sleepy fatigue

Even when you do everything right, why do you still suffer from fatigue? Image: Mislav Marohnić via Flickr CC.

We’ve heard all the secrets to getting a good night’s sleep like avoiding caffeine before bedtime, sleeping in a dark room, ensuring you are getting enough hours, etc. But what if you are doing all of these things and you are still tired? Believe it or not, there are some other sneakier and lesser known reasons for your fatigue. Here are a few:

That extra cocktail or glass of wine may be helping you soothe stress, but it can rob you of your sleep. Alcohol can help you doze off faster but it actually shortens your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep meaning a more disrupted and less restful second half of your sleep. Remember, just because that nightcap helps you wind down, doesn’t mean it will help you sleep soundly through the night.

Did you know that skipping your workout can make you feel extra drained? There was a study in 2006 that found light exercise reduced feelings of fatigue and helped boost energy levels by 20%. Even though working out can be strenuous and physically exhausting, it also helps regulate your sleep. So, pack that gym bag the night before so you will be less likely to bail in the AM!

If you suffer from constant fatigue, you may have a thyroid issue. The butterfly-shaped gland in your neck secretes hormones that help regulate things like your metabolism and heartbeat, but sometimes the thyroid doesn’t produce enough of these hormones. If levels of these hormones in the blood decrease, it causes your body functions to slow down and you will feel fatigued. It’s even more common in women than men.

Even a slight case of dehydration can alter your mood and make you feel mentally sluggish. If you don’t drink enough fluids, it makes it harder for your cells to function properly. If you are thirsty you are already dehydrated, so be proactive about drinking lots of water each day to avoid other dehydration symptoms like fatigue.