Why Am I Always So Tired?

Posted by Tyler Britton on Mar 13, 2019 8:00:00 AM

Why am I always so tired - Anchorage Sleep Center blog

Sleep Apnea

You’ve probably heard of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where you stop breathing at night and wake yourself up – the primary problem being that you never get enough sleep. There are three types of sleep apnea:

  • (most common) Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) – a physical obstruction (back of tongue or throat) blocks air 5- 14 times (“mild” OSA)
  • (uncommon) Central sleep apnea – electrical malfunctions in the brain cause you to stop breathing while sleeping
  • (rare) Complex sleep apnea – a mix of obstructive and central sleep apneas cause you to stop breathing

Primary symptoms of sleep apnea include:

  • Breaks in breathing at night
  • Snoring
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Chronic irritability
  • Restless sleep
  • Headaches in the morning

For overweight or diabetic persons, sleep apnea can be a significant risk. If you are chronically tired during the day, assessing whether or not you are snoring and having breaks in breathing during the night can be a first start in the road to better energy.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome is a sleeping disorder where you struggle with the following while sleeping:

  • Have an overwhelming urge to move your leg
  • Your leg jerks spontaneously (similar to body twitches as you are falling asleep)
  • You have an aching sensation in your legs
  • You have a tingling or crawling sensation in your legs

In all cases, the result is that the feeling/movement in your legs causes you to wake up many times during the night, effectively disrupting your ability to get restful asleep. In such cases, you may be in bed all night long, but not getting the rest you need.

Insomnia Causing Tiredness

Treatment for insomnia - Anchorage Sleep Center

Insomnia is a condition where you never feel you get enough sleep – usually because you can’t get enough sleep. Persons with insomnia don’t get enough sleep for the following reasons:

  • Can’t fall asleep
  • Can’t stay asleep during night
  • Wake up too early

The result is that you feel chronically tired during the day. Insomnia can have many causes:

  • Circadian rhythm disorders
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Medications
  • Poor sleep habits

Pre-Sleep Habits

You may feel tired all day simply because of poor sleep habits – and poor sleep habits may not even be what you think. Some insidious but common bad sleep habits are:

  • Using electronics before bed, like phone, laptop, or TV use
  • Sleeping in a room that isn’t dark
  • Sleeping in a room with noise (i.e., a TV, outside noise)
  • No set bedtime or pre-bedtime routine
  • Eating or drinking alcohol before bed

We are all individuals with different needs, and are affected differently by certain lifestyles. If you are feeling tired all day long, you can try adjusting your pre-sleep habits to see if that helps.

Age Related Sleep Changes

As you age, your sleep patterns change, many, but not all, of us experience the following changes to sleep as we age:

  • Earlier to bed, earlier to rise
  • Takes longer to fall asleep
  • More time spend in the lighter stages of sleep
  • Need naps to get requisite sleep
  • More prone to feeling like sleep is less restful

In short, as we get older many of us need to be more conscious and intentional about our sleep habits in order to get the requisite amount of sleep. If you are feeling chronically tired and are also approaching your senior years, it may be age related. Consult with your doctor or a sleep specialist to see what may be normal or abnormal.

Other Conditions Causing Tiredness

Finally, chronic tiredness may have nothing to do with sleep disorders or habits, and may be the result of a different underlying condition such as:

  • Anemia
  • Underactive thyroid (i.e., Hashimoto’s Disease)
  • Depression
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Celiac disease
  • Poor eating habits

Once again, the best place to begin your road to feeling rested and energetic is either changes in habits or by consulting with your doctor or a sleep specialist.

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Topics: Chronic fatigue

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