Adjusting your sleep schedule to spend more time in bed could ease symptoms of fatigue such as headaches, moodiness, aching muscles and dizzines . It could be time to see a doctor if you’re in bed from 10 p.m.–6 a.m. and still struggle with overwhelming exhaustion.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 15% of Americans struggle with extreme fatigue. Furthermore, one international study found an estimated 30% of all visits to the doctor were related to feeling tired all the time. We are a nation of sleepyheads.
You may be suffering from anemia
If you feel tired, cold, dizzy and short of breath when your blood carries too little oxygen, a condition called anemia. It is estimated that over 5 million Americans are anemic. The most common causes for anemia include lack of iron, heavy periods and pregnancy.
You can detect the condition with a simple blood test. Your doctor may recommend supplements or a diet containing iron-rich foods such as red meat and seafood in case your iron levels are low. There are several plant-based foods that are high in iron, including lentils, black beans and spinach, but studies have shown that vegetarians are more predisposed to anemia than those who eat meat.
“Combining iron-rich foods with a source of vitamin C can also increase absorption so try making a spinach salad topped with lentils and strawberries for a plant-based, iron-rich meal,”notes registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade.
Many people suffering from sleep apnea don’t even know it. According to Dr. Dan Root, board-certified sleep specialist and founder of Oregon Sleep Associates, it’s often a partner who spots symptoms, such as loud or chronic snoring and gasping for air in your sleep. Sleep apnea causes repeated pauses in breathing throughout the night — sometimes up to 100 times.
Root affirms: “When people with sleep apnea awaken, they commonly do so with more adrenaline than those without sleep apnea, so they are more likely to be more alert [and] that can make it harder to go back to sleep.”
It is very possible you suffer from sleep apnea if you’re overweight or obese — common risk factors for this condition. Research published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine linked the condition to an increased risk of stroke and cancer.
You might suffer from depression
Depression is very tiresome. Fatigue affected more than 90% of those with major depressive disorder, shows a 2018 study. Even mild depression can make you feel tired and dizzy: “Fatigue is often our [warning] symptom that we’re starting to slip into a period of depression, according to licensed professional counselor Stacee Reicherzer, PhD.
One study linked fatigue to greater severity of depression, sleep problems, including poor sleep quality being hallmark symptoms of depression.
Finding the right treatment can help boost your mood and improve your sleep quality, leaving you feeling energized, not exhausted, notes Reicherzer.
If you feel tired although you get enough rest, you should look for exterior signs and do some blood tests in order to exclude anemia and a sleep apnea test to exclude this condition too.