There are many reasons for tiredness, including a lack of sleep, poor diet, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and medical conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 15.3 percent of women and 10.1 percent of men regularly feel very tired or exhausted in the United States.
(In the new study, AAA found sleep-deprived drivers are almost twice as likely to be involved in an accident when they get five to six hours of sleep, more than four times as likely with four to five hours and nearly 12 times more likely to crash with less than four hours of sleep.
“Driving with having only earned four to five hours of sleep in a 24-hour period can be just as impairing as driving legally drunk,” Jack Nelson (AAA director of traffic safety) said.)
About 72,000 crashes and 44,000 injuries each year are a result of drowsy driving, and that’s not to mention the estimated 6,000 fatal crashes caused by drowsy drivers.
Everyone feels tired at some point in their lives — whether it’s due to a late night out, staying up to watch your favorite TV show, or putting in some extra hours at work.
Often, you can put your finger on the reason you’re not feeling your best, but what about those times when you can’t pinpoint the cause of your tiredness? What makes you feel tired then?
A lack of sleep may seem an obvious reason for feeling tired, yet 1 in 3 U.S. adults are consistently not getting enough of it.
Tiredness increases the risk of accidents, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, and heart disease.
People aged between 18 and 60 years need 7 or more hours of sleep every day to promote optimal health, according to The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society.
Getting under the recommended hours of sleep each night is not only associated with fatigue, impaired performance, and a greater risk of accidents, but it also has adverse health outcomes.
If you struggle to fit in 7 hours of sleep, here are some tips to help you achieve a full dose of much-needed slumber:
If you practice all the sleeping habits listed above and still wake up tired, it might be a good idea to contact your healthcare provider and discuss whether you have a sleep-related medical problem such as insomnia, obstructive sleep apnea, or restless legs syndrome.
The easiest way to banish tiredness is to make adjustments to your diet. Eating a healthful and balanced diet can make the world of difference to how you feel.
Eating a healthful and balanced diet can help to combat fatigue.
To improve your health and get all the nutrients you need — as well as eliminate fatigue — it is vital to choose a healthful mix of food from the five food groups, which are: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.
You can switch up your eating style today by implementing some of these small changes:
When tiredness sets in, sitting on the couch and relaxing could seem to be the only answer. But getting up and moving may be the best thing you can do to re-energize and eradicate fatigue.
Exercising can help to increase energy and reduce tiredness.
Research by the University of Georgia (UGA) in Athens discovered that compared with sitting quietly, one single bout of moderate-intensity exercise lasting for at least 20 minutes helped to boost energy.
An earlier study by UGA also found that when sedentary individuals completed an exercise program regularly, their fatigue improved compared with those who did not.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggest that all adults need 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week and muscle-strengthening activities that work all the major muscle groups on 2 or more days per week.
This may seem to be a lot of time spent exercising, but you can spread out your activity across the week and, in total, it is just the amount of time that you might otherwise spend watching a movie.
If you have not exercised for a while, start slowly. Begin with a brisk 10-minute walk each day and build up to walking fast for 30 minutes on 5 days per week.
Brisk walking, water aerobics, riding a bike, playing tennis, and even pushing a lawnmower can all count toward your time spent doing moderate-intensity exercise.
Many situations can cause stress. Work, financial problems, relationship issues, major life events, and upheavals such as moving house, unemployment, and bereavement — the list of potential stressors is never-ending.
Excessive stress can lead to physical and emotional exhaustion.
A little stress can be healthy and may actually make us more alert and able to perform better in tasks such as interviews, but stress is only a positive thing if it is short-lived.
Excessive, prolonged stress can cause physical and emotional exhaustion and lead to illness.
Stress makes your body generate more of the “fight-or-flight” chemicals that are designed to prepare your body for an emergency.
In situations such as an office environment where you can’t run away or fight, the chemicals that your body has produced to protect you can’t be used up and, over time, can damage your health.
If the pressures that you face are making you feel overtired or giving you headaches, migraines, or tense muscles, don’t ignore these signals. Take some time out until you feel calmer, or try some of these tips.
Physical activity is a significant stress reliever and releases feel-good endorphins. If you are feeling stress build up, go for a walk, take your dog out, or even put on some music and dance around the room.
If you have made lifestyle changes to do with your physical activity, diet, stress levels, and sleep but still feel tired all the time, there could be an underlying medical condition.
Many medical conditions, such as anemia, can make you feel tired.
Some of the most common conditions that report fatigue as a key symptom include:
If you are concerned that you have a medical condition that is causing you to feel tired, arrange an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss your worries as soon as possible.