NHS Citizen

Why You Always Feel Tired

Everyone feels tired sometimes, whether due to a late night out, binge-watching your favourite television show until the early hours or because of overtime at work. There are many people that feel tired all the time. A busy lifestyle of family responsibilities, work and study, family and friend and other commitments may be the cause of tiredness, but if fatigue is not relieved by sleep and rest there may be another cause. Here are some of the reasons most people feel tired all the time, plus solutions to the problem so that you can feel better.  

Lack of sleep

This is so obvious, you wonder why we mention it. Sleep is vital not just so that you feel rested, but because it reduces the risk of accidents and health issues including obesity, high blood pressure, depression and heart disease. Adults up to the age of 60 years are recommended a minimum of seven hours sleep each day for optimal health. If it is difficult for you to get seven hours sleep, at least keep a consistent sleep routine, going to bed at the same time each night and rising at the same time each morning, including on the weekends.

If sleep is fitful, try to limit the amount of caffeine you drink (or eat in chocolate) in the afternoon and evening. Make your bedroom a place for rest. Leave digital devices in another room. Keep the bedroom cool, dark and quiet. If you are trying to get to sleep, but are still awake 5 or 10 minutes later, get out of bed and sit in a quiet place until you feel sleepy again.

Sleeping well is important.

Eat a healthy diet

Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy. Eating too many or too few calories can make you feel sluggish. Switch refined grains like white bread, white rice and pasta etc. to wholegrains including whole-wheat flour, brown rice, bulgur and oats. Low fat and fat free dairy products can help limit calorie intake.


Breakfast is an important meal to kick start your day. Eat regular meals and limit unhealthy snacks. Also make sure not to get dehydrated which causes fatigue. Check the colour of your urine, it should be clear with just a tinge of yellow. If it is dark yellow or orange, you need to drink more water. 

Avoid too much sugar, because although this provides energy, it wears off fast, leaving you feeling more tired

If you are thinking of starting a diet, however you're not sure which one is the best for you, read our best picks for the best diets of 2018.

Get moving!

Energy begets energy. By getting up and moving, you can reduce the feelings of tiredness.   Just 20 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per day, which means you feel your heart beating a little faster, together with at least two days when you’re working the major muscle groups to strengthen them is enough. Moderate intensity exercise includes a brisk walk, mowing the lawn, riding a bike, playing tennis etc.  Muscle strengthening exercises can be done at home using books, water-filled bottles and other items as weights. 


Limit the time you spend with people that cause you stress

Short-term stress is part of life, but if stress is prolonged because of life events etc. it can lead to extreme tiredness as the body is constantly on alert, ready for “flight or fight”. You can release this through physical activity, which also releases feel-good endorphins. Identify the source of the stress, a diary can be helpful here. Limit the time you spend with people that cause you stress. Talk about what you are finding stressful with someone you trust. This not only releases stress by bringing it into the open but may also help provide a new perspective on the situation which removes the stress. When feeling overstressed at a particular moment ask yourself “Will this matter to me in 30 days?” Accept what you cannot change and forgive those who have upset you. Letting go of anger and negativity will help make life a lot happier. 

If all of the above doesn’t work

If you make all the lifestyle changes suggested above, but still feel tired all the time, there could be an underlying medical condition including, anemia, underactive thyroid, diabetes, anxiety, depression, chronic fatigue syndrome, vitamin and mineral deficiencies and many more… you might be pregnant!

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