You get up to eight hours of sleep, exercise about twice a week and eat fairly healthily. So why are you tired all the time?
Yes, you’ve tried going to bed earlier each night and conserving your energy throughout the day by generally, uh, not moving. But that doesn’t cut back on the number of yawns you have to stifle, not to mention it’s not a sustainable solution. What gives?
If the above scenario sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Many blame today’s busy lifestyle (read: no time to exercise, hurried lunches at the work desk, rushing from one meeting to another and so on) as the underlying cause for being permanently on snooze mode, but there could be more than meets the eye.
Here are three causes that may surprise you.
#1 Over-reliance on caffeine
If you just can’t function without coffee in the morning and chug down several more throughout the day, you could be disrupting your sleep-wake cycle. According to experts, three cups a day is enough - which means by mid-afternoon, you should be putting that mug away. Altogether, now: “No coffee after three... No coffee after three...”
#2 Sleep disorders
Are you a snorer? If so, you could be suffering from sleep apnea, a breathing disorder that wakes you in the night, or generally causes interruptions to deep, restful shut-eye. When this happens, all the hours of sleep in the world won’t help you. Consider seeking help from the pros at centres like Singapore General Hospital’s Sleep Disorders Unit or Changi General Hospital’s Integrated Sleep Service.
#3 A lack of iron
It’s logical, really: When your body doesn’t have enough iron, your level of red blood cells will be low. When that happens, it won’t produce enough haemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen to body tissues), and without this oxygen, you’ll experience fatigue. To reverse this, eat more iron-rich food like leafy green vegetables, soya beans or lentils, or consider supplements such as Sangobion capsules, which support optimum blood health.