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19 Reasons You're SO TIRED All The Time

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If your hobbies include taking naps, yawning, and complaining about how tired you are, then congratulations — you’re part of the chronically exhausted majority!

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So why are you so fucking tired all the time? Here are some good guesses:

1. You sleep til noon on the weekends, but live by your alarm Monday through Friday.

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Skimping during the week and then making up for it over the weekend doesn’t work, Holly Phillips, M.D., author of the upcoming book The Exhaustion Breakthrough, tells BuzzFeed Life. Plus, it can screw with your internal clock, making it even harder to fall asleep at a normal time. (Vicious cycle, blah blah blah…) Try to keep your weekend schedule within an hour or two of your weekday one, and you should be fine.

2. You sleep procrastinate, which is actually a scientific thing.

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Researchers in the Netherlands coined a term for regularly watching House of Cards instead of going to sleep. They call it “bedtime procrastination,” and people who did it also said that they got less sleep. OK, obviously, but knowing that this is a thing people actually study should convince you that it’s a pretty big deal.

3. You stare at your phone/computer/TV before bed each night. And sometimes during the night.

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The blue light that comes from your devices can actually interfere with the release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you sleep, Phillips says. And checking your email whenever you wake up to pee makes you immediately more alert. Keep your phone in your nightstand to avoid temptation. Or — if you’re really feeling ballsy — put it on airplane mode so your alarm works but pretty much nothing else does.

4. You’re not getting enough sleep.

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“Many people feel like if they wake up, then that’s the amount of sleep they’re supposed to get,” says Phillips. “That’s not actually how that works.” Adults should be getting between seven to nine hours of sleep per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation. So set a bedtime. Do it.

5. You’re not getting GOOD enough sleep.

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Even if you're in bed from 11 to 7 every night, that doesn't always mean you're well-rested. Good sleep comes down to duration, timing, and quality, Charles Czeisler, Ph.D., M.D., chair of the board of the National Sleep Foundation and chief of sleep medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, told BuzzFeed Life. So if you’re getting a good amount of sleep but still feel tired, it might be a matter of sleeping well.

6. You had a virus a while back.

Have you been sick in the last few months? If so, it might be some residual funk. That’s not the technical term, but it can take up to three to four months for your body to fully bounce back from a virus, says Phillips. Eating lots of antioxidants and gradually starting to work out again can help make this process a little easier.

7. You have a really serious relationship with caffeine.

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It’s real and it’s deep, but it’s also probably making you more tired. “When you rely on caffeine too much, it becomes energy-sapping,” says Phillips. Obviously caffeine comes with a lot of benefits, but it can also do some damage if you have too much. “I suggest having only the amount of caffeine that won’t build up a dependence for you,” Phillips says. So if you feel achy and murderous without it, you might need to cut back to actually feel more energized.

8. You have acid reflux.

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Maybe your sleep isn’t as great as it could be because you’re having some difficulty with stomach acid — even if you don’t feel like you have any heartburn. “One sign is if you always wake up and feel like you have to clear your throat a lot,” says Phillips. “This is a hidden sign of acid indigestion, and it can disturb your sleep.”

9. Your diet could be better.

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No offense. “If you fill your body with foods that have been highly processed where the nutrients have been removed, your energy levels will reflect that,” says Phillips. “Think of food as fuel. Eat and drink for maximum energy. Eat foods that are alive.” Basically anything in the produce section qualifies.

10. You have allergies.

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Anything from hay fever to food allergies can cause inflammation, which makes your body work harder to keep everything in order. All that work is exhausting…even if you don’t know you’re doing it.

11. You don’t work out.

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Staying fit boosts your endorphins, helps you sleep, and obviously keeps you in overall good health. Plus, research shows that people who squeeze in a morning workout actually have the best sleep patterns, says Phillips. But for anyone who thinks that sounds like a punishment, here are 21 tricks non-morning people should know about early exercising.

12. Or you work out A LOT.

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There is such a thing as exercising too much, so if you’re not giving your body enough time to rest between workouts, that might be why you feel like a zombie.

13. You have sleep apnea.

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If you’ve been accused of highly offensive snoring, this could be you. Sleep apnea is a pretty common disorder that can disrupt your sleep, so see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms.

14. You have a hormonal issue.

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Being tired all the time can be a symptom of a thyroid disorder or polycystic ovarian syndrome, says Phillips. If you’re always exhausted and have other symptoms that could be related to your hormones (like changes in weight, mood, skin, hair, etc.), talk to your doctor.

15. You’re missing out on really important nutrients.

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Not getting enough iron, vitamin D, calcium, or vitamin B12 can zap your energy. But instead of buying a multivitamin, aim to get all these nutrients from food, says Phillips. If you really can’t, talk to your doctor about supplements.

16. You’re dehydrated.

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You might really just be thirsty, says Phillips. You know how tired and awful you feel when you’re hungover? Yeah, that’s dehydration. It’s not a joke. Make yourself drink a full glass of water before you even consider coffee.

17. You have all of the stress.

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This one’s pretty common sense, but it’s worth repeating. Constant stress taxes your system and can leave you mentally and physically exhausted, says Phillips.

19. You have some other underlying condition.

Good news/bad news time. The bad news is that fatigue can be symptom of pretty much EVERY medical condition out there. So, really, this list could also be called 8,412 Reasons You’re So Fucking Tired. If you have other symptoms, it’s possible your tiredness could be related to an autoimmune disease, a gastrointestinal disorder, a mental health disorder, a chronic infection, a metabolic disease, chronic pain, or literally anything else.

Here’s the good news: You’re not crazy. You’re tired for a reason, and there’s almost always something you can do about it. “The take-home is that it’s not OK to feel tired all the time,” says Phillips. So if really freaking exhausted is your normal, start with the little lifestyle tweaks to see if that makes a difference, then consider any of the subtle underlying causes that might be playing a role. If you still can’t figure out the culprit and fix it, Phillips suggests tracking your exhaustion and any other symptoms that might help you and your doctor pinpoint the cause.

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