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Why am I always tired?

why am i tired all the time?

You groan as you wake up on a Monday morning to a blaring alarm. You lay and stare at the ceiling until the last possible minute before dragging yourself out of bed and barely completing the basic hygienics. Sitting in the car with your hands on the wheel with the car off you wonder, 

Why am I so tired? 

Fatigue is one of the first signs something is wrong with your health. It could mean anything from “You stayed up too late binge-watching that reality TV show” to “You need to see a doctor.” 

If you have been experiencing deep fatigue, exhaustion, or a constant state of tiredness, don’t panic just yet. There are plenty of reasons why you’re feeling tired, most of them easily fixed through lifestyle changes or supplements. 

And if you are here because you’re desperate for some way to lift the fog from your mind, we understand. Going through life exhausted feels impossible at times. So, take a breath, get comfy, and let’s explore some ways you can start feeling better.

Reasons Why You Are So Tired

The body and mind are constantly interacting with each other using what is known as the mind-body connection. This means that when your body is hurt, your mental health will hurt too. And when your mental health is suffering, so will your body. This is why anxiety often results in nausea and depression can lead to muscle aches

The reason why you are so tired is likely a combination of physical and mental problems. Trying to diagnose that problem can be exhausting in itself. Take it one step at a time. Identify one, small thing you can do and implement a solution until it becomes a habit. Note if it gave you more energy or not, and then move on to the next. 

If you need help with this process, a therapist can assist in identifying problem areas and implementing solutions.


The first category we’ll explore is lifestyle changes. These are habits we have that may be contributing to a sense of fatigue, brain fog, or exhaustion. Usually, these can be fixed on your own or with the help of an accountability partner and support system.

1. Not getting enough sleep.

Sleep is a vital part of our body’s rejuvenation system. During sleep we don’t just rest, our bodies are releasing important growth hormones, repairing and regenerating cells, and sorting through our memory. Without proper sleep, our bodies aren’t getting the regular maintenance it needs. Most professionals put the recommended amount of sleep at 7-9 hours, but most Americans only get 6.7 hours a night.

2. Iron deficiencies

Iron-deficient anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t carry the necessary amounts of iron. You may also notice heart palpitations (noticeable heartbeats), shortness of breath, and pale skin. 

3. Unhealthy diet

Have you ever noticed you feel more tired when you’re hungry? This is because your body doesn’t have the necessary nutrients it needs to stay alert. The same is true when you’re eating but not getting the necessary nutrients: either through lack of calories or lack of nutrient-dense foods. Without enough calories and nutrients, your body breaks down muscle and fat mass to find what it needs, which results in fatigue.  

4. No exercise

Exercise is known to not only decrease feelings of fatigue but also increase energy levels and feelings of vitality (feeling strong and powerful). While you don’t have to do intensive exercise every day to get the results, doing a little every day or moderately a few times a week is proven to help you feel less tired. 

5. Poor stress management

Not only is stress associated with an increased risk of insomnia, resulting in less sleep and more fatigue, it can burn you out. Chronic stress can lead to chronic fatigue, and if you’re constantly stressed, you won’t have the energy to deal with important tasks anymore.

Physical Health Issues

Feeling tired is a common symptom of many physical health issues. We won’t cover all of them in this article. If you are experiencing fatigue, exhaustion, and other physical health problems talk to your doctor. 

  1. Hormonal changes (puberty, pregnancy, menopause)
  2. Sleep apnea: Poor sleep quality due to not being able to get enough oxygen as you sleep.
  3. Diabetes: Feeling very tired and thirsty, possibly using the bathroom more often and weight loss.
  4. Thyroid problems: Hypo or Hyperthyroid can cause fatigue. Hyperthyroidism will be paired with restlessness, nervousness, and muscle weakness. Hypothyroidism will look like brain fog, weight gain, and trouble regulating body temperature. 

If you are experiencing fatigue alone, without a cluster of other symptoms, start with the lifestyle changes we outline below. However, if your fatigue worsens or you notice other symptoms, ask your doctor for a blood test or other test to rule out some of these most common causes of tiredness and fatigue.

