18 Reasons Why You Are Tired All the Time

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

If you find yourself feeling tired all the time, there are a number of possible physical, psychological or behavioral causes behind your exhaustion.

Being tired all the time may seem like a normal byproduct of a busy life and the hectic pace of modern life. However, perpetual exhaustion can cause inflammation in the body and may be a symptom of chronic fatigue syndrome or other underlying conditions. Identifying the reasons why you feel this constant sense of tiredness is therefore very important. [1]

Physical Causes

The main physical causes for being tired all the time include anemia, diabetes, obesity, restless leg syndrome or heart disease, among others.


Anemia can be one of the major causes of feeling tired all the time. It is caused by an iron deficiency, and it reduces the flow of oxygen to the body. This results in the feeling of being dizzy, cold, and reduces headaches.

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Celiac Disease

If you suffer from celiac disease, you may be experiencing inflammation in the gut and improper nutrient absorption. By denying your body the essential nutrients that it needs, your metabolism and energy production centers can’t work properly, thus leaving you feeling tired. [3]

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This syndrome affects millions of people, but the cause is unknown, suspected to be due to a compromised immune system or psychological stress. Regardless of the cause, consultation with a medical professional is essential.


If you have high blood sugar levels, your body is less efficient in delivering nutrients and oxygen to the muscle tissues and organ systems. Without the resources they need, it can make you feel sluggish and generally slow down the speed of your life. [4]


If you are overweight, there are a number of reasons why you might experience excess tiredness, primarily because you need to carry around extra weight, thus exhausting your muscles. Furthermore, you are at higher risk for metabolic syndrome and corresponding conditions, such as diabetes. A study in the Diabetes Therapy journal found that diabetes fatigue syndrome is a state of tiredness occurring in people with diabetes caused due to lifestyle changes, nutritional, medical, psychological, glycemia/diabetes-related, and endocrinal factors. [5] [6]


A urinary tract infection can cause fatigue, pain, irritability, and may also result in a lack of sleep.

Heart Disease

When your cardiovascular health is compromised, you will be unable to fully catch your breath and physical exertion will seem much more difficult, which can be an exhausting context in which to live.

Glandular Fever

If you are ever infected with glandular fever, one of the main side effects is chronic fatigue, which can often last up to six months following the original diagnosis, even after treatment. [7]


Carrying around extra weight and experiencing the hormonal and physical changes of pregnancy can be extremely tiring. Even in the early stages of pregnancy, excess fatigue is to be expected.

Restless Leg Syndrome

This syndrome can prevent healthy and restful sleep, even if you don’t fully wake up during the night; this can lead to chronic fatigue in the mornings since your body hasn’t had time to recover and repair itself. [8]

Thyroid Disorder

The thyroid gland controls a great deal of hormonal distribution in the body, including those that affect energy and exhaustion. A disorder in this gland can easily lead to inexplicable bouts of tiredness. [9]

Psychological Causes

There can also be psychological causes of this chronic exhaustion, such as sleep apnea, anxiety or depression.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea can affect people for many different reasons, but it is mainly caused when the brain forgets to tell the body to breathe. This can cause interrupted and non-restful sleep, resulting in morning fatigue.


If you have a high level of stress hormones in the body, such as cortisol or adrenaline, it is more difficult for the body to relax and repair itself, leading to difficulties with sleeping and balancing energy levels. Anxiety and nervous disorders are some of the primary causes of feeling tired all the time. [10]


While depression may make it feel like all you want to do is sleep, insomnia can often manifest as a secondary symptom.

Lifestyle Causes

Choices in your lifestyle may also be the cause of your exhaustion, particularly if you abuse alcohol or if your diet is poor, among others.

Alcohol Abuse

If you regularly consume alcohol, your body will need more time to clear out the toxins and recover from the abuse of your liver. As a result, this can cause feelings of exhaustion and a lack of cognitive focus; in short, hangovers are terrible for energy levels. [11] [12]

Poor Diet

If you don’t eat properly, your body won’t have the resources it requires to function properly, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies or a basic lack of energy for normal tasks.

Bad Sleep Habits

If you are always tired, your sleep habits may be compromised. Be sure to set a sleep schedule, avoid technology before sleeping and only use your bedroom for sleeping!

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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