Why Do We Feel Tired?

I am sure everyone sometimes have this day (or dayS) when they just cannot or don’t want to do anything: work, read a book, study, train, be nice or whatever else you would usually perform with no issue.

Sometimes we are just tired!

I’ve looked into many different aspects of US, as humans, including bad habits, brain workings overall and hormones, also checking out our body limits including injuries, socio-environment and mother nature ‘curse’, figuring out that there are potentially SO MANY reasons why we can be feeling this or that way.

Yet every time I am feeling a little down I am running all over my home with a thermometer under my armpit, Googling self-diagnoses sites, spending hours in the chemist going through different anti-flue ‘spells’. However, today I say: CALM THE F**K DOWN; and let’s see why do we get tired from time to time.

I want to add again, I am no fitness specialist and don’t have my bedroom walls covered with fitness certificates and similar awards. I am an enthusiast who constantly questions her well-being and body workings. I often get tired, physically or mentally, not always being sure why. However I am certain that it feels awful. I am also almost hundred per cent positive that most people don’t like to feel that way – tired, sluggish, useless.

Let’s explore why do we feel tired – a none scientific & non-boring approach (with a little bit of science of course sorry).

First of all, I think there is nothing wrong with lazy so don’t deny it if you ARE.  Lazy is a type of rest, in my opinion; however it definitely ‘hurts’ when extends for too long. I have personally noticed that if I take a break from whatever I am doing, I am most likely to feel double tired during the resting period AND end up finding it hard returning to fitness mode. Is it true for you too?

‘Most athletes know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential to high-level performance, but many still over train and feel guilty when they take a day off’, says  Elizabeth Quinn. Taking a day off is crucial for us if we want to become fitter and healthier and not taking days off means (most likely) getting sick eventually or under-perform or even both at the same time. However, just like over training can affect your health / fitness, over-resting can make you not feel like going back to exercising degrading your muscles and probably health depending on your lifestyle. Over-indulging in resting becomes permanent lazy which sucks so don’t do it!

If you are still alive after answering phone calls, putting mascara on and finishing your breakfast while driving to work than congratulations I am happy to see you here today, reading my blog. I see you finally found some time! 🙂

We all ARE madly busy ALL the time! As many people say, we MUST make our time because there is never spare time anywhere in the Universe (ok, I don’t know about anywhere in the Universe’ but definitely not in our busy humans’ world). We need to make time for ourselves because otherwise we get tired.

Over-working or over-exercising stresses our body and mind, driving us crazy; very often, literally. For example, some people, including myself, often get sick after a big fitness event such as a marathon. Although I have never run one, every time I complete a 10 km fun run or something similar (which I would usually regularly train for prior the event) I sort of get knocked out of life for about a week – either getting VERY tired (almost dizzy and depressed) or catch a cold or flue.

This is where we need to dip into some science, sorry –  I found an article about Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1995, which basically explains how increased exercising decreases our immunity functionality.  It’s been suggests that over-exercising, which is 90-plus minutes/day or running upwards of 60 miles/week can increase vulnerability to illness. This study shows that marathon runners are six times more likely to become ill after a race due to excessive exercise impairing their natural immune function. NO WAY, you’d say! How about all these health benefits of running people talk about all the time? Well, as always our genius body (brain, really) is able to adapt to such an increase in training. It’s been found that immune system restores its ‘magic shield’ in about 10 days and we are ready to go again. Fantastic, isn’t it! Just like everything in our lives, exercising is a two sided coin with good and evil combined, depending on how ‘smart’ (or not) you we are (giggling). Thus, I understand that it is a great idea to take a short break after a big fitness event; however not too long of a break (read above:)).

I know it might sound silly but I remember myself exercising up to 4 hours a day eating under 1200 calories a day (awww great days of youth lol). I was a skinny stick BUT would get sick most of the time. Calories are units of energy – we need these bloody calories, ladies and gents! I was under-eating dramatically and had to stop it.

