Why Am I So Tired? 5 Causes of Fatigue and How To Combat Them

Published on June 17, 2022

By Gaia Herbs

Gaia Herbs

Do you struggle with feeling tired all the time? No energy in the tank? Well, know that you’re not the only one who struggles with low energy levels. Many people live their day-to-day feeling overly fatigued.

This can go well beyond feeling a little drowsy from time to time. Chronic fatigue can affect many aspects of daily life. For example, fatigue can make it difficult to concentrate, affecting work and school, making it difficult to complete your necessary tasks. 

Thankfully, there are ways you can combat fatigue. Here, we look at how you can be more proactive about fighting off fatigue.

How Does Fatigue Affect Daily Life?

We have all experienced fatigue, drowsiness, and lack of energy at some point. However, it is easy to underestimate how disruptive these issues can be and how they impact our daily routines.

Chronic fatigue can contribute to various health conditions, including mental health. Furthermore, a lack of energy can cause productivity to plummet and make it difficult to concentrate on tasks throughout the day.

Fatigue can also lead to irritability and mood swings, making it challenging to engage with and enjoy the social situations we encounter daily. For many, especially those with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), fatigue can result in physical aches and pains.REF#1949

What Causes Fatigue?

The precise causes of fatigue can vary from person to person. Identifying the cause is the first step in developing a plan to combat fatigue. Here are five of the most common reasons for fatigue beyond poor sleep:

1. A Lack of Sleep

A good night's sleep is irreplaceable. Sleep is an essential aspect of our daily routine and vital for overall health and wellness. The benefits and importance of sleep for the body cannot be overstated.REF#1950

During sleep, our body works diligently to repair and grow tissues, build bone and muscle, and strengthen our immune system. Additionally, sleep plays a critical role in regulating our mood, appetite, and hormone production.REF#1950

One of the most apparent consequences of insufficient sleep is fatigue and tiredness. More seriously, poor sleep and sleep problems can lead to increased levels of stress hormones, reduced insulin sensitivity, heart disease, and decreased levels of growth hormone.REF#1950

However, getting enough sleep is easier said than done. With packed schedules, electronic distractions, and the stress and anxiety of daily life, achieving quality sleep can be challenging.

2. Stress

Stress can significantly impact your energy levels by releasing stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, triggering a fight-or-flight response. This can interfere with your body's ability to rest and recharge, leaving you feeling fatigued and tired.

This response drains the body's energy reserves, resulting in exhaustion. In essence, stress is an invisible force that gradually depletes our energy stores, leaving us with fatigue and exhaustion.REF#1951

3. Mental Exhaustion

Mental exhaustion is a real phenomenon. It is common to feel mentally drained at the end of a long day. 

Unfortunately, mental exhaustion can also contribute to physical fatigue and tiredness. While it's impossible to pause the demands of daily life, you can support your mind with herbal supplements.*

4. Poor Diet

The saying, "You are what you eat," holds more truth than many realize. The foods you consume can directly affect fatigue and tiredness, as certain items can disrupt sleep patterns.REF#1952 For example, look at what causes caffeine crashes

Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats forces our bodies to work harder to digest and process these foods, leading to sluggishness and fatigue. Food allergies or intolerances can also contribute to fatigue.REF#1953

Additionally, diets lacking essential nutrients like iron, magnesium, and vitamin B12 can result in issues such as anemia (an iron deficiency caused by low red blood cell levels), which can cause fatigue and tiredness. Blood tests are required to determine whether or not you have these issues, so be sure to talk with your healthcare provider.

5. Various Medical Conditions

Feeling tired can be a symptom of more than just inadequate sleep. There are numerous medical conditions that can be underlying causes of fatigue.

For instance, thyroid diseases can contribute to an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) or an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism). When the thyroid gland is not functioning correctly, it can affect the body's ability to produce thyroid hormones essential for high-quality sleep and overall health.

Sleep disorders or issues like sleep apnea can also impact sleep quality, making it challenging to feel well-rested. Medical conditions such as high blood pressure can also cause fatigue due to the extra strain on the heart and cardiovascular system. Fatigue is also a common symptom of blood glucose issues and imbalanced blood sugar levels.

Nutritional deficiencies, such as vitamin D deficiency, can contribute to tiredness and fatigue, as can various autoimmune disorders. These conditions can also increase fatigue due to the body's defense mechanism working against itself rather than an external pathogen.

Alternatively, fatigue can also be a side effect of certain medications, such as antidepressants.

How Can You Minimize Feelings of Fatigue?

Although various factors could be behind your fatigue, we have good news. Once you know the underlying factors, you can usually address them to help support your energy levels.

While the following lifestyle changes can help, it’s important to note that if you’re experiencing fatigue that doesn’t go away, we recommend seeing a doctor. As we already mentioned, fatigue can be a sign of an underlying medical condition, and you may want to seek treatment.

1. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene

Good sleep hygiene involves a set of habits that promote healthy and restful sleep. These can include maintaining a consistent sleep schedule (waking up and going to bed at the same times every day), avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and creating a relaxing sleep environment. It’s generally recommended to aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night as an adult.

Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress management are also good sleep hygiene habits. Other tips for sound sleep include eating a light, early dinner to aid digestion, practicing mindful breathing before bedtime, meditating, and turning off screens before bed.

Consider trying a warm cup of soothing herbal tea in the evening to help you wind down. For additional sleep support, combine this tea with an herbal supplement, like Gaia Herbs Sleep & Relax™. It contains Lavender, Lemon Balm, Passionflower, California Poppy, Valerian, and other herbs to help encourage feelings of relaxation.*

2. Support Your Stress Response

To combat stress, try reducing the stressors in your life and practice stress management techniques such as deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and increasing physical activity. Try spending time outdoors, as well. 

Herbal supplements like SleepThru® contain adaptogenic and sleep-supporting herbs to promote restful sleep while naturally supporting your body's stress pathways.*

3. Support Your Cognitive Health

Several herbs and mushrooms can help support mental clarity, memory, focus, and mental sharpness. Custom combinations of these herbs can be found in supplements like our Mental Alertness, Mind Spring™ Mushrooms & Herbs powder, Nootropic Focus™, and Agile Mind®.

4. Eat a Healthy Diet

Proper nutrition is crucial for combating fatigue. Ensure you eat plenty of fruits and vegetables containing antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and prebiotics. Always consult your doctor or healthcare provider for advice about your specific dietary needs.

The Bottom Line

The combined impact of poor sleep, stress, mental exhaustion, poor diet, and medical conditions can decrease overall quality of life and enjoyment of daily activities. Luckily, you may be able to fight tiredness naturally with gentle, supportive herbal supplements and, lifestyle changes.*


  • 1. Sapra, Ami, "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome", StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf, July 2, 2022.
  • 2. Summer, Jay, and Jay Summer, "Eight Health Benefits of Sleep.", StatPearls - NCBI Bookshelf, July 2, 2022.
  • 3. https://www.apa.org, "Stress and Sleep", January 1, 2013.
  • 4. Davis, Brett A., Yi-Hsuan Liu, James E. Stampley, G. C. Wood, Diane C. Mitchell, Gordon L. Jensen, Xiang Gao, Nancy W. Glynn, Christopher D. Still, and Brian A. Irving, "The Association between Poor Diet Quality, Physical Fatigability and Physical Function in the Oldest-Old from the Geisinger Rural Aging Study", Geriatrics. MDPI, April 15, 2021.
  • 5. Better Health Channel, "Food Allergy and Intolerance", .