4 Reasons You’re So Damn Tired

Share it:
4 Reasons You’re So Damn Tired

Although you might wake up feeling charged up for the day, your battery seems to drain quickly. Maybe that puts you on the hamster wheel of caffeine and sugar consumption, just to score enough energy spikes to conquer your daily tasks. You seem to sleepwalk through routine tasks, and when it comes to working out? You’ll start tomorrow.

If that description sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The National Sleep Foundation’s research shows people in the U.S. get 20% less sleep than they did a century ago. They also work more hours, which can increase stress, lower the amount of family time and make vacations a distant memory. Cue the hamster wheel. But if you are managing to get the recommended 7–9 hours of sleep and still feel tired, other factors might be at play:


Talk about a vicious cycle: When you feel exhausted, you tend to skip working out, or at least don’t exercise at the intensity you could. That can make you feel, well, even more tired.

A study by the University of Georgia found  regular, low-intensity exercise can help boost energy levels, even when people think it won’t.

Lead researcher Tim Puetz says, “Too often we believe that a quick workout will leave us worn out, especially when we’re already feeling fatigued. However, we have shown that regular exercise can actually go a long way in increasing feelings of energy, particularly in sedentary individuals.”


If you exercise regularly, there may be a point of diminishing returns — simply exercising more and more doesn’t mean you act like Red Bull is coursing through your veins. In fact, it actually causes fatigue.

“Certain styles of exercise take the participant to a state of physical exhaustion on a regular basis, which may do more harm than good,” notes functional and integrative medicine practitioner Chris Kesser.

He adds that there’s a fine line between training hard and overtraining, and when that line is crossed, it pushes the body’s stress response too far. That can result in a number of biochemical responses as the body tries to protect itself. One of those is to slow down several processes — creating fatigue as a result.

One solution is to make sure you’re building rest days into your mix, so that you can fully recover from your workouts, mentally and physically.


There’s been a significant amount of research in the past few years about the role of your gastrointestinal system in regulating emotions, energy, immunity and even skin health and chronic disease. All that good and bad bacteria in your digestive tract is central to your health, according to Jo Ann Hattner, RD, and co-author of “Gut Insight: Probiotics and Prebiotics for Health and Well-Being.

When it’s out of balance, it can lead to allergies, lowered immune response, poor sleep and other factors that might contribute to exhaustion. Hattner suggests stocking your plate with gut-happy choices like fermented foods and all types of vegetables — and dialing down the processed stuff, especially sugar and refined carbs.


Although you might wake up refreshed, that doesn’t mean you’ve gotten a solid night’s sleep. Even a mild case of sleep apnea can keep you from getting the deep sleep necessary to maintain energy throughout the day, according to Abbas Mansour, MD, director of the Sleep Lab at Baptist Easley Hospital in South Carolina.


“If sleep is fragmented, what you’ll see is daytime sleepiness and trouble maintaining your energy,” he says. “That affects alertness and concentration. Sleep apnea is very common, and underdiagnosed, so it’s worth talking to your doctor about it.”

If you’ve tried other strategies to tackle your energy crisis, a sleep study may be helpful to see if that’s an issue.

In general, feeling exhausted all the time isn’t a normal part of aging or living in a go-go-go society. Addressing stress, getting the right amount of exercise, improving your nutrition and practicing good sleep habits can go a long way toward kicking that caffeine habit to the curb.


  • Brad

    #5 Lack of Water – You forgot lack of water (dehydration), also being a leading cause for daytime fatigue.

    • Cassie D.

      I was waiting for that one, also!

    • Dave Forrester

      But too much water makes me get up in the night to pee, thereby disturbing my sleep lol.

    • EWS

      I’ve discovered that to be true for me Brad. It’s a simple fix. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Lorelei

    So is MyFitnessPal so trashy now that we need to curse in the headlines? We need a report author link instead of just report ads.

    • Karen N

      Darn? That’s cursing??? Bwahahahaha!!!! @Lorelei, you need to get out more, Luv!! Even your clergy uses “Darn” Good grief!!!

      • A. A.

        It actually does say damn in the title when you open up the article – not just “darn”.

        • Freeman

          Wait did I just wake up in 1917?

    • robinbishop34

      Were your parents Styx fans?

    • WTFReally?

      What are you a fucking Puritan?

    • evadlegne

      I agree with Lorelei. I tend to have a potty mouth but I don’t think it’s necessary in headlines. The body of the article would be fine.

    • Carrie Grubbs

      I agree, your not alone, I read the title out loud, not thinking, and my 7 y/o busted me. Anyway I commented without thinking either. I just don’t understand all the hostility to your comment. Its like watching the news. I was actually looking in the comment section hoping to find more solutions for fatigue not a yahoo commentary.

  • WTFReally?

    This article is garbage.

  • Only four reasons? You make it seem so simple. I would would worry about an out-of-balance lifestyle which includes too much of most everything and not enough of doing nothing (or at least very little). As a culture, we are driven, period. It’s never enough. And then the body finally says, “This is crazy. I need some rest!” But oh no! That won’t do. We have to come up with at least four things we can do to get “un-tired” so we can keep on keeping on with the rat race. Wow.

  • Victor Canas

    Just your typical examples nothing insightful – good thing I just skimmed.