Why am I tired all the time?

If you feel like you’re dragging yourself through the days, you may have a dose of the 21st century epidemic – tiredness.

Why are so many of us so tired all the time? Despite the many fabulous time-saving, energy-conserving mod-cons at our disposal – many more than our parents had – we still seem to be more time-poor and exhausted than they ever were.

The demands of modern life come thick and fast. It’s no wonder then that, in Australia, between 5-10% of people’s consultations with their doctors are about tiredness. When asked, one in four patients will tell their doctor they’re tired – and twice as many of them will be women.

The good news is, you don’t have to be tired. Start by searching for the underlying reason for it – in fact, more than one reason is most likely.

For starters, examine your own sleep hygiene – if it’s not good, it may be preventing you from being properly rested. Do you have an established pre-bed routine, or is it a moveable feast? Perhaps you’re consuming caffeine too close to bedtime, have a bedroom that’s too light or not quiet enough, or you have a TV in the bedroom? None of that will help you get the rest you need and may lead to a sleep disorder such as insomnia. Sleep disorders are, unfortunately very common – in fact about four out of five people in the western world will experience trouble sleeping at some point.

Do you do regular exercise? If not, then that could be a factor in your tiredness. Apart from the benefits of lowering your risk of developing significant conditions and diseases, regular physical activity promotes better sleep and increases energy levels.

How about your diet? Again, the pace of modern life might be getting in the way of you giving your body the proper fuel it needs. If you’re relying on highly-processed ‘convenience’ foods, which are usually high in kilojoules and low in nutrients, your fuel tank is going to be low. It is the same if you’re not drinking enough water. And if you keep up a diet like that for long enough – especially without regular exercise – your likely weight gain will further tax your energy levels.

If your diet is good, there may be a medical reason behind your tiredness. Depression is a common culprit. About one in four women and one in six men will suffer from some form of depression during their lifetime – and 97% of people suffering from depression complain of tiredness.

Other conditions that might be behind your tiredness include anaemia, thyroid disease, diabetes, heart disease, menopause and the list goes on. But the most likely causes are, luckily, the ones you can start to address yourself with simple lifestyle changes mentioned above.

Tips from Peninsula Hot Springs

Feedback from our customers indicates that hot springs bathing significantly improves the quality of their sleep for up to two days after their visit. We recommend combining hot spring bathing with time in our saunas as saunas are recognised to help aid deep sleep.

Written by national organisation Jean Hailes for Women’s Health

For more information about women’s health, or the research or resources available from the Jean Hailes organisation visit www.jeanhailes.org.au

PH: 1800 JEAN HAILES (532 642)

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