Seven common causes of fatigue and low energy

Worn out. Exhausted. Drained. Beat.

No matter how we describe it, we’ve all experienced that sluggish feeling. While it can be tempting to reach for an energy drink or head back to bed for a nice nap, there are healthier ways to fight fatigue.

Following are the most common reasons we experience fatigue and how to fight it.

You’re not eating a balanced diet

Eating a meal is a process that’s meant to be enjoyed, from thoughtful preparation and cooking to how you serve it and who you share it with. But remember that, above all, food is fuel. While it’s okay to enjoy a juicy burger with friends at a sporting event or enjoy a second piece of cake at a party, you should generally look at your diet as a primary way to keep your body and mind healthy and energized.

You’re dehydrated

Reaching for a coffee to keep yourself awake isn’t a bad thing but before you start brewing, ask yourself: When was the last time I had a drink of water?

You’re exercising too much…

This is a case when there can be too much of a good thing. While staying active and prioritizing fitness is part of an overall healthy lifestyle so, too, is giving your body time to rest.

…or you’re not exercising enough

Regular exercise can give you the energy you need to complete these tasks and make it through the day feeling alert and energized. And you’ll sleep better at night, too—an often-overlooked benefit of regular exercise is that it can improve sleep quality.

You’re stressed

Chronic stress causes the body to enter a state of hyperarousal which is, essentially, a heightened state of stress or anxiety as a result of a recent professional or personal event. Unfortunately, this hyperarousal can also throw a wrench in our normal sleep cycle.

You’re tired!

Make it a goal to sleep for seven hours each night and set a strict limit on hours that you’ll attend to work commitments, answer the phone or watch television. You should also focus on making your bedroom an environment that is conducive to sleep—a cool, dark, soothing environment without any electronic distractions.

Many of these are temporary causes of fatigue and low energy and can be easily fixed by changing your lifestyle. But, if your fatigue or lack of energy is affecting your quality of life or persists after making these changes, talk to your health care provider about potential medical causes of fatigue, including anemia or a thyroid issue.

© Main Line Health