Everybody gets tired from time to time, but for some people this feeling is so frequent it has its own acronym: TATT or ‘tired all the time’.
According to YouGov, 13% of Brits live in a state of permanent exhaustion, while a quarter of the of the population claim they’re wiped out ‘most of the time’. On the contrary, a mere 3% say they always feel fully energised.
Yet just because tiredness has been normalised and is largely overlooked, it can have a range of negative effects on your overall wellbeing.
So what’s causing your constant state of fatigue, and when should you take action by visiting a doctor?
Why am I so tired?
There are all sorts of reasons that may be behind why you regularly feel worn out, with each falling into one of three categories: psychological, physical, and lifestyle.
When it comes to psychological factors that may impact your sleep (in turn leading to daytime drowsiness) emotional distress and stress are among the most common. If you have something going on in your life like a breakup, bereavement, work issues or money worries, this could prevent you getting a proper night’s rest. Even happy events like getting married or a new job could be causing you anguish at bedtime.
Anxiety and depression are also linked to chronic fatigue, making some people feel tired even if they’ve slept for the recommended eight hours.
In terms of physical health causes for frequent fatigue, sleep apnoea, anaemia, and menopause could all be at play.
Then, possible lifestyle causes include shift work messing with your sleep pattern, caffeine consumption, drinking too much alcohol or using screens in bed.
When should I see a doctor about tiredness?
If you realise that your tiredness is triggered by poor sleep hygiene (e.g., exposure to screens before bedtime, going to bed too late, etc.) and can fix your night routines, you don’t need to see a healthcare professional.
But if tiredness continues to be a problem, Dr Leyland, Clinical Advisor at myGP says that you should pay your doctor a visit.
She comments: ‘Fatigue can result in slower reactions, reduced ability to process information, memory lapses, absent-mindedness and reduced coordination. These can lead to accidents or reduced productivity, for example at work.
‘Where possible you should consider lifestyle changes to improve sleep but seek advice from your GP if tiredness symptoms persist. There may be an underlying health issue requiring a GP prescription.’
If you’ve made efforts to improve your sleep, but are still struggling to rest or experiencing ongoing problems with your memory, cognition, or mood, your best bet is to call in the professionals.
Similarly, if you’re getting plenty of sleep but feelings of exhaustion aren’t going away, official medical advice is needed to work out what’s going on.
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