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What To Do If You Struggle With Sleepiness

A common sleep concern people struggle with is feeling tired or having low energy throughout the day. You might even feel like dozing off in the middle of your normal activities.

While it’s not the only cause, fatigue is often brought on by lack of sleep or low-quality sleep. Chronic fatigue can have detrimental effects on daily life, leading to irritability and other issues tied to your mood.

Ongoing problems with sleepiness can usually be treated. Typically, you’ll need to make lifestyle modifications and changes to your daily habits if you want to improve fatigue symptoms. Click below to learn how the experts at Sleep Reset can help see positive changes or read on to learn some of the common causes of fatigue and what you can do to fix it.

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Why Am I Always Sleepy?

If you’re often asking yourself why you’re always sleepy, you could be struggling with fatigue resulting from a lack of sufficient sleep or poor sleep. There are a number of different causes of fatigue, some include low-quality sleep, poor diet, medical conditions, and excess amounts of stress.

Let’s take a closer look at these common causes.

Common Causes of Fatigue

In order to overcome your fatigue, you first need to identify what’s causing it. Here are some common reasons people experience fatigue:

Not Enough Sleep or Low-Quality Sleep

The first thing you should be looking at is your sleep schedule. Your sleep schedule often falls into a pattern as your body gets used to a certain routine. Your current sleeping habits could be causing you fatigue if you:

  • Have trouble falling asleep
  • Don’t get enough sleep
  • Wake frequently throughout the night
  • Have trouble falling back asleep
  • Have trouble waking up
  • Wake up too early
  • Wake up feeling tired or not refreshed

Your body does a lot of repair work while you sleep. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it doesn’t have the time it needs to get you back to equilibrium. This can cause you physical and mental distress. The effects of sleep deprivation can quickly add up, and fatigue is often one of the primary symptoms. 

You should begin getting at least 6 to 9 hours of interrupted sleep every night, depending on your individual sleep needs. This allows you to enter a phase of deeper sleep and wake up feeling refreshed and energized.

If a lack of sleep is the primary cause of your fatigue, the next step will be figuring out what’s causing this sleep issue. Just like fatigue, there are a number of common causes of sleep deprivation. If you’re having sleep problems, the following factors could play a role:

  • Stress
  • Suboptimal sleep environment
  • Bad sleep hygiene
  • Sleep disorders like insomnia or sleep apnea
  • Diet

Determining the root cause of your sleep issue and taking steps to address it will have a direct and positive impact on your level of fatigue.

Stress

Chronic stress can cause both mental and physical fatigue. A constant state of stress can manifest as inflammation in the body, leaving you feeling tired and irritable on a regular basis.

Managing stress can be difficult, but it often leads to a noticeable boost in your quality of life. Make sure you’re taking time to relax and give yourself the mental breaks you need. Try techniques like meditation to be more present and mindful.

If your stress is causing you to experience mood disorders like anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, make sure to seek professional counsel.

Diet and Nutrient Imbalances

Having a poor or unbalanced diet can greatly affect your energy levels. Your body needs calories, protein, carbs, healthy fats, and other essential nutrients to function optimally. Neglecting your diet can quickly cause you to feel fatigued and tired on a daily basis.

Not only should you make sure you’re eating enough, but you also need to make sure you’re eating well. Eating ultra-processed foods high in sugars and processed grains can also cause fatigue and low energy levels. It’s best to fill your diet with nutrient-dense and whole foods. Fruits and vegetables are especially helpful for increasing energy levels.

This is especially important if you exercise on a regular basis. You’re burning through your body’s energy supply and you need to provide it with protein, carbs, and fats to replace energy and repair muscle fibers.

It’s also not uncommon for adults to be deficient in certain nutrients. Nutrient deficiencies can be just as fatigue-inducing as diet imbalances. Here are some nutrients that people are commonly deficient of in their diet:

  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9

The easiest way to find out if you’re nutrient deficient is with testing. Nutrition experts often recommend eating foods high in your missing nutrients to feel better. In some cases, supplements can also help if you struggle to get enough of a specific nutrient from your normal diet.

Medical Conditions

There are a number of diagnosable medical conditions that include fatigue in their symptoms. If you’re experiencing chronic fatigue, it might be a good idea to go to the doctor and rule out any potential medical conditions. The following conditions can cause fatigue:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Anxiety
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer
  • Sleep apnea
  • Depression
  • Kidney disease
  • Numerous other conditions

If you have a medical condition, getting treatment could help reduce your fatigue.

Other Factors That Can Make You Feel Drowsy

In reality, there are a wide variety of factors that can cause fatigue. If the above causes aren’t the source of your fatigue, these other factors may be the reason

  • Too much caffeine - Too much caffeine or consuming caffeine too late in the day can disrupt your sleep cycle and cause you to wake up feeling tired.
  • Not enough water - Dehydration can cause fatigue. Make sure to drink enough water during the day and replace your fluids as necessary
  • Work schedule - Irregular hours or working the night shift can cause you fatigue and disrupt your sleep cycle.
  • Obesity - Obesity can cause fatigue and increased risk for a number of health issues.
  • Lack of exercise - Exercise can provide you energy and make it easier to fall asleep at night.
  • Medication side effects - It’s a good idea to check the side effects of any medications you take. Fatigue may be one of them.

With these causes in mind, you can begin to narrow down which are causing your fatigue issues.

Who Struggles With Energy Levels?

Managing inconsistent energy levels is frustrating, but you’re not alone. A study conducted by the National Safety Council found that 43% of Americans admit to being too tired to function at work. 67% admitted to at least feeling tired at work, while still being able to perform their normal duties. 

The CDC also estimates that up to 2.5 million Americans suffer from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. In short, there are plenty of people who are feeling like they don’t have enough energy. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do about it.

Effects of Emotional Stressors

Identifying ways to manage emotional stressors can help reduce symptoms of fatigue. Here are some of the emotional stressors that may be contributing to your fatigue:

  • Mood disorders like anxiety and depression
  • Personal or familial stress
  • Grief/loss
  • Feeling a lack of control

Recognizing what emotional stressors look like for you can be an essential step to combating fatigue.

Improve Your Sleep

If lack of sleep is causing your fatigue, there are several things you can do to improve your sleep. Including:

  • Try relaxation techniques - Certain relaxation techniques like breathing exercises, stretching, aromatherapy, progressive muscle relaxation, and meditation can help you sleep deeper and wake up refreshed.
  • Exercise - As mentioned, exercise helps you tire the body and relax the mind. Just remember that you shouldn’t exercise too close to bed, as this can give you a burst of energy and throw off your sleep schedule. 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day can make a big impact on your sleep patterns.
  • Avoid napping - Naps should be less than 15 minutes and shouldn’t be taken later in the day. If possible, avoid napping in general, unless you’re really needing to take one.
  • Keep a regular sleep schedule - Head to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning. Even on weekends. When you’re trying to get your sleep schedule back on track, try to prioritize sleep over other activities. 
  • Have a routine - A relaxing routine 30 minutes before bed can help you wind down for the night. Something like a hot bath, drinking herbal tea, or reading a book can help you relax and get ready for bed.
  • Create a comfortable sleep environment - It’s much easier to sleep in a room that is quiet, dark, and at a cool temperature. You should also ensure you have a comfortable mattress and comfortable bedding.
  • Find support with a sleep coach - Sleep Reset pairs you with an expert sleep coach to drill down on the root causes of fatigue and poor sleep. They help create a personalized plan to improve your sleep and boost your overall happiness.

Once you’re able to improve your sleep habits and sleep deeper, you’re sure to wake up feeling less tired and feel less fatigued during the day.

How To Overcome Drowsiness

When you’re trying to treat your fatigue, you’ll likely still deal with symptoms along the way. Here are some quick tips to help when you’re feeling sleepy:

  • Move around - Moving around, taking a walk, or stretching can help wake your body and mind up. This is especially important if you’re at a desk all day.
  •  Have a snack - Having a light, nutrient-rich snack can help you wake up. Try nuts, fruits, or veggies. 
  • Get some natural light - Our circadian rhythm, our body’s internal clock, plays a big role in our sleeping and waking cycles. Getting some sunlight can help you wake up and stay on track for the day.
  • Take a quick nap - If you just can’t keep your eyes open, don’t feel like you can’t take a nap. A 10-15 minute nap can give you the extra boost you need. You should especially do this if you’re doing something like driving when you’re feeling sleepy.
  • Call someone or talk to a co-worker - Engaging conversation can help wake up your mind. Talk to someone about something that interests you for a bit.

No one wants to feel sleepy during the day, but it’s important to do what you need to do to feel better.

Start Sleeping Better With Sleep Reset Today!

Sleep Reset is a program designed to help you improve sleep and wake up well-rested. We work on identifying the causes of your sleep problems and forming good habits to address those causes. No pills or melatonin, no side effects, and no grogginess. Just meaningful changes to your sleep hygiene that will help you sleep better long term.

First, you take our simple assessment. This will help us formulate a personalized sleep program for you and match you to a dedicated sleep coach. Your sleep coach will be with you every step of the way, helping you hit your sleep goals and adjusting them as your sleep gets better.

Ready to sleep better and live better? Take our sleep assessment today!

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