Did you know that over-eating can also make you tired? Eating itself requires energy. I don’t really mean that lifting a fork with a piece of steak needs a lot of your effort BUT digesting, breathing and sustaining your brain’s functionality you need calories aka energy aka calories. If you consume 10 donuts before your workout you in fact might not feel like working out anymore – your entire organism is busy sorting those donuts out.

Eating crap also makes everyone tired. Foods with a high glycemic index will make you feel tired because they provoke a rise in blood sugar and later cause it to drop dramatically. Also food which is hard to digest will obviously make you feel sluggisher than usual. I am not a food specialist, I am only learning nutrition BUT I am sure we all have experienced after-burger-tiredness as well as higher sugar cravings after a first bite of chocolate. Dieting is nearly a rocket science from some angles but a MUST for everyone, in my opinion (giggling). Thus, not eating enough, eating way too much or eating unhealthy will definitely make you feel tired so stop doing it.

Here, have a watch:

Whenever upset, unhappy or even depressed you drag your body and brain through some exhausting stress which often makes you tired. Along side with many potentially health damaging results, unhappiness can make us feel … or I must say makes us ‘I don’t feel like it’ feel. Whether it is – your relationship, work or some sudden troubles, if they make you unhappy you are more likely to feel like energy has left you. Depending on what’s troubling you, you might end up suffering from sleep deprivation, loss of appetite or a suddenly increased hunger up to horrifying thoughts of suicide or even a heart attack. Whatever it is torturing you, it will drain you for sure making feel tired.

Some worries are more subtle than others. For example, a close to you person’s sudden death can be excruciating and health damaging, not just sad; whereas constant and not very obvious problems and stress at work can make you feel upset but not as emotional as someone’s death. Both though most likely will exhaust you eventually.

Many people underestimate the importance of happiness! I’ve heard many people saying “toughen up”, “crying is for weak” or “pull yourself together, you are such a mess” never proposing to actually assist in feeling better. People often blame emotions for making their lives difficult; however it is other way round. People ARE in control of their emotions however letting emotions out does not mean to lose the control. Emotions NEED to go somewhere eventually before they escalate in a disaster. So stop making your emotions’ life difficult and let me be so they allow you to be happy. I am not saying of course that if you feel like picking up and gun and shooting in the park because your emotions wanted it is a good idea (mental house is a good idea in this scenario) but I am saying that if you feel like laughing or crying you better do it before your suppressed laugh and cry become a strong desire to pick up a gun. Many unhappy people commit suicide or even die because of a heart attack. If you feel like you are tired because you are sad you need to do something about it NOW.

It might sound very trivial but I need to mention it again – SLEEP IS BLOODY IMPORTANT, folks! You will definitely be tired if didn’t have enough sleep OR overslept. Interestingly, scientists still have no clue why sleep is so important but it has been proven that it IS vital for our survival. So if you still think that sleep is for babies … well, think again.

Sleep deprivation can assist in building depression up and creating hallucinations. If you don’t sleep enough, your brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected, practically shutting down.  Apart from having difficulty responding to rapidly changing situations and making rational judgments, lack of sleep has a major affect on cognitive functioning as well as emotional and physical health.

Similarly to stress, lack of sleep makes us do silly things. My first car accident (just into a pole though) happened when I was tired and sleepy. I confused ‘reverse’ with ‘drive’ smacking in someone’s car when I was stressed and I almost caused a great car accident making a turn on a busy road when I was tired. If you feel sleepy, go to bed NOW! You can finish reading my post tomorrow 😀

If none of the abode is your case, get a blood test done – Anaemia might be your case! It is a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells which one of the top causes of feeling constantly run-down.  It happens when the body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry sufficient oxygen to your tissues and organs. It is NOT a disease but it means that something in the body isn’t functioning right. Some estimates suggest that around one in five menstruating women and half of all pregnant women are anaemic. This makes me want to go and get my blood tested right now! Oh, wait, I have done it many times before and never been diagnosed with it; however still tired most of my conscious time. However if this is something you think you might have, I browse some causes of it:

