No matter how much I sleep, I still feel tired all the time. What could that mean?


That's a great question, and I'm sure you aren't alone on this. In fact, I've seen many patients who have come to me, who are tired all the time, no matter how much they sleep, and sometimes feel like they are even sleeping too much.

So the first thing I want to ask is what is the quality of your sleep?

  • Do you sleep restlessly?
  • Do you have trouble falling asleep?
  • Do you have trouble staying asleep?
  • Do you wake up in the middle of the night multiple times?

If you do feel like you are sleeping through the night, the problem may be something called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. It is common in people who are told that they snore. If you have extra tissue in the neck area, then when you sleep, that tissue can collapse, and cause an obstruction of your airway, so it causes decreased oxygen getting to the system, and then it wakes you up, because, of course, if you are snoring, then you stop breathing, your brain is going to wake you up. You may not be aware that you have woken up, it may be just a stir, but it interrupts the quality of your sleep.

The second possible cause is Narcolepsy. Narcolepsy is a spectrum in which the body doesn't get the level of sleep that it needs, for the amount of time that it needs to, in order for you to get a good, quality sleep. So what happens to people with Narcolepsy, is that they can fall asleep at a moment's notice, and they fall into a deep sleep, but then they don't sleep for a long amount of time. Perhaps one to three hours, then they are back up again. And while they feel refreshed at the moment, they haven't gotten a quality sleep. So after a couple hours they are very tired and lethargic, and again, can fall asleep at a moment's notice.

Another possibility is hormonal. You could have a metabolic disorder that makes you very tired and when you're metabolic rate is slow, you can't generate enough energy during the day.

It could be the Thyroid gland. The Thyroid gland manages your overall metabolism. When your Thyroid is under-active, then you tend to be very tired, no matter how much sleep you get. You might have fogginess of the brain, and you might find that it is difficult to lose weight.

A second possible cause is Adrenal Fatigue. The Adrenal gland and the Thyroid glands are closely related. The Adrenal gland's purpose is to manage the body's physical, emotional and mental stress by producing Cortisol. If you have a constantly high stress lifestyle, you can actually tap out your adrenal gland, and when that happens we call that Adrenal Fatigue. That manifests by you feeling tired all the time, but particularly in the afternoons. You may crave salt, and you may eventually have Thyroid problems because there is a connection to the Thyroid system by the Adrenal glands.

A third possible cause is lower Testosterone. I know, as you're a women, you are saying, "I'm a woman. Why do I need testosterone?" Both sexes need testosterone. It can be a possible cause of fatigue if it's too low. It lowers both the energy and the libido, as well as the ability to build muscle, and burn fat, and overall decreases well being.

The final hormone that can contribute to low fatigue is low growth hormone. It is responsible not only for growth, but also for regeneration, renewal, and replenishing. It's responsible for brain health and if you don't have enough growth hormone, you will feel tired. The body is always multiplying and regenerating and when you don't have the proper balancing of all the hormones in the body, you can be left feeling tired and fatigued no matter how much rest you are getting.

Another possible cause is more mental or emotional. Other things linked to fatigue are chronic depression, chronic anxiety, or chronic stress.

Finally, there are physical issues. If you have a physical issue that takes up all your energy, that actually can cause fatigue as well. People with autoimmune disorders tend to have chronic fatigue, as well as those with Lyme disease, or a host of other issues.
The bottom line is this: if you are constantly tired, don't settle - Go see your doctor! Even if it's your traditional doctor and they say they can't find anything, go seek a second opinion with an integrative doctor or a holistic doctor. They may test for things that a traditional doctor may not test for, may miss out on, that can get your balance and energy back to normal again.

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Thursday, 19 September 2019
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