If your hobbies include taking naps, yawning, and complaining about how tired you are, then congratulations — you’re part of the chronically exhausted majority!
Welcome. We have coffee.
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.
2. You sleep procrastinate, which is actually a scientific thing.
3. You stare at your phone/computer/TV before bed each night. And sometimes during the night.
4. You’re not getting enough sleep.
5. You’re not getting GOOD enough sleep.
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.
8. You have acid reflux.
9. Your diet could be better.
10. You have allergies.
11. You don’t work out.
12. Or you work out A LOT.
13. You have sleep apnea.
14. You have a hormonal issue.
15. You’re missing out on really important nutrients.
16. You’re dehydrated.
17. You have all of the stress.
18. You have chronic fatigue syndrome.
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.