Why Do I Feel So Tired? Lifestyle and Medical Conditions that Cause Physical and Mental Exhaustion

Suffering from mental fatigue or physical exhaustion? This article will shed some light on why it is that you may feel tired all the time. You will also learn how to tell if you are mentally exhausted. 

why do i feel so tired

Many people are walking around, driving, going to work and living their lives in a permanent state of fatigue.

Sometimes people are tired for unexplained health reasons, but often there are very typical reasons for fatigue which include lack of regular sleep, poor diet, and not getting enough exercise. Fatigue can be very frustrating and even disabling due to feeling as if you cannot get things done or enjoy your downtime.

Today, we’re going to look at different ways to combat and overcome fatigue so that you can get your life back. There is no reason to be tired all the time. It’s not a normal state of being in healthy people.

If you use all these ideas there is no doubt that you’re going to be on your way to not just getting over fatigue, but also becoming an energetic, happy, recharged individual who can accomplish more than you ever thought you could.

Why You Feel Exhausted Even on Your Best Days

Before we get into the meat of getting recharged, let’s address the fact that sometimes medical issues will play an important role in your energy levels. These can drag you down no matter how well you do on any given day.

If you are suffering from unexplained exhaustion, it’s important that you seek medical answers first. Go to your doctor and ask him/her to do a complete blood work to check all your vitamin and hormone levels, plus test you for common diseases that cause exhaustion like sleep apnea.

Alternatively, you may be taking medication for an illness and one of the side effects is tiredness. If you feel tired after taking the medication for two weeks, ask your doctor if there are alternatives.

The following conditions can easily be tested for and acknowledged by your primary care doctor through typical blood tests.

Conditions That Cause Fatigue


This medical condition is characterized by paleness, fatigue, racing heart, and sometimes even upper left quadrant abdominal pain. If a person has anemia, their red blood cell count (known as hemoglobin) is too low.

If hemoglobin gets too low, it can cause severe fatigue and other problems as well. For men, hemoglobin levels less than 13.5 grams per 100 ml and for women, hemoglobin less than 12.0 grams per 100 ml is too low.

Other Vitamin Deficiencies

Besides low iron, if you are short on vitamins D3 or B12 you may feel severely fatigued and even anxious, which can cause you to lose sleep – thus making you feel even more tired all day long.

Even though you can buy D3 and B12 (with folate) to help with this issue, it is still best to get a blood test to rule out anything serious before starting with treatment.

Thyroid Disease

Whether you’re hypothyroid (slow) or hyperthyroid (fast), you will suffer from fatigue.

Having said that, hypothyroidism tends to cause you to feel tired, sluggish, and even depressed, while hyperthyroidism tends to make people feel anxious, restless, irritable and then contribute to fatigue due to lack of sleep.

If you are feeling tired even if you have bursts of energy, ask your doctor to test your thyroid levels to be on the safe side.


One of the biggest first indications of diabetes is fatigue. Even though most people think diabetes only affects overweight people, many people who appear healthy still wind up with type II diabetes.

If you already know you have diabetes since birth and are often tired, talk to your doctor about this. Today, even older people are being diagnosed with type I diabetes, so the old rules don’t fit anymore.

You can feel fatigued whether your blood sugar is high or low; if it’s off you will feel the effects. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor to try to manage your disease through medication, diet, exercise, and regular sleep.

Depression and Anxiety

While there can be underlying causes of depression and anxiety such as anemia and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies, sometimes people have these conditions for other or even unknown reasons.

If you’ve checked everything and nothing shows up, talk to a professional about whether you suffer from depression or anxiety (or both).

Anxiety causes fatigue by preventing a good night’s rest, and depression sometimes has the effect of making you want to sleep away your problems regardless of how much sleep you get.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Another illness that can cause fatigue is CFS. It’s right in the name. There could be many causes for CFS that we don’t know yet. But it is a real medical condition that is often characterized by fever, body aches, and protracted exhaustion.

This condition sometimes occurs after you think you’re recovered from another viral infection. It’s very difficult to diagnose and is only given after a complete work-up to discount other possibilities. But, it is a real illness that can be managed and treated.

Sleep Apnea

An almost epidemic problem today, sleep apnea is caused by either an obstruction due to the way you sleep, or because the brain isn’t signaling your muscles to breathe properly even if your airway isn’t blocked (known as central sleep apnea).

Both types of apnea are very dangerous and can lead to sudden death while sleeping. However, most often what it leads to is a low quality of life due to experiencing non-restorative sleep.

To diagnose this issue, you’ll be sent to a sleep center overnight to do a sleep study. There are many ways to get help with this problem. Even if no one has mentioned that you snore, this is a great test to get to ensure that you are sleeping well.


If you have any type of illness where you’ve been given medications, they may be causing your problems. They might make you tired, or they may make it hard for you to sleep – thus causing daytime fatigue.

Sometimes you still must take the medication, but often there are other options that you can use so that you can find a medication that doesn’t cause you as many problems.

Other times, there are additional medications that you can take to combat the problem if it’s interfering with your ability to live your life fully.

So, now that we have talked about potential medical issues that cause fatigue, we can move on to talk about other issues that may cause fatigue and how you can overcome it.

After all, the entire point is to find ways to recharge your body and take control of your life. 

How Mental Exhaustion Affects the Whole Body

Everyone thinks it’s normal for someone to be tired if they work out in a field all day or stand on their feet all day. But, people who have a desk job or spend a lot of your time on mental tasks are often surprised and shocked that they are still exhausted.

Mental exhaustion can affect your entire body in negative ways. Not only are people with mental exhaustion tired, they also often suffer from body aches as if they have worked out all day long. Overusing your mind is just as bad for you as overusing yourself physically.

For example, many people who suffer from mental exhaustion, in addition to being tired most of the time, may start to get sick more often, have a lot of headaches, experience back pain, muscle aches and more.

Plus, mental exhaustion can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep which can just make all the above worse.

Take note of the symptoms that are caused by mental exhaustion. If you have more than a few of these and have been burning the wick at both ends, consider mental exhaustion a potential culprit.

  • Constant sleepiness
  • Frequent headaches
  • Hallucinations
  • Impaired decision making
  • Inability to concentrate and focus
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Memory problems
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Poor coordination
  • Poor judgement
  • Reduced immunity
  • Slow reflexes
  • Sore or aching muscles
  • Unexplained dizziness
  • Unmotivated

When people are mentally exhausted, their body tries to get them to take a break and rest in every way it can. That’s why it’s so important to pay attention to the signs of mental exhaustion. Thankfully, there are ways to combat and overcome mental exhaustion.

Read up on how to overcome mental exhaustion here

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