If you are making sleep a priority and feel like you are getting the 7-9 hours of sleep each night recommended by most experts, but you still feel tired and sluggish during the day, there may be something else going on. Don’t just write your sleepiness off as insomnia. Excessive daytime sleepiness can be an indicator that something serious is doing on and even when it doesn’t point to a potential problem, there are things you can do to alleviate it and get your life back. Here are 8 of the most common reasons we sleep enough but are still tired.
1. Lack of Sleep
It may seem strange that this is at the top of the list, but the truth is that sometimes even when we think we are getting enough sleep, we aren’t. Some sleep disorders like sleep apnea can cause fragmented or disrupted sleep. When this happens, you are waking up and falling back asleep again and again over the course of a single night, often without realizing it.
2. Not Enough Exercise
One of the best ways to combat excessive sleepiness is to get moving. If you aren’t getting enough vigorous exercise it can cause low energy and fatigue. So, while it might seem like the last thing you want to do when you are tired and out of energy, exercising may be the best way to get your energy back.
3. Poor Eating Habits
If you are not eating a healthy, balanced diet, it can impact your sleep. Caffeine and sugar can cause more problems than they help and may even leave you feeling more tired later in the day. Eating healthy also helps you maintain a healthy weight which is crucial for getting the sleep you need.
Anemia is a medical condition caused by not having enough iron in your blood. Women with heavy menstrual periods and those who do not eat red meat may be more susceptible than others to developing anemia. Anemia can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and is treated with iron supplementation. If you suspect you might be anemic, consult your doctor.
5. Thyroid Problems
If your thyroid is not working properly it can cause fatigue regardless of whether it is over-active or under-active. Thyroid problems can be diagnosed by your doctor and are treated with medication.
6. Cardiovascular Problems/Heart Disease
Most people do not realize that tiredness and fatigue can be a sign of heart disease, especially in women. If you are experiencing tiredness that worsens with exercise or if you are having trouble doing exercise you used to be able to and feeling tired all the time, you should discuss with your doctor.
Depression can cause more than just feelings of sadness and hopelessness, it can cause debilitating fatigue. If you are experiencing fatigue paired with these kinds of feelings, losses of appetite, or other signs of depression, talk to your doctor or a mental health provider to determine if depression is the root cause of your sleepiness.
8. Sleep Disorder
Undiagnosed sleep disorders are also a common cause of excessive daytime sleepiness. Discuss your sleep concerns with your doctor who can determine which tests need to be done to rule out the medical conditions above and any sleep disorders.