We all know that a lack of sleep can cause tiredness. If you’ve been burning that candle at both ends recently you probably don’t need to look too far to find out why you’ve been struggling to stay awake during the day. What happens when you’ve been clocking up those eight hours, though? Surely you can’t still be tired?
You’re no doubt aware that a lack of sleep, work-related stress, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia are all symptomised by extreme tiredness. The following conditions are capable of causing drowsiness too. It may be time to reassess your symptoms.
Anxiety and depression
We are living increasingly hectic and pressured lifestyles. It’s little wonder that so many people are beginning to be affected by anxiety and depression. In addition to feelings of sadness, hopelessness, nervousness and irritability, mental health conditions can completely drain you of energy. If you’ve been feeling particularly tired, lacking in focus and upset, you may wish to speak to your doctor about treatments for stress, depression or anxiety.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
You’ve probably heard of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS. You’re also probably aware that it can cause cramps, diarrhoea, constipation and bloating. However, IBS is also responsible for bouts of extreme tiredness, as your body struggles to cope with the other symptoms. If you’ve noticed any changes in your bathroom schedule, or have been feeling particularly sluggish please do consult your doctor.
Do you snore? Have you noticed that you’re still tired after a good night’s sleep? You may be suffering from sleep apnoea, which causes your throat and airways to repeatedly narrow or close while you rest. Since your breathing is restricted and your oxygen levels are depleted, you will unconsciously awaken repeatedly during the night. There are numerous treatments for sleep apnoea, including stopping drinking and smoking, losing weight or breathing apparatus.
Anaemia occurs as a result of iron deficiency, which may have been caused by blood loss, a particularly heavy period or pregnancy, as well as a diet that’s lacking in iron. Its symptoms include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, pale skin and heart palpitations. Anaemia can be diagnosed via a simple blood test, which your GP will be able to carry out for you. Its treatments include a change in diet and iron supplements.
Medication side effects
Whenever you begin taking new medication you’ll often be advised of the side effects you may experience. Fatigue, drowsiness and sleep-related issues are among the most common of these, since many drugs are designed to affect the brain or nervous system in some way. While some side effects may pass as your body accepts your medication, others may not. Please do seek medical advice and ensure the medication and dosage are right for you.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning
Some causes of extreme tiredness aren’t medical at all, but environmental. Carbon monoxide poisoning kills 25 people in England and Wales every year, but it’s relatively easy to avoid by ensuring appliances are serviced and fitting a detector. Other symptoms arising from carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness and confusion. It is imperative that you seek medical advice and the services of a registered gas fitter if you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.
If you’ve been feeling abnormally tired recently we’d always recommend heading to the doctors in search of some answers. There’s a good chance that your symptoms are a sign that you’ve been working too hard, or have fallen into a bit of a slump of late. However, early diagnosis is integral to the treatment, and cure of numerous disorders that could be causing your fatigue. Wouldn’t you rather know what you’re dealing with?