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9 Reasons Why You Feel Tired All The Time

9 Reasons Why You Feel Tired All The Time
Carly Jacobs

e all like to feel good but sometimes life gets in the way, our good habits fade off and we end up feeling tired and lethargic. Sometimes we need a bit of a kick in the pants to remind us of what we need to do to feel in top shape everyday. Here are 9 reasons why you might feel tired all the time.


You’re simply not getting enough sleep

I once had my GP berate me about how much sleep I was getting. I sheepishly told him I was functioning on about 6 hours a night and he said before I left ‘8 hours every night. It’s not a suggestion.’ You actually need 8 hours every night and unless you have young children, 8 hours of sleep every night should be your top priority.

You do too much when you’re awake

Even if you do get your full 8 hours sleep, if you don’t have any down time during the day, you’re not going to feel rested. If you get up, go to the gym, work all day, do the grocery shopping, play a game of netball, meet a friend for dinner, vacuum the house and do 6 loads of washing, by the time you get to bed you’re going to be exhausted and stressed. Sleep is incredibly important but so is rest so make sure you’re getting enough of both.

You don’t take any time off

Every now and then you need to have a mental health day. They’re mandatory. It’s obviously very important to take time off when you’re sick but it’s just as important to take time off when you’re well, to give yourself the chance to properly re-charge your batteries. The same goes for holidays – they’re for rest and relaxation – not renovating your house, or totally cleaning out your garage.

You’re not moving enough

It sounds counter intuitive but sitting still all day will only make you more tired. I’ve been using a step tracker for about 3 years now (I started with a FitBit and now I have the Apple Watch) and it’s totally changed my life. I always do my 10,000 steps every day and if I’m feeling lethargic it’s usually because I’ve been a bit lazy with my stepping. Try working a 20 minute walk into your day every day and see if your energy levels improve.

You check emails at bedtime

I’m totally guilty of this: I check my email too many times during the day and often right before bed. What’s the point in that? I’m not going to reply to an email at 11pm on a Sunday so why bother even opening my inbox? Decrease your stress levels and up your energy by only reading emails once or twice a day.

You don’t drink enough water

About 60% of your body is made up of water so if you’re dehydrated, it’s no wonder your body starts to chuck a massive tanty. Make sure you have your full 8 glasses every day and if you’re feeling a bit slumpy in the afternoon, chug back a few of glasses water and you’ll feel right as rain.

You have unrealistic expectations for what a normal person can achieve in a day

You know that meme that says something stupid about you having the exact same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce? I hate that meme. Beyonce has more money and help than any person should have so of course she’s a giant over achiever. There would be something wrong with her if she wasn’t. You need to calm down and only do what you’re actually capable of doing. If you continuously get to the end of the day and you’ve barely touched your to-do list despite the fact that you’ve been running around like a maniac all day, you’re putting too many things on your to-do list. Stop doing this immediately.

You eat too much crap

It’s so easy to reach for sugar when you’re feeling tired but sugar is the actual worst thing. I’m by no means a hard core sugar quitter (I eat fruit like it’s going out of fashion and you can pry my sweet chilli sauce from my cold dead hands thank you very much) but anything that comes in a packet should always be considered a sometimes food. Most of the time packaged food = shit tonne of sugar and/or saturated fat. Go with veggie sticks, fruit, a home made smoothie or some nuts and leave the chocolate biscuits and sugary drinks for special occasions.

You drink too much alcohol

If you’re wondering if you drink too much, just have a squiz at the Australian drinking guidelines that suggest women should never have more than 2 drinks on any given day and definitely no more than 4 drinks in a day ever. Isn’t it thoroughly depressing? Believe me, I’m not sitting here on my high horse like a teetotal princess. I do honestly have about 5 alcohol free days every week but I can easily drink 4 glasses of wine the remaining 2 nights a week without even thinking about it. If you’re feeling a bit gluggy, you might want to back off on the booze a bit.

Note: if you’re consistently feeling tired and you lack energy, you need to see your GP and have some tests done. It’s normal to have little bouts of tiredness here and there, but it’s not normal to be walking around like zombie for months on end.

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How do you feel most days? Bouncing and full of energy? Or a bit sleepy?


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  1. eternallyeffervescent 8 years ago

    For me it’s almost always the not drinking enough water – my caffeine diet does my energy levels no favours.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I’m not too shabby on caffeine – I’m a one coffee a day kind of gal! If I have any more than that I go bonkers.

  2. Steph Allen 8 years ago

    I find i need my 20 min walk first thing. Its tempting to thing that sleeping for that extra time will give you more energy but i feel much more awake and energetic when i get up early and move my body rather than sleeping in.
    Just a tip on the water too. Alot of us (including me) have a drink bottle around all the time and constantly sip. Ive been told you really need to drink the amount of a small glass at a time to get it to absorb properly rather then drip feeding it in. It should stop it from just sending you to the toilet constantly too

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I’ve been so good on my early morning exercise while I’ve been away! it makes such a difference to my energy levels – I did mine this morning getting groceries for a dessert I’m making for a dinner tonight which was just lovely! I’m not sipper I’m a slammer – I’ll down a few glasses in one go! I forget to sip.

