Most Common Causes of Chronic Fatigue

Posted by Tyler Britton on Apr 17, 2019 8:53:17 AM

Most common causes of chronic fatigue - Anchrage Sleep Center

Chronic Fatigue –Life Doesn’t Have to be Miserable

Chronic fatigue tends to zap your enjoyment out of life. Small chores become a bid deal. It’s hard to function at work or school. You lose the drive to spend time with friends and loved ones. In so many words, chronic fatigue makes you less yourself.

Fortunately, there are usually identifiable causes for chronic fatigue. They tend to be either:

  • Sleep conditions
  • Medical conditions
  • Lifestyle/emotion conditions

We explore all of the various reasons that may be causing your fatigue. There may be a single identifiable reason, or a combination of factors. Here are common causes of chronic fatigue.

Sleep Conditions That Cause Fatigue

One of the most obvious reasons you are tired all the time is because of sleep deprivation, which is commonly caused by sleeping disorders. Sleep disorders are conditions that prevent you from getting the requisite sleep. You have likely heard of some of these already:

Sleep Apnea Causing Chronic Fatigue

Sleep anea is a sleep disorder and medical condition that causes you to repeatedly stop breathing constantly throughout the night, anywhere for 40 to over 100 times per night. When you stop breathing, you momentarily wake up to begin breathing again (though you won’t remember waking). Besides chronic fatigue primary symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Bed partner hears you repeatedly stop breathing throughout night
  • Loud, chronic snoring
  • Wake up exhausted in the morning
  • Wake up with headaches
  • Waking up choking/gasping
  • Mood disruptions, such as constant irritability, brain fog, etc.

Insomnia Causing Chronic Fatigue

Insomnia is a sleep condition that leaves you unable to either fall asleep at bedtime, stay asleep throughout the night, or sleep in until a “normal” wake up time. The result is that you are constantly “under-sleeping”.  This sleep deprivation causes by insomnia can lead to any of the following, which can be mild-severe:

  • Mood disorders (anxiety, depression)
  • Reduced physical performance many areas of life
  • Problems with attention, memory, or concentration
  • Chronic brain fog
  • Psychiatric symptoms

Effects of sleep deprivation

Parasomnias Causing Chronic Fatigue

Parasomnias are disruptive sleep disorders that interfere with your circadian rhythm, and include:

  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Sleep walking
  • Night terrors
  • Chronic nightmares

Narcolepsy Causing Chronic Fatigue

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness. Basically, it makes it difficult to control sleep/wake cycles, leading to:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness that can suddenly hit and last for seconds to minutes
  • Sudden loss of muscle strength
  • Lower sleep quality (though sleep time is about the same as a “normal” sleeper)

Sleep Habit Related Causes of Fatigue

Sleep deprivation isn’t always the product of a sleeping disorder. You can be sleep deprived for a number of other reasons such as:

  • Not having an ideal sleeping environment: quiet, dark, peaceful, and comfortable room
  • Doing shift work
  • Stress/anxiety from work, marriage/divorce, moving, etc.
  • Working hours that do not align with your natural circadian rhythm
  • Too much “screen time” with laptops/TV/cell phones before bed
  • Distractions before bed

Any of the above can cause you to get less sleep, eventually becoming sleep deprived and tired all the time.

Common Medical Causes of Fatigue

There are some relatively common medical conditions that can make you tired all the time, even though you feel like you are getting plenty of sleep. These include:

  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hormone problems
  • Diabetes
  • Anemia
  • Heart Disease
  • Chronic illness
  • Clinical depression/anxiety

Lifestyle and Emotional Causes of Fatigue

Finally, there are numerous lifestyle and emotional related cuases of chronic fatigue. These can lead to hormone imbalances or insomniatic symptoms, and include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Dinking too much alcohol
  • Poor diet/malnutrition
  • Non-medical depression, and anxiety
  • PTSD


If you are living in Anchorage and struggle with chronic fatigue or tiredness during the daytime, contact us. We can help.

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Topics: Chronic fatigue

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