“Why Am I Always Tired?” The Top 4 Reasons You Feel Run Down

July 16, 2022

Recently, I realized I get one question on a very regular basis: "Why am I always tired?"

The truth of the matter is there are a few reasons why you may feel exhausted regularly.

From a lack of restful sleep to taking on the mental load in your family, I'm breaking down the top offenders that make you chronically tired and discussing what you can do about them so that you can return to feeling restored and energized.

Let’s dive in!


Why am I always tired - Dr. Pingel

“Why Am I Always Tired?” The 4 Reasons Why You’re Always Tired

Are you constantly wondering, “Why am I always tired?” If so, check out these common causes of exhaustion and overwhelm.


Why am I always tired - Dr. Pingel

1. You’re not getting enough sleep.

This first reason probably isn’t so surprising. If you’ve ever asked anyone, “Why am I always tired?” you’ve most likely been met with the following question in return: “How much sleep are you getting?”

Sleep is absolutely critical for your health because that’s when your body goes into repair mode and your immune system gets stronger.

Most healthy adults require at least seven hours of sleep each night. And when this minimum isn’t met, it can lead to lower immunity and greater likelihood of getting sick.

According to a study on 153 people who came into contact with rhinovirus, participants who slept less than seven hours at night were 2.94 times more likely to develop a cold compared to those who slept eight hours or more. [1]

Additionally, lower quality sleep was 5.5 times more likely to result in developing a cold than high-quality sleep.

If you need some tips for getting a solid night of restful sleep, check out this article on how to beat insomnia.


Why am I always tired - Dr. Pingel

2. You take on all the mental load.

“Why am I always tired?” Well, if you’re someone who’s in demand—at home, at work, in your social circles, you may be taking on more than your fair share of the mental load.

Managing the invisible labor required to run a family, household, relationships, or business often leads to exhaustion and even burnout.

In fact, approximately 50 percent of all caregivers report not having any personal time for themselves. So what do you do?

Start by carving out a few minutes for yourself each day to focus only on yourself. You can do yoga, meditate, or simply turn on some loud music and dance in your kitchen—whatever helps you clear your mind.

And if you have trouble focusing on yourself and turning off the part of your brain that always thinks of the never-ending to-do list for others, remember this: Much like with the procedure for oxygen masks on a plane, you can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.

After all, a few minutes for yourself each day isn’t really that much—especially when you deserve so much more.


Why am I always tired - Dr. Pingel

3. Your cortisol is too high.

If you wake up exhausted and find yourself wondering why you feel tired all the time, high cortisol levels may be to blame.

High cortisol levels interfere with your ability to sleep, which can leave you feeling groggy during the day.

When you’re constantly under stress, your cortisol levels can remain high, resulting in a myriad of health concerns ranging from inflammation to weight gain, anxiety, depression, diabetes, heart disease, non-restorative sleep, and more.

The best way to lower your cortisol levels is to follow a plan that supports proper adrenal health. This includes eating a nutritious diet, taking adrenal-supporting supplements, focus on the mind-body connection (like I discussed above in regards to creating some much needed “you time”), and get moving.

Need more help getting started? Check out my book, Total Health Turnaround, where I lay out exactly what you need to do.


Why am I always tired - Dr. Pingel

4. You have a hidden nutritional deficiency. 

Deficiencies in vitamin B12 (which promotes energy) or vitamins C or B6 (which help promote healthy sleeping habits) often leave you feeling tired and run down. So, if you’re regularly asking yourself, “Why am I always tired?” you may want to consider a hidden B vitamin deficiency.

To get a little more detailed, vitamin B3 helps to produce serotonin, which promotes feelings of well-being and happiness, and also helps to promote restful sleep. Meanwhile, vitamin B6 is a cofactor for manufacturing the neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.

Finally, vitamin 12 is known to help reset your circadian rhythm, thereby improving your sleep and normalizing your cortisol levels.

Foods rich in these B vitamins include mushrooms, tofu, bananas, pistachios, spirulina, nutritional yeast, brown rice, green peas, avocados, and sweet potatoes.


Key Takeaways

  • If you’re constantly wondering, “Why am I always tired?” you aren’t alone. In fact, it’s one of the most common questions I receive from patients.
  • Some of the most common causes of exhaustion and overwhelm include: not getting enough sleep, taking on too much mental load, having high cortisol levels, and having a B vitamin deficiency.
  • If you follow the advice in this article but find you still need additional help, check out my book, Total Health Turnaround, for more prescriptive guidance so you can once again feel rested and restored.
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