Mental Health Problems

The mind has a strong connection to the body, meaning that when our mental health suffers our physical health will as well. Fatigue, brain fog, difficulty concentrating, and a pervasive sense of tiredness are all very common in mental health disorders. A few of the most common culprits of tiredness include:

1. Depression

A very common symptom of depression is fatigue. People with depression may feel like they don't have enough energy to get out of bed, much less engage with others, do their work, or practice personal hygiene. It is a fight every day to find the energy to go about one’s day with depression. Therapy is highly effective for treating depression.

2. Anxiety

Anxiety causes restlessness and worry and often results in working much harder than you should. Anxiety tells us that if we don’t act now then something awful will happen. As a result, we burn ourselves out thinking in spiraling loops and pushing ourselves past our breaking point. Also, insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety, which can add to the tiredness people with anxiety feel. 

3. Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is linked to fatigue and tiredness. Part of this is because we get lesser quality sleep when we are stressed, but stress also wears down the body. In the same way that anxiety does, stress keeps our adrenaline symptoms activated during the day. So even if we get enough sleep, we’re not getting enough to counteract the harm that stress does to our bodies during the day.  

4. Trauma

When you experience trauma, your brain tries to protect yourself from it. This can result in nightmares, flashbacks, and paranoia that can keep you up at night, prevent you from practicing healthy habits, and wear down your brain and body in the same way that chronic stress and anxiety can. Healing from trauma can give your brain, and therefore your body, that much needed rest. 

5. Grief 

Grief isn’t often thought of when we think about tiredness in mental health, but it is definitely one of the biggest contributors. There are five stages of grief, and each one can make you feel tired in a different way. Anger saps your strength, and depression leaves you feeling depleted. But grief as a whole is exhausting. The void left in the wake of a loved one can be exhausting to try and fill. Usually, grief passes naturally, but therapy can help you if you get stuck in grief or feel unable to heal. 

If mental health issues are keeping you up at night and sapping your strength during the day, therapy can help. One of the first things therapists will help you with is providing coping mechanisms that can get you feeling better quicker. Long-term healing is often needed, but if anxiety is keeping you up at night or depression is making it hard to get the proper nutrients, a therapist can help you find coping mechanisms around those hardships. Once you start feeling better by meeting your basic needs, you’ll have more energy to work on healing the root cause of your mental health issues. 

For more information about therapy, or to schedule a session with one of Lifebulb’s therapists today, reach out to our team. Alternatively, you can find a therapist who meets our needs using our therapist finder.

How To Stop Feeling So Tired All The Time

The best way to stop feeling tired is to address the root cause, especially if that cause is a physical or mental health problem. However, we also understand the importance of having a quick fix now. Sometimes you just need something to help you out as you wait for a doctor's appointment or work on your mental health. 

Here are a few coping mechanisms science has found help people feel less tired, more alert, and altogether more rejuvenated. 

1. Limit caffeine 

90% of Americans use caffeine to help them wake up and work in the morning, but researchers are starting to wonder if the positive effects of caffeine are more because it stops the withdrawal symptoms of not having it. Caffeinated substances like coffee can create a vicious cycle in which you drink it to stay awake, which keeps you up at night, and prompts you to drink more in the morning. Cutting out stimulants like caffeine helps your body's natural circadian rhythms take place. 

2. Drink enough water

Studies have found that being dehydrated leads to greater fatigue. Water is a crucial part of our body’s system, and not having enough is like not having any oil in your car: the car won’t work right. 

3. Sit less

Many office workers spend up to 15 hours a day sitting. While exercise is always recommended, studies have shown that one hour of intense exercise does not negate the negative effects of sitting for that long. Instead, adding in small walks during your work day, getting a standing desk, or moving more during your off hours instead of sitting or laying down is thought to be better for your health. 

4. Manage your stress.

Stress has a huge impact on sleep, and ultimately sleep is going to be one of the most important factors in feeling better again. Manage stress through meditation exercises, exercise, journaling, creating art, talking with friends, getting organized, or lessening your workload if possible. 

5. Eat healthy (and often)

Most of us were raised on three meals a day, but how often do you actually eat 3 healthy, full meals a day? What’s more, science shows that eating less more frequently (having smaller meals every 3-4 hours) maintains energy best throughout the day and stops energy crashes that leave us tired and cranky.

