8 Reasons Why You Can’t Stay Awake

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Lingering fatigue is frustrating because it inhibits you from performing to your full potential. We’re never truly “ourselves” without sufficient amounts of rest. In recent years, sleep has become harder to come by. A recent poll from the National Sleep Foundation shows that more Americans are sleeping less than six hours per night and fewer are sleeping a healthy eight hours per night. Even if you do get enough sleep, you may feel fatigued during the day. Usually, that’s a sign that you’ve either been living unhealthily or have a disorder. If you’ve been feeling sluggish and don’t know why, you might be experiencing one of the problems listed below.

  1. Sleep apnea
    According to YourLungHealth.org, sleep apnea affects up to 18 million Americans. The disorder occurs when breathing becomes shallow or stops while sleeping. There are two types of sleep apnea: Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA). OSA is the most common, and it’s characterized by the inability to breathe sufficient amounts of air through the nose and mouth. It causes the sufferer to snore loudly, which doesn’t bode well for their significant other – OSA can cause other people to lose sleep as well. CSA occurs when the brain stops sending signals to the muscles that are responsible for breathing.
  2. Anemia
    Anemia sufferers have fewer red blood cells than normal, which means less oxygen is being carried to the parts that need it. In addition to faulty red blood cell production and the destruction of red blood cells, causes of anemia include blood loss, iron deficiency and vitamin deficiency. The severity of the condition varies – it can be temporary or chronic, and life-threatening if not properly treated. Anemia is a common cause of fatigue among women.
  3. Hypothyroidism
    Hypothyroidism is when the thyroid gland fails to make enough thyroid hormone. It causes the metabolism to function slower than normal, making it easier to carry unnecessary weight. The disorder is most commonly caused by inflammation of the thyroid gland. Other causes include radiation treatments, birth defects, surgical removal of the thyroid gland and viral thyroiditis.
  4. Depression
    A study published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2004 indicated that people who are depressed are four times more likely to experience unexplained fatigue. The emotional drain and feeling of lethargy can inhibit people from partaking in their normal daily routines. Depression can be caused by a number of different factors, such as personal problems, genetics, medication, illness and substance abuse.
  5. Dehydration
    Fatigue can be caused by dehydration, which occurs when the body isn’t receiving enough fluids to function normally. Its common causes include excessive sweating, vomiting, and diarrhea, and insufficient intake of water during warm weather and exercise. Dehydration results in an imbalance in minerals that are essential to nerves and muscle function – like sodium and potassium.
  6. Addison’s disease
    Addison’s disease is characterized by underactive adrenal glands. More specifically, the adrenal glands don’t produce enough cortisol, which is a hormone that assists the body in dealing with stress and regulates its use of fat, protein and carbs. The disease can also be caused by insufficient production of aldosterone; a hormone that helps regulate how much water and salt are allowed in the body. According to WebMD, one in 100,000 people have it, so your fatigue is more likely to be caused by another disorder or behavior.
  7. Poor eating habits
    Eating junk food on a regular basis can deprive the human body of the vitamins and nutrients it needs to carry out its normal functions. Even neglecting one of the food groups necessary for good health can cause sluggishness. Of course, not eating enough – like during diets or busy days when you skip a meal – results in a lack of energy.
  8. Too much caffeine
    The quick solution for dealing with fatigue is to load up on caffeine, but that can become counterproductive, especially if you develop dependency. Drinking lots of coffee, tea or soda during the day can keep you up at night, throwing off your sleeping patterns. Some people are more affected by caffeine than others, depending on body mass, age and even sex; men tend to feel it more than women.
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