10 surprising sources of fatigue

10 surprising sources of fatigue

by Pamela Ng 15 Feb 2020

Nothing gets in the way of getting stuff done like feeling tired. While you may think that the answer lies in simply getting more sleep, you wouldn’t be addressing the root cause of the problem. Here are 10 things that you’d least expect to be responsible for your fatigue:


1. Excessive work

This one seems very obvious, but hindsight is 20/20 for this. Most people who find themselves inundated with work often lack the time for it to even register. If you’re busy to the point where you barely have enough time to eat a proper meal, let alone indulge in your hobbies, it’s safe to say that you probably have too much on your plate.


2. Being indoors too long

Being indoors typically means being enclosed in an air-conditioned space or somewhere that is cut off from the outside environment. Prolonged exposure to the cold can wreak havoc on your mood (e.g. winter depression) and being cooped up indoors can bring about tiredness, moodiness and irritability. Lighten up and take a walk outside whenever you can; enjoy the fresh air while you’re at it!


3. Poor breathing techniques

Breathing is essential not only because it ensures our survival, but also due to its effect on the physiological state of our bodies. Poor breathing techniques can thus reduce the oxygen amount flowing to the brain, causing fatigue. Be more aware of your breathing in times of stress, and remember to take a few deep breaths when you feel that tiredness is setting in.


4. Lazing around

It feels great to just stay in bed or at the couch to relax. But surprisingly, doing so excessively can result in tiredness. Prolonged inactivity can reduce blood flow such that the brain and other parts of the body are unable get enough nutrients and oxygen to produce energy.  Instead of plopping yourself down on the couch or a bed during a lazy day, take a walk outside.


5. Inconsistent sleep

Funky sleeping patterns can cause fatigue, even if you’re getting your requisite eight hours. This can be caused by poor sleeping conditions, stress or even jetlag. Make your bedroom a conducive area for sleep, such as having blackout curtains for darkness or a white noise generator to help you relax.


6. Not enough water

Not drinking enough can reduce your blood pressure. As a result, your body will feel the fatigue and your heart has to pump the blood harder. Always keep a bottle of water handy so that you can take a sip whenever you feel thirsty!


7. Exercising too much

An excessive amount of strenuous physical activity can lead to a situation where the body is given the opportunity to recover fully, thus bringing on fatigue. Instead of going all out all the time, schedule deload and active recovery sessions so that your body has a chance to catch up.


8. Slouching

Having poor posture can hinder optimal breathing and strain certain parts of your body. Learn to be more mindful and aware of your posture; think about keeping your spine tall and your chest up.


9. Being overly heavy

Constantly toting around excess weight can be a tiring ordeal. With a larger body mass, your muscles have to work harder to move the extra weight. Furthermore, it places additional strain on the heart as it works harder to supply oxygen and nutrients to said muscles. Using a BMI calculator is a good first step in determining if you’re carrying an unhealthy amount of weight.


10. Noise

Too much noise can be detrimental as it can be mentally draining; imagine living next to a busy construction site that goes on 24/7! Being constantly exposed to excessive levels of noise reduces the quality of life and can cause physiological damage to the ears. If your work places you in noisy environments, invest in a set of quality earplugs.


No one likes feeling tired, especially if it occurs day after day. The things mentioned in the list may be small, but they have a way of creeping up and embedding themselves in our lives. Once you address these issues, you can expect to see near-instant improvements in your energy levels!