Even if you get plenty of sleep every night, you may still feel exhausted during the day. Daytime sleepiness is a frustrating issue that can make it difficult to concentrate and to complete your daily tasks. Fortunately, most causes of fatigue are temporary or treatable. Here are 10 of the most common reasons why you can’t stay awake during the day:
1. You Have Poor Sleep Hygiene
Your sleep hygiene includes all of the habits that affect the quality and duration of your sleeping. Poor sleep hygiene will make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. One common sleep hygiene mistake is consuming caffeine in the afternoon or evening, which will keep you awake at night. You should also avoid looking at a computer or cellphone before you go to bed because the blue light will make it hard to fall asleep.
2. You’re Sleeping at the Wrong Time
It’s important to follow the same sleeping routine every day. Disruptions to your natural sleep pattern will affect the quality of your sleep and make you tired during the day. If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time on weekdays, make sure you follow this same routine on the weekends. Even just one day of sleeping in or staying up late can affect your sleep schedule and sleep quality for a long time.
3. You’re Dehydrated
If you don’t drink enough water, you’ll eventually get dehydrated. When this happens, your blood volume decreases and your blood becomes thicker. Then, your heart slows down, which reduces the supply of oxygen and other nutrients to your body. This will make you feel tired and sluggish. To prevent this, make sure you drink at least eight cups of water per day.
4. You Eat Lots of Junk Food
Carbohydrates are an essential source of energy for your body, but too many simple carbs can make you sleepy. Potato chips, baked goods, and other junk foods are usually full of simple carbs. Your body breaks down these foods very quickly, which may provide a sudden spike in energy, but it’s always followed by a crash. To avoid this problem, try to eat more complex carbs like whole grains, beans, and vegetables as well as healthy fats and proteins.
5. You Snore
Snoring happens when your airways are partially obstructed, so it can prevent your body from getting enough oxygen. This will make you feel exhausted while you’re awake, even if you think you’re getting eight hours of deep sleep every night. Snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a serious sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing while you sleep and wake up gasping for air. With sleep apnea, you could wake up hundreds of times per night without realizing it, so it’s impossible to achieve quality sleep.
6. You Have Narcolepsy
Narcolepsy is a sleep disorder that makes your body unable to regulate its sleep-wake cycles. Normally, you enter rapid eye movement sleep, the deepest stage of the sleep cycle, after about 90 minutes of sleeping. When you have narcolepsy, you can enter this sleep stage immediately after falling asleep or even when you’re awake. People with narcolepsy fall asleep suddenly and unintentionally during the day, and they feel extremely tired when they’re awake. Narcolepsy is a serious and chronic disorder, but it can be managed with medications and lifestyle changes.
7. You Have Anemia
Anemia occurs when you have low levels of hemoglobin, a protein in your blood that contains iron and carries oxygen to your tissues. When you have anemia, your heart has to work extra hard to deliver oxygen to the rest of your body. This makes you constantly tired, even if you get enough sleep. The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency, which can occur when you don’t eat enough iron or your body has trouble absorbing iron. You can fix this with diet changes or by taking iron supplements.
8. You Have a Vitamin Deficiency
Lots of different vitamin deficiencies can cause fatigue. Some of the most common vitamin deficiencies that make you tired include vitamin B12, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium. Fortunately, it’s easy to fix most vitamin deficiencies by taking supplements or incorporating different foods into your diet.
9. You Have Hypothyroidism
Your thyroid regulates your metabolism and body temperature, but hypothyroidism causes the gland to be underactive. This can make you feel sleepy, sluggish, and cold all the time. The mental effects of fatigue, like difficulty concentrating and memory loss, are especially common with hypothyroidism. The condition is usually easily treated with medication.
10. You Have Depression
Although depression is a psychological condition, it can have physical symptoms. Many people with depression can’t stay awake during the day, even though they sleep a lot.
Some of the other symptoms of depression include difficulty concentrating, low energy, loss of interest, and feelings of hopelessness. If you think your tiredness may be caused by depression, your primary care physician can refer you to a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist.