’re not overtraining one area.
3. You’re not getting enough water
Dehydration changes the viscosity (thickness) of your blood and how frequently your heart beats, as it tries to get as much oxygen to your cells as possible.
Starve your body of proper hydration and your heart will slow blood flow right down, which will make you feel fatigued.
Solution: Keep a two-litre bottle of water by your desk or in your kitchen, and drink the entire bottle over the course of the day. It’s the easiest way to remember to hydrate properly!
4. You’re eating too much refined sugar
This one’s a bit of a no-brainer! Consume too much sugar, and your body will naturally crash as its insulin levels spike, then fall rapidly.
Solution: Swap the sweet white stuff for naturally-sweetened foods, such as dates.
5. You’re emotionally stressed
While everyone experiences periods of stress or anxiety, if you’re feeling tired all the time despite your best efforts, you may want to look at your emotional wellbeing.
Our brains contain a delicate balance of hormones which govern our moods. Prolonged stress can deplete serotonin levels – the fee-good chemical – which, among other things, causes fatigue.
Solution: Looking after your mental health is crucial! If you know in your heart-of-hearts that your tiredness is caused by emotionally upsetting events, seek professional help.
Meditation can also help in the short-term by calming your mind and forcing you to focus on breathing, which helps alleviate fatigue.
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