Dietary deficiency – lack of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid in the diet.
Malabsorption – where the body is not able to use the nutrients in the diet, caused by conditions such as coeliac disease.
Inherited disorders – such as thalassaemia or sickle cell disease.
Autoimmune disorders – such as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, where the immune cells attack the red blood cells and decrease their life span.
Chronic diseases – such as rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.
Hormone disorders – such as hypothyroidism.
Bone marrow disorders – such as cancer or infection.
Blood loss – due to trauma, surgery, cancer, peptic ulcer, heavy menstruation, bowel cancer or frequent blood donations.
Drugs and medications – including alcohol, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or anti-coagulant medications.
Infection – such as malaria and septicaemia, which reduce the life span of red blood cells.
Periods of rapid growth or high energy requirements – such as puberty or pregnancy.

DO NOT PANIC though! Although they say that menstruating women, pregnant and breastfeeding women, babies, especially if premature, children going through puberty, vegetarians, people with cancer, stomach ulcers and some chronic diseases, people on fad diets and athletes are in the risk group, it does not mean you are in trouble. I am also a self-diagnosis control freak like many of you. However before making your bucket list up, make sure you are not simply a lazy person, have eaten too much today and haven’t gotten a proper sleep in a week. Only after ticking all of the above, you can become suspicious of your blood cells.

There are MORE reasons out there for feeling tired; however they are all related to different dysfunctional sleep issues which are very interesting to have a look into but not in this blog, sorry. I am not an expert in serious medical situation therefore I will leave it out today.

I have tried to go through some basic tiredness related issues we often ignore. Although we all know them very well, we often forget that eating well and sleeping enough IS crucial. However, do not forget ‘enough’ and ‘well’ is also fairly subjective. Some people function good after a 5 hour sleep whereas I personally must have at least 7 (better 8 or 9) hours in order to stop running into poles.

Eating well is also hard to determine for EVERYONE but there are general rules working for the most. However there are people like my boyfriend who feels awesome no matter what he eats: a bag of chips is as good as a bowl of ice cream or a piece of steak with salad (little giggles). Many of us though would feel absolutely lifeless after such dinner.

Staying positive and happy IS very important. My advice FIND your muse – whatever makes you happy and follow it everywhere it goes. Going through sad, angry, annoying or any level bad thoughts in your head again and again will age you, make feel tired and eventually cause more wrinkles, potentially a heart attack and nothing good. I now it’s hard to remain calm especially for us, control freaks (giggling again) but we gotta try and try hard 🙂

If you cannot work out why you are constantly tired, get a blood test done and chat to your friends – they might notice something you haven’t figured out yet.

Sometimes ‘tired’ means you need a change whether a quick or a long term one. Exercising can often enrich your energy level if you spent your entire day in the office. On other hand, a cosy and warm couch can also be your energiser if you are a laborer or a fitness trainer. Your lifestyle will often determine your causes of tiredness. Good luck finding your ways out! 🙂


6 thoughts on “Why Do We Feel Tired?

    • Yeah this is awful. However since your body cannot integrade gluten maybe it is good with something else? Btw ive always wondering (since moved to Australia, the dont have it in Russia) how gluten free stuff work? So its bread hence wheat but gluten free. How is it possible i wonder.

      • There are other grains that do not have gluten. Wheat, rye, barley are off limits. Oatmeal has to be gluten free-some farmers plant oats near other gluten grains and it is contaminated. When I cook I have a variety of flours: buckwheat (not true wheat) flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, tapioca flour, potato flour and potato starch. Chia seeds are good in GF cooking. It is a different kind of baking, but I’m learning how to deal with it. I hope this answers your question!

      • Fascinating how people’s brains are different and define our lives. Im only allergic to Sun and certain chemical component of many facial tonics and creams. Apart from that never had food or anything really restrictions. However Im absolutely fascinated by such things such as intolerance or allergies. My mother is allergic to almost everything but oxygen 😦

      • Absolutely 😦 I believe its also very annoying because drs dont understand allergies and there is no cure. For example when I get tested on all sorts of allergies it comes up negative to all and then I run on the beach, come home and cannot stop skinning myself lol I guess we get used to our problems and live with them but it gets me angry from time to time

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