9 Weird Reasons You’re Exhausted

25 Nov

I’m just going to say it: being tired blows.

Not much feels worse than looking in the mirror only to stare back at the Wicked Witch instead of Snow White, or getting off an important conference call realizing you sounded more like Eeyore than Ari Gold.

If you think you’re getting enough sleep but still find yourself dragging ass at work/the gym/in life, you might want to think about whether one of the following causes is a culprit.

i tired 2

1. Not enough sleep.

So you’re totally rolling your eyes right now but raise your hand if you actually get 8 hours of sleep on the regular.

That’s what I thought.

We live in a sleep deprived society- we’ve convinced ourselves that we’re too busy to waste 8 hours of our precious time sleeping. We insist that we do just fine on 6.5 hours- it’s practically a bragging right to show up at work and gloat about your 5 hours of zzzz’s. Newsflash: that doesn’t make you awesome, it kind of makes you an idiot (sorry but it’s true, no one’s impressed). It’s actually become so normal to not sleep that many of us are totally confused about why we’re feeling zonked. Duh.

Eight hours, no more, no less. First order of business: try that before getting on WebMD.

2. Dehydration

You know, you know: guzzle 8 glasses a day (I empathize, it’s hard for me too). But failing to do so does more than dry out your skin and hair. A recent study in The Journal of Nutrition concluded that women who did not replace 1.5% of their water weight experienced mood swings and low energy. Personally, I can really feel dehydration when I work out. Running feels like I’m dragging a sled of bricks even if I don’t feel tired otherwise. So drink up, sisters and brothers.

3. Iron Deficiency

I’ve been iron deficient on and off throughout my entire life. In college, my sorority did a bi-yearly blood drive, and the blood banks turned me away every single attempt (all 10 of them – that’s right, I was a Super Senior). It was frustrating because I took supplements and they never seemed to help – it wasn’t until I learned that vitamin C is basically necessary to absorb iron that I started coupling the two that I finally started to feel like a human again. If you suspect you might be iron deficient, just pop in to the doc’s office for an easy blood test, or hit the Google in search of iron-rich foods.

4. Stress

Stress is freakin’ exhausting: it’s draining and sucks your energy. Finding an outlet for your stress is the key to not letting it drag you and down (and a good way to not annoy your friends with your endless whining- they’re stressed too): whether you’re into yoga, meditation, kicking stuff, getting a mani / pedi, playing with your dog, or just spending some QT with a friend or loved one, make sure you pencil it in your schedule to help you chill.

5. Too Little/Much Exercise

Ironically, sitting on your ass watching entire seasons of Homeland (or in my case, Ghost Adventures #loser) is exhausting. So even if the last thing you feel like doing is getting sweaty, just get your butt to the gym, put on your fave playlist and shoot for an easy 20 minutes on the elliptical- most likely you’ll end up doing more and leave feeling like a million bucks. Same principle goes for too much exercise: overworking your body is tiring, obvi. Again guys, common sense. (And b-t-dubs, if you’re working out extra hard, make sure you’re eating enough calories to fuel your body and drinking extra water to make up for lost electrolytes. Just saying)

6. Emotional Vampires

Bestie going through a gnarly breakup, or the boyf totally wigging out over his job? Guess what: other people’s problems can drain you emotionally, too. When the people you love are going through the ringer, you can absorb their unstable energy without meaning to. So next time your sibling/parent/bestie/sig other is sending out an SOS, try being a good listener instead of trying to solve their problems. Most of the time, that’s all they want anyway (even though I know your advice is excellent).

7. B12, Baby

B12 is a must-have in order for red blood cells to function properly – a deficiency decreases the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry, and like all wonderful things aging-related (<- sarcasm), the protein that helps B12 absorption decreases as you get older. Veggies and vegans are at highest risk of having less B12 because it is only found naturally in animal foods, so talk to a trusted doctor about how to make sure your levels are legit.

8. Caffeine Overload

This is a vicious cycle: you stayed up watching Breaking Bad until midnight and had to get up at 5:30am for yoga, so you toss back a double espresso shot in order not to fall asleep in child’s pose. Three words: crash and burn. The reasons we love liquid energy is for the instant sense of alertness, but the low that follows is a B. So drink your caffeine in moderation…trust me on this one. I’m a recovering addict from something I’m genuinely embarrassed to admit, but here goes nothing:

Hi, I’m Meg, and I’m a Sugar-Free Redbull-aholic.

I know, maj shame on me (esp for all my bitching about chemicals). Quitting was awful in the beginning, but here’s a little secret: I am like, 10000x less tired in the middle of the day now that I’ve kicked the habit. So caffeine in moderation? Sure, if you don’t crash out. Guzzling liquid rocket fuel? Gonna backfire. Truth.

9. Allergies

If you’re a nighttime mouth-breather, I have some less than wonderful news: mouth-breathing is correlated to a significantly lower blood oxygen level, which causes of fatigue. Try gargling with mouthwash or salt water before bed and in the AM- it will help clear nasty phlegm and get more O2 in those lungs of yours.


One Response to “9 Weird Reasons You’re Exhausted”


  1. Six (Gimmick-Free) Ways to Fire Up your Metabolism | Legwarmer Nation - December 3, 2013

    […] it doesn’t get any faster. Prioritize your ZZZ’s. Having a tough time dozing off? One of these reasons may be to […]

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