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Causes of Fatigue and Sleepiness and How to Fight Them

Many people find themselves struggling with feeling run down or not having enough energy to enjoy life. Learn about what causes fatigue and how to fight it.


Not Enough Sleep

It sounds obvious, but a common cause of fatigue is simply not getting enough sleep at night. Most adults need seven to eight hours of sleep every night in order to stay healthy. If you’re routinely getting less than that, adjust your routine to make adequate rest a priority.


Sleep Apnea

If you think you’re getting enough sleep but still wake up feeling tired, you may be suffering from sleep apnea and not know it. Sleep apnea occurs when you wake up briefly in the middle of the night because you’ve stopped breathing. Sleep apnea interferes with your ability to get adequate REM sleep. People who are overweight or smoke are at a higher risk for sleep apnea. Losing weight, quitting smoking, or sleeping with a CPAP device can help resolve sleep apnea.


Poor Diet

Fatigue can sometimes be caused by eating too little or eating too much of the wrong types of foods. Foods that cause your blood sugar to spike and then crash can make you feel sluggish. To keep your blood sugar levels in a consistently normal range, focus on meals and snacks that combine protein with complex carbohydrates.



Another easily treatable cause of fatigue is dehydration. If your urine is not lightly colored, you’re probably not drinking enough water. Most women require at least 48 ounces of water every day, and men should drink at least 64 ounces to avoid dehydration and fatigue.


In some cases, persistent fatigue could be the result of an underlying medical condition. If you’re getting adequate rest and fluids and eating a balanced diet, talk to Dr. Waller if fatigue continues.