3 Surprising Causes of Being Tired

Daytime fatigue. Uncontrollable sleepiness. Restless sleep. We’ve all had nights when we just can’t get comfortable, toss and turn, or can’t fall asleep. But if they’re regularly occurring, there’s a problem. Chronic sleep deprivation adds risk for developing a wide range of health conditions. There can be many causes of being tired. If it’s becoming a concern, finding out why is essential. Major sleep disorders could be in play, potentially wreaking long-term havoc on your health

Causes of Being Tired

Lack of sleep impacts people in many ways—from mood to performance to critical thinking—so if you’re not getting enough sleep, you feel it, and it shows. Of course, it’s normal to feel tired after a long day or the morning after staying up too late or being out on the town. But it’s not normal to always feel tired when you wake up, or worse, all day long. That’s known as daytime fatigue. Here are three surprising causes of being tired that are more common than you might think.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: If you are experiencing regular daytime fatigue, even after a full night’s sleep, you may have a sleep disorder called obstructive sleep apnea.
    • Symptoms of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
      • Chronic loud snoring
      • Fatigue/lack of energy
      • Daytime fatigue or sleepiness (even after a full night’s rest)
      • Morning headaches 
      • Depression
  • Narcolepsy: Narcolepsy is a neurological issue that affects the ability to wake and sleep as well as the stages of sleep. Symptoms include overwhelming daytime drowsiness, uncontrollable sleepiness, and sleep paralysis. People with narcolepsy will suddenly fall asleep, no matter the setting or what they’re doing, for up to half an hour at a time. Most people with narcolepsy have trouble staying awake for long periods of time.
  • Restless Leg Syndrome: Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is characterized by unpleasant or uncomfortable sensations in the legs and the irresistible urge to move them. The symptoms occur most often in the late afternoon or evening hours. When a person is lying in bed, inactive, or sitting for extended periods, the symptoms are most severe. RLS can make it difficult to fall asleep or return to sleep after waking up. RLS is classified as a sleep disorder because the symptoms are triggered by resting and attempting to sleep, but it is best characterized as a neurological sensory disorder.

It’s clear that daytime fatigue and uncontrollable sleepiness are red flags for potential major sleep disorders, but rest assured there are treatments. Schedule an appointment with your doctor or a sleep specialist for a sleep study.