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leopardgecko123's avatar

Why do I always feel tired?

Asked by leopardgecko123 (777points) July 13th, 2014 from iPhone

For the past 3 or 4 months I’ve just been feeling tired nearly constantly. I’ve always had trouble sleeping – off and on insomnia (self-diagnosed), but it didn’t cause me to feel exhausted. I wake up tired, my eyes feel heavy throughout the day, my muscles seem weak and ‘empty’. I eat well – very few processed foods, lots of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lean meats, eggs. I eat yogurt occasionally, but not milk or cheese. Can’t remember the last time I had candy or any sugared drink. No fruit juices, either. I exercise about 6 days a week, strength training and a jog/walk routine. Nowadays I have to pretty much force myself to exercise, and have had to greatly decrease my intensity, and slightly decrease my volume, of exercise in the past few months because I don’t have adequate energy. My endurance has dropped. My strength, as far as lifting, hasn’t changed much. I don’t feel like I recover well from exercise, either. Sometimes my heart rate seems too high, usually when I just wake up.
Now about my sleep. It’s not great. I can usually sleep well enough, but getting to sleep is my main problem. Often times I read for an hour plus until I’m tired enough. I try not to lie in bed if I can’t sleep, but instead get up and read or watch tv. I know I shouldn’t watch tv, but when I have trouble sleeping I get real panicky, and hearing the tv calms me a bit. I think it’s because I’m listening to people on tv, and I usually feel anxious at night because I feel lonely, to the point of panic. I’ve had anxiety problems before, a few panic attacks, one from not being able to fall asleep.
Maybe it’s my anxiety causing all the problems with sleep, but is the sleep deprivation the cause of my exhaustion?
Sometimes my thinking is foggy, and I have indifferent emotions and zero passion towards anything. I doubt I’m depressed – I’m not sad or feel hopeless. Yet I am starting to feel a bit hopeless about my fatigue. I decreased my exercise volume and intensity, thinking that was the problem, but it didn’t do anything.

Please give me some insight into this. I am 15, female. I take a multivitamin and drink enough water. Even with a few nights of 8 hours of sleep, I feel only a slight increase in energy. Do I just need more sleep? Can you give me any tips on how to get it, and with good quality? Any energy-boosting tips?

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14 Answers

pleiades's avatar

Do you exercise? Exercise is one of thee greatest way to release the feel good natural chemicals in the body.

Oh and this insomnia you speak of, I’m like 95% sure you’re using that term lightly. I’ve got a friend who’s got legit insomnia, and this dude is borderline psycho. Not being able to sleep until 3–4am is not insomnia. This dude currently this week from Tuesday until Friday has not slept

Michael_Huntington's avatar

Now about my sleep. It’s not great.
If you’re lifting 6 times a week, then you better make sure that you’re eating and sleeping enough. Sleep is good. Maybe take an additional rest day and see how you feel.
As for sleeping tips, I basically turn every electronic device off and read for an hour before I hit the hay. I also sleep in a completely dark and cool environment.

I’d still see a doctor if I were you, because it could also be a thyroid problem.
Major props for exercising 6 times a week. I just did that last week and it is just brutal

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

This could be caused by many things: depression, sleep apnea and dehydration just to name a few. Drinking plenty of water may not actually be enough water especially if caffeine is involved. Anxiety will simply exhaust you and deny you recovery time. If you are experiencing anxiety that alone is enough to really mess up your sleep and energy. It could be other things like blood sugar or even thyroid. I’d be safe and have some blood work done. I would also start eating healthy and exercising regularly along with stress reduction if you are not already.

JLeslie's avatar

Here are the top choices not in any order:

1. Low iron
2. Whacked thyroid
3. Low vitamin D
4. Depressed
5. Not enough sleep in a 24 hour period.
6. Inconsistent caffeine intake.

The first 3 are blood tests and I think you should do them ASAP. Simple relatively inexpensive tests.

How old are you? Is your blood pressure nornal? Is your heart rate nornal?

longgone's avatar

Are you happy? You sound rather down. Why are you feeling anxious at night?

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

Sleep Apnea. Is sounds casual, but sometimes it kills people who ignore it. You are being oxygen deprived during sleep, which robs your organs of much needed repair. Get a sleep clinic appointment.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I was in the same boat and found out I had sleep apnea, which is a big deal if your a trucker,but since I was diagnosed I got a Cpap machine, my energy has come back I am not so dead tired anymore my wife and friends say it has made a 100% difference.

GloPro's avatar

If you are being honest about your diet an exercise, I have two thoughts:

One, you are a growing teenager. Metabolically, your body is on overdrive. It could account for why teens sleep so much when they can. Not to mention how go-go-go teens are. Downtime is important.

Thought two: it might be worth a quick trip to the doctor to rule out thyroid issues, or metabolic interference issues. Perfusion issues, etc. There are many ways the body produces energy levels. Most can be managed and manipulated.

Insomnia is tough. I have it, too. It doesn’t sound like apnea since you have troubles falling asleep. I have troubles staying asleep, and it sucks.

I will offer one bit of advice, as you are 15. Don’t turn to supplements like 5-hour energy or monster or Red Bull. You do not need that crap in your system. Period.

AshlynM's avatar

You should tell a doctor. It’s best to get checked out.

ibstubro's avatar

You need help with this problem, not just advice.
See if you can get someone to make you an appointment with a doctor, where you can have a chat with him and he can perform @JLeslie‘s 3 physical tests. If that doesn’t work, see if she will refer you to a sleep clinic.
At 15 I would not advise anti-depressants unless you feel like the problem is getting life threatening.
You’re eating very well, but are you eating enough, and late enough? Are you eating 3 decent meals a day? Please do. If you are eating 3 good meals, you might try eating 5 smaller meals so you’re eating closer to your bed time. Milk is good for you and is a major source of nutrients at your age. Maybe some turkey and a glass of milk near bed time.

JLeslie's avatar

I just noticed you did mention rapid heart rate in your original post. I hadn’t read it carefully. You really need your thyroid tested, you might be hyperthyroid.

Are you lonely at all? Loneliness is a big depressor for teenagers and sometimes anxiety can be part of depression. However, whackado thyroid can also make people sort of “artificially” depressed or anxious. I say artificial because once the thyroid is straightened out with medicine many symptoms begin to correct. Don’t take any meds to treat symptoms until you have had the tests to see if there is some sort of underlying cause. Unless you feel you might harm yourself, and I don’t get that impression from what you wrote.

Let us know what the doctor says. Don’t let him just dismiss you as being an average hormonal teen.

wildpotato's avatar

Just one thing to add to the excellent advice above: when you go to the doctor, get tested for Lyme disease.

LornaLove's avatar

You need to be checked out by a professional as many suggested.

If you are serious though about getting to sleep consider these approaches to bedtime.

Have a warm shower about an hour before bed, dim the lights and switch off the TV. Reading is a good way to pass the time until you sleep. Lights and action from TVs can make insomnia worse.

Have a piece of toast and a glass of milk if you can.

Write down the things that are worrying you before sleep.

Don’t pressure yourself to sleep, rather look for naps. Lots of naps do help.

Exercise each day even if only for 10 mins.

Put a little night light on? Or if light worries you make sure even the digital clock is covered.

Try white noise or soft meditations.

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