It’s true that lack of sleep and long working hours will cause fatigue, but more often than not chronic tiredness is caused by an underlying health problem that needs attention. If you are constantly feeling drained with no energy and you can’t survive without your daily naps, it’s time to take a closer look at what might be the cause of all of this.

Something so simple as not drinking enough water will cause your energy levels to drop dramatically. Your hypothalamus is the part of your brain which controls thirst signals, and it sends messages to the rest of your brain to alter your mood as an early warning sign of dehydration. Make sure you are always carrying a water bottle with you wherever you go, and set some reminders on your phone to make sure you remember to drink regularly throughout the day.

Thyroid Imbalances
Out of sync thyroid hormones will affect almost every function in your body, including decreased energy levels and an inability to carry out even the simplest daily activities. Other symptoms of hypothyroidism include stubborn weight gain, water retention, constantly feeling cold, and a disturbed menstrual cycle. A simple blood test can pinpoint whether your thyroid gland is really behind your fatigue.

Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is hard to detect, as it only happens when one is sleeping and most often significant others and family will notice this pattern before the sufferer does. It is caused by a disruption, blockage or collapse of the airway which disturbs your breathing while you’re sleeping. Breathing is blocked and then resumes, often causing a loud snort or choking sound. People who are or overweight or snore heavily are most at risk of suffering from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea ranges in severity and has to be treated with long-term solutions like a mouthpiece or breathing aid. It is the leading cause of daytime fatigue and should be diagnosed and treated by a qualified doctor.

Depression/Mental Issues
Sleeping to avoid your problems can happen consciously or subconsciously. If you are constantly feeling anxious, sad, or negative, your body can often try to shut down temporarily and reduce energy production as a coping mechanism. Depression or mental illness are not to be taken lightly, and seeking the help of a professional psychiatrist or psychologist is the first step in healing.

A lack of oxygen to your body’s cells means you will feel tired and weak constantly. Anemia is characterized by a lack of functional red blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen in your blood to every single cell in your body. The main cause of anemia is a deficiency in iron, but insufficient levels of vitamin B12 and folic acid also play a role in anemia progression.

Disturbed Sleep
Of course lack of sleep will cause fatigue, but the quality of your sleep is proving time and time again to be more important than quantity. Undisturbed sleep is the best and most effective way of improving your energy levels. A ‘no techs in the bedroom’ rule is a good way of making sure you get a good night’s sleep without waking up in the middle of the night because of a phone notification and failing to go back to sleep for hours. Also, sleeping with even a minimal amount of light in the room can disrupt your sleeping patterns that allow you to reach deep, regenerative (REM) sleep.