Sure, I’m healthy, but I’ve still been pretty tired almost every day — even after a good night’s sleep. I finally had it, so I went in search of answers. I had to first eliminate the possibility that I had a medical condition that might be causing it, so off to my family doc I went.
After we talked and he examined me, my doctor decided that my fatigue wasn’t due to sleep apnea, heart or lung disease, cancer, or depression. Having eliminated those possible causes for concern, he then focused on lab tests to reveal other possible causes such as a thyroid condition, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, anemia, or diabetes.
The exam and blood tests revealed that no medical reasons appeared to be the root cause of my fatigue, so we concluded that my tiredness was not from a disease. Whew! I was happy to hear the results, but I was still left without a solution.
So now what? I figured I was on my own to get to the bottom of this. Of course I searched the Web to see what I could find. After reviewing dozens of articles, both from medical science sources as well as anecdotal posts, I pinned down the likely causes of my tiredness to these:
1. I sometimes stay up too late. Duh. I lose track of time and get engrossed in reading, working on a project or watching television.
Solution: After those particularly late nights, I’m going to take a nap for around 30-40 minutes the following afternoon. Any more than that I usually get even more wiped out.
2. I use my phone or computer before going to bed.
Solution: I’m going to make sure that I don’t check my email or text right before sleep. I’m going to turn off my computer and spend some quiet time reading a book or on my kindle on its low light setting for at least half an hour before I turn out the lights.
3. I’m too tired to exercise, so I don’t. I have found that I need to get my circulation moving or fatigue can become a syndrome that gets harder and harder to break. I also have to keep up my core strength whether I feel like it or not.
Solution: I decided that at the start of my day, before my shower or breakfast, I will get in the habit of spending at least 10 minutes doing some stretching, going up and down the stairs and a doing a 30 second (or more) plank.
4. I’m too focused on getting everything done. I used to prioritize much better than I do now. I need to get back to that habit on a daily basis.
Solution: I will do what absolutely needs to get done, and allow myself a more relaxed attitude about everything else. I believe I’ll then feel successful about what I do get done, rather than beating myself up for all I didn’t do and wearing myself out trying to take on way too much.
5. I borrow trouble. That’s an old-fashioned term for worrying about what hasn’t happened yet. Worrying is fatiguing, and apparently I’ve gotten into a bad habit of doing just that. I know there’s a big difference between preparing and worrying. I do try to prepare for the worst things that may happen in a situation, but somehow I’ve also allowed myself to slip into the worry mode on top of it.
Solution: I’m going to TRUST. I’m going to trust in myself and my ability to handle situations as they arise, and I will continue to trust in prayer.
6. I get caught up in doing a project and stay in one position for hours. I’m fortunate to be able to work from home with few interruptions, so I tend to get lost in a project and lose track of time. By the time I get out of my chair and take a break, I have to convince my legs and back to flex and support me, and I have to clear my head. Very tiring and just plain not good for me.
Solution: I’m going to set an alert on my phone to tell me when 90 minutes has gone by, and then I will get up and walk around, either indoors or out. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, I’m going to re-do my stretches from the morning, do another plank and go up and down the stairs at least 5 times.
That’s my list of 6 tiring habits along with my solutions for shaking them up. They are the ones that make me tired and they may or may not apply to you.
There are lots of other habits that might be making you tired that you may identify with better than mine. Here are 5 additional habits that I found in articles from the Web that could be adding to your sense of fatigue.
- You might be drinking too much coffee or tea or soda
- Your diet is filled with sugary snacks
- You’re letting yourself get dehydrated
- You’re exercising too much without enough fuel or down time
- Your living/work space is way too cluttered and disorganized.
If you generally get enough sleep but you’re tired anyway, the first thing to do is eliminate that it’s related to a medical condition that you might not know you have. Go see your doctor as soon as possible for a check-up.
Next, look at my list of 6 and the additional list of 5 that doesn’t apply to me but may apply to you. Just like I created solutions that are working for me, try mine and also create some for yourself.
Being tired all the time is a drag. It’s easy to let the days go by like I did and do nothing. If you’re tired of being tired like I’ve been, shake up the stuff that’s causing it.
Do something different. Try my solutions; try some of your own. I’d love to hear about what’s making you tired and what you’re going to do about it.