  3. my2morrows 8 years ago

    Oh gosh… I do all these things and yep I’m a walking zombie! I am trying to slow down now though and trying to take some days in lieu that I’m owed for some much needed r&r. Xx

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      Oh good girl! It’s really hard to do. I was supposed to give myself the day off yesterday but it just didn’t happen. I’lll have a day off in December… maybe.

  4. Megan 8 years ago

    I’ve always struggled with sleep and believed that 8 hours was the goal. It wasn’t until I was a participant in an ANU insomnia research trial that I learnt that 8 isn’t everyone’s magic number. In fact mine is 7. If I stay in bed for longer than 7 hours my sleep becomes interrupted and the spiral of struggling to fall asleep and then waking up begins again. If I only stay in bed for 7 hours, my body learns to fall asleep quickly and to stay asleep. The trial was brilliant and taught me how to reset my sleep if I do fall back into bad habits…although the first month of a reset is a killer with with very little sleep involved, but it works!

    • Megan 8 years ago

      Sorry forgot to add that I thought the rest of your comments were spot on, especially emails before bed! The study suggested creating a 30 minute pre-bed routine which starts after the computer goes off! Tough when you are working late and want to go to bed but I’ve found I sleep better when I stick to it.

  5. KezUnprepared 8 years ago

    Usually when I’m burnt out or exhausted it’s because I realise I haven’t been getting my Vitamin D. Also, I find that if I am exercising properly, I feel really tired at the end of the day but it’s a good tired. The kind where I feel happy and sleepy and I know I’ll sleep well. I drink water to wake up in the morning instead of coffee – to avoid that crash.
    I am really good at saying no to overcommitting too. I think being more organised has taken away a lot of stress – that can be really draining too. I find if I’m anxious a lot or spend too much time with people who are not healthy for me, I have little energy for other stuff.

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I’m crazy deficient in vitamin D because I’m totally sun phobic. I just crawl into shadows whenever I can. I’d be quite happy living in one of the those equator cities where they get no sunlight. 🙂

      • Luc 7 years ago

        I am pretty pale and was a sun avoider, and had shocking vitamin D levels. The doctor seemed surprised I was still functioning. He explained that in Australia we have become quite sun phobic, because of (a quite reasonable!) fear of skin cancer. The irony is, he explained, low Vitamin D can hinder the body’s ability to fight other cancers. So we might be protecting against one but opening up a potential can of worms in terms of other cancers and diseases. I think sun might be like most things – good in moderation, bad in excess.

  6. I’m definitely guilty of a few of these, but trying my best to rectify this sooner rather than later 🙂

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      Definitely! I can’t stress how awesome the phone free bedroom is. I couldn’t do it properly for years because I worked on call as a relief teacher but the second I stopped doing that I went phone free. Best thing ever.

  7. Wow, snap Ms Smaggle – I have posted about tiredness today too with similar themes! Mine is how to achieve it though. I feel like people aren’t trying hard enough. Who wouldn’t want to be cranky and sketchy every morning?

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      No way! How weird! I blame Netflix. It’s done awful things to everyone’s sleep patterns.

  8. Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid 8 years ago

    I do all of these things – eeep! Interesting about the water… my gym instructor was saying that you should drink 1 litre of water for every 25kgs of your body weight, plus an extra litre if you’ve worked out that day! That’s a lot of of water!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      It’s so much water! But people really underestimate how important water is and how much you actually have to drink. I pee like 10 times a day but I drink SO MUCH water I have to.

  9. Cynthia 8 years ago

    Lol I’m reading this before bed. On my phone. Enough said! 😉

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      Ha! Naughty! That’s just the kind of behaviour that needs to stop! 🙂

  10. Oh, I am so so so guilty of thinking I can achieve more in a day than a normal person… I just keep forgetting that a) most things take longer than I think they do, and b) time for relaxation is essential. Thanks for calling me out on that!

    • Author
      Carly Jacobs 8 years ago

      I have to constantly call myself out on it too! I’m deliberately taking things a bit slower today – it’s been a mental month!

  11. Rachel Hawes 7 years ago

    Or you might actually be unwell so go get some blood tests to be sure!

  12. Carole 7 years ago

    I’m usually pretty good with most of these. Not perfect, but OK, and I usually have pretty high energy levels. But my daughter is getting married Friday and work has been busy… Just 2 days with 1 one hour less sleep each day has really affected my energy levels.

  13. Suzanne Watkins 7 years ago

    This just popped up on my Facebook, and I am so guilty of every one of these except the water and movement. Those, I generally get in, but I am the queen of do too much, never time off, checking the email too often, and just plain pushing myself ALL the time. After 20+ years of it, I don’t even know what rested or refreshed would feel like. That’s not admirable; it’s pathetic. I think I’ll do a challenge for myself on one of these things each month. Nobody else will fix this problem for me, and clearly, something needs to be done. Thanks for the kick in the pants.


  1. […] why you feel tired all the time?  I can tick off most of these reasons.  Must do something to try and rectify the problem. ?  I am trying to drink more water, […]

  2. […] This might by why you’re tired all the time […]

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