Are You Always Tired? Science Says This Is Why

Despite getting the recommended six to eight hours of sleep every night, it’s not uncommon for a feeling of fatigue to hang over you like a cloud throughout the day. What with our technology-centric, “always on” work culture, sometimes a full night’s sleep just isn’t enough to fully recharge your batteries. Our sister site Byrdie recently sought out to explain this epidemic, detailing a few logical—albeit counterintuitive and indirect—sources of tiredness and fatigue. So before you go down the WebMD rabbit hole of internet diagnoses, consider the following: You could be suffering from dehydration, drinking too much coffee, or even dealing with a hormonal imbalance.

As for the dehydration culprit, Byrdie explains how “fatigue is often one of the first symptoms” of dehydration, citing a 2011 study that confirmed the obvious: Focus and energy levels improve when a person is adequately hydrated. Correcting this could be as simple as keeping a S’well water bottle at your desk (we love the white marble) or tracking your number of glasses consumed in an app like MyFitnessPal.

To my next point, coffee can play a pivotal role in dehydration, which is only exacerbated by the high and low cycle associated with caffeination and fatigue. In fact, people who stop drinking coffee are actually less tired when waking up in the morning. Finally, a hormone imbalance is the fickler of the three culprits, mainly due to the fact that it is difficult to diagnose and treat. But according to London-based general practitioner Jane Leonard, adrenal fatigue is a common cause of daily exhaustion. Byrdie recommends taking an adaptogenic herb supplement to help regulate your hormones.

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