10 Medical Reasons Why You Feel Tired All The Time

March 30, 2022 • By Penelope Torres
The estimated reading time is 9 minutes
feel tired all the time

If you feel tired and have no energy to function normally and be productive throughout the day, you are not alone. Almost 70 % of all Americans do not get proper sleep at least one day a month. (1)

You probably have a packed schedule ( you are a parent working five days a week and on, plus you are trying to attend all social events), and it is normal to feel tired and try to find a few minutes to nap or rest a little bit.

Still, there is a difference between feeling sleepy and feeling extremely tired. It is fine to feel sleepy and drowsy sometimes due to long work hours, poor quality sleep, lack of sleep, or some other reasons. It can be solved by a good night's sleep compared to fatigue that doesn't go straight away.

It is not normal to feel extremely tired in a period of a few weeks and can be the result of several lifestyle factors, health issues, or a combination of both.  

To be exhausted and tired all the time and have no energy even has its acronym-  TAAT, which stands for tired all the time. This syndrome may affect your career if you have difficulty accomplishing your daily tasks or just you have poor concertation and you are not able to make reasonable decisions.

3 Different Types Of Fatigue

There are 3 known types of fatigue:

  1. Cumulative fatigue when you didn't sleep well for several days and you had a repetitive mild sleep restriction for some time period.
  2. Circadian fatigue is not getting enough sleep at night, especially during the "window of circadian low" (WOCL). This refers to the time period between 2:00 a.m. and 05:59 a.m.
  3. Transient fatigue is the most extreme sleep restriction and it means that you were awake most of the time within 1  or 2 days.

Reasons Behind Tiredness

It is very important to find the reasons behind this condition so you can tackle this problem immediately.

When Should You Worry About Tiredness?

All adults need seven to nine hours of sleep. If you eat a regular balanced diet, exercise regularly, and are not overloaded with stressful work, the fatigue might be caused by a certain health condition and this might cause you some worries and you need to see your doctor for advice.

10 Medical Causes Of Tiredness

1. Anemia

This is a medical disorder when the red blood cells cannot move enough oxygen to your body tissues. People suffering from anemia feel dizzy when they get up, have heart palpations, and feel tired. You can check whether you have anemia with a simple blood test. (2)

2. Sleep Apnea

This is a sleeping disorder that can lead to some serious health problems if it is left untreated. It can cause your breathing to stop during sleeping and lead to daytime fatigue, tiredness, and loud snoring.  

3. Menopause

If you are a woman in menopause, you probably experience night sweats and hot flashes. This is because your hormones change all the time and this influences your sleep. Many women also experience sleep problems during perimenopause, a period before menopause when the menstrual periods become irregular.

4. Depression

Is one health condition that makes you feel tired constantly, and you have problems falling asleep at night. You should consult your health provider if you are depressed and take the prescribed medications if needed.

5. Diabetes

Your body is struggling as the blood sugar levels constantly change and you lose energy. It may be linked to many other factors related to diabetes, such as (3)

  • no physical activity
  • poor diet
  • feeling depressed
  • kidney problems
  • no family support
  • poor sleep
  • thyroid problems
  • side effects from certain medications

6. Thyroid problem

The thyroid is a small gland that sits in your neck and controls how you use your energy. If you suffer from an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), the body's metabolism slows down and leads to fatigue and lethargy, and difficulty in sleeping even you take medications. You may sometimes feel tired and cold and this condition can cause a drop in core body temperature due to a lowered metabolic rate.

7. Congestive heart failure

This is a condition when your heart doesn't pump normally and it leads to extreme tiredness and weakness. These patients have lower cardiac output and there is not enough blood and oxygen that reaches their muscles.

8. Rheumatoid arthritis

These patients suffer from chronic pain, and it is not common to turn to over-the-counter sleeping pills. The prescribed corticosteroids to reduce inflammation in your joints can raise your risk of sleep disorders and interfere with your sleep cycle. 

9. You have post-Covid fatigue or long Covid with symptoms like tiredness, insomnia, and anxiety. The symptoms are very similar to those of chronic fatigue syndrome or myalgic encephalitis.

10. Liver disease

One of the most common symptoms for patients with liver disease and this influences their everyday life

Lifestyle Factors That Cause Fatigue

  • Exercise before going to bed may cause sleeping disorders in some people. It can raise your body temperature and make some hormonal changes.
  • You speak on the phone too often or you spend too much time in front of screens which impacts your sleep quality and your circadian rhythm. Try dimming lights in your house when you come back from work, sing lamps instead of harsh overhead lights, and lowering the brightness on your phone, tablets, computers.
  • You might lack certain vitamins in your diet as vitamin B12 and vitamin D, which also cause tingling or numbness in your hands and muscle loss and fatigue. Vitamin B12 can be found in dairy products, eggs, tuna, or cereals. Vitamin D-containing foods can be a little harder to incorporate in sufficient amounts, but egg yolks, fish, and fortified foods can help. Still, you might need to take a supplement if you have this problem. (4)
  • Also, deficiency in vitamin B, iron, vitamin C, and magnesium may cause fatigue, as found and published in one study from 2020. (5)
  • Consuming too much caffeine may sometimes boost your energy, but you feel tired and nauseous the next day. It can be linked to awakening during nighttime, vomiting, and daytime sleepiness. (6)
  • Obesity may be a factor for many chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, but it may also increase the chances of feeling chronically tired. (7)
  • Pregnancy may also cause tiredness and nausea, which are early pregnancy symptoms. The due date also makes you feel tired as you carry the extra weight of the baby.
  • Shift work, certain medications, and drug and alcohol dependence may also cause fatigue and increased tiredness. (8)  

Psychological Factors That Cause Fatigue

  • Chronic stress can lead to fatigue and lead to stress-related exhaustion disorder (ED), and chronic brain inflammation which contributes to symptoms like fatigue. (9)
  • Emotional shock or a relationship breakup may lead to extreme tiredness and exhaustion and sometimes lead to nausea and vomiting.
  • Anxiety- if you feel constantly anxious, worried, and irritable, it will lead to energy loss and tiredness.

Should I Be Worried If I Am Always Tired?

This should cause you some worries as it might impact your daily routine and you may not be able to accomplish your daily tasks, and you might miss your work or get some disease as cause to poor quality sleep. The National Safety Council estimated that in 2015 costs related to sleep deficiency in the United States were more than $410 billion. If you feel tired all the time, you might need medical advice and should consult your health provider.

Remedies To Treat Tiredness

Sleep is very important for mental health and for your immune system and it cannot work properly if you do not have the needed sleep. All protective chemicals to fight infections are produced during sleep.

That is why we offer you a few self–care tips to recover your energy and be more efficient:

  • Eat a healthy diet and do not skip meals to maintain energy levels throughout the day
  • Eat food that is rich in iron, such as lean red meat
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and avoid exposure to many lights before going to bed
  • Limit the daily caffeine intake as caffeine is related to frequent wake-ups and having problems falling asleep
  • Drink a lot of water and keep your body hydrated, and function normally
  • Start exercising and try to reduce sitting, especially in front of screens
  • Avoid low calories diet as they restrict carbohydrates that boost your energy throughout the day
  • Try some relaxing techniques and find the one that works for you, like telling a mantra or thinking of a nice calming scene
  • Never skip breakfast and choose a breakfast that is rich in carbohydrates and proteins like cereals or whole-grain bread.
  • Reduce your work stress and workplace issues and take steps to address them
  • Start having more fun and simply do nothing and hang out if you have a hectic lifestyle
  • Seek treatment or medical advice if needed and if you feel tired for a long time period and cannot find the cause of it

What Shall You Do If You Wake Up Tired?

If you wake up and you feel tired and groggy, do not worry, it is a part of the human experience. Sleep inertia is the desire to go to sleep immediately after waking up. This is due to a chemical from your brain called adenosine that is cleared during the night sleep from your body, but some of it resides in it, and it takes some time (60 – 90 minutes) to clear it off entirely in the morning.

  • If you feel groggy when you wake up:
  • Try drinking a glass of water to be more alert and boosted with energy
  • Drink a cup of coffee or tea to block the adenosine receptors in your brain
  • Start the day with a workout to help your body and brain to wake up more quickly
  • Expose your body to sunlight and increase the levels of serotonin in your body which is a precursor to the melatonin that promotes a good night's sleep
  • Do not drink alcohol and caffeine before going to sleep as they are stimulants and do not eat or drink too much water before bedtime as it can interrupt your sleeping


  • Sleep is very important for mental health and for your immune system and it cannot work properly if you do not have the needed sleep. 
  • It is not normal to feel extremely tired in a period of a few weeks and can be the result of several lifestyle factors, health issues, or a combination of both.  It is very important to find the reasons behind this condition and to tackle this problem immediately as it may affect your daily life and you might miss your work or get some disease as cause to poor quality sleep.

Penelope Torres

She is a health blogger that knows exactly what readers expect from her writings on nutrition, health and wellness. She inspires them to act and educate them on nutrition and healthy living using real and scientifically-based facts that support her ideas.
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