6. Cut down on alcohol

Even small amounts of alcohol make our sleep less quality, research shows. So while those glasses of wine may help you destress, it may be making you more tired. Instead, opt for tea or keep your alcohol to only a few nights a week. 

7. Try talk therapy

Talk therapy is recommended by scientists to help fight fatigue, exhaustion, and tiredness. Why? Because life is exhausting, and a lot of the time, we don’t even really know what is making us tired. Having someone you can confide in every week and who can help shine a light on the habits and events in your life that may be causing you to lose sleep or be more tired can help you find balance. 

Getting to the root of the issue is key when you’re facing tiredness. There are so many things in life that can cause exhaustion, that it’s important to be specific when you’re treating it. If you need help with this self-exploration, therapy is a great tool. 

Talk therapy does not have to be long-term or for a mental health diagnosis. If you just want to work on your habits and lifestyle to generate more energy in your life, then a therapist would be happy to conduct a short term (usually 8-12 weeks) that helps you develop the life you want. 

Building New Habits

If you have been experiencing exhaustion or are feeling tired all the time, there is hope. There’s a saying that one day you wake up tired and never feel rested again, but this isn’t true. You don’t have to live exhausted. Find the root of your issue, and make small changes to your life. Building new habits can be exhausting, so try to follow these tips when implementing life changes: 

  1. One change at a time: If you try to make a million little changes all at once, you’ll likely fail. Instead, choose 1-3 small changes you’d like to make. Once you’ve done them for a few weeks and feel confident, move onto another 1-3. 
  2. Lean on your support system: We were never meant to live life alone. Your community is your greatest ally when making life changes such as these. Be honest and upfront about what you’re doing, why, and how they can help. 
  3. Forgive yourself: Try to avoid the all-or-nothing thinking cognitive distortion. For example, instead of thinking “Well, I didn’t go to the gym today so I might as well not go until next week.” Think, “I didn’t go to the gym today, but that’s okay. I’ll try again tomorrow.” One mistake does not mean your whole quest is doomed. 
  4. Celebrate the small wins: Creating a healthier life is going to take time, energy, and trial and error. It can be disheartening to try for weeks and not feel much of a difference. So celebrate the small victories. Did you go a week without alcohol? Congrats! That’s a huge milestone. 
  5. It might be difficult before it’s better. When you’re changing habits, your body is going to yearn for normalcy. This is especially true if you’re cutting out substances like caffeine or alcohol. But even if you’re implementing a no-screen rule before bed or cutting out high-processed sugar, your body and mind are going to crave your old habits. As a result, you might go through some physical and mental withdrawal symptoms that lead you to be emotional, irritable, and tired. It may seem counterintuitive, but keep going through this initial state of discomfort. You’ll find your energy comes back to you three-fold.


It sucks being tired all the time, it’s just the truth. When you're tired, your capacity for problem-solving and emotional regulation decreases, but so does your capacity for joy. Be proud of yourself for taking this step and trying to regain your energy. It’s not always an easy journey, but the results are worth it. 

Remember to take it one step of a time. You got this. And if you need a little extra support, our therapists are always here to help. For more information about how to get matched with a therapist and stop feeling tired all the time, give our support team a call. Or, find a therapist who you feel like would be a good match for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Wondering why you're still tired despite getting sufficient sleep? Several factors could contribute, including poor sleep quality, sleep disorders, or underlying health conditions. It's essential to explore these possibilities with a healthcare provider.

 Women commonly face fatigue due to various causes like hormonal fluctuations, vitamin deficiencies, or conditions like anemia. Consulting a healthcare provider can help identify the root cause and address it effectively.

 Yes, stress can significantly impact energy levels, leading to persistent fatigue. Managing stress through relaxation techniques, self-care, and seeking support from a therapist can help alleviate exhaustion and restore energy.

 Talk therapy, like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can be beneficial in addressing the emotional and psychological factors contributing to chronic fatigue. Therapists provide coping strategies, explore underlying issues, and support you in managing fatigue effectively.

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