8 reasons you're tired that have nothing to do with sleep

Who’s feeling tired right now? Probably quite a lot of you.

No matter how much you sleep, it doesn’t seem to make a difference. The recommended eight hours? Forget it: You still wake up feeling like you were in the land of the dreamers for barely 30 minutes.

If you’re struggling with feeling overly tired, your sleeping habits may not be to blame. Everything from your diet to your loathing of exercise can wreak havoc on your mood, making you feel more tired than you should be.

For example, coffee may be your daily lifeblood, but it could also be the reason behind your fatigue. Same goes for what you’re having for breakfast.

Here are a few other reasons why you might be feeling sluggish, along with how to solve the problem once and for all.

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Too much coffee

Coffee may seem like it wakes you up, and it does. For a while. But when you drink too much, your body becomes dependent on the caffeinated drink. Research has shown that when people decrease their coffee intake, they actually feel less tired when morning comes around. Try to stick to just one cup in the morning and cut all coffee by midday. (Photo: Getty Images)

Not enough exercise

Sorry, but you’re probably not going to like this one. Exercising has been proved to reduce fatigue by up to 65 percent. It doesn’t have to be a lot. Instead of sitting, stand up. Instead of taking public transport, walk a little more. Exercise will boost the efficiency of your cardiovascular system, delivering more oxygen and nutrients to your body and, more important, making you feel more energetic and less tired. (Photo: Getty Images)

Skipping breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, as you’ve heard countless times from your parents and medical experts. Well, turns out they’re right. Skipping breakfast will inevitably make you tired because it’s the one meal needed to kickstart your metabolism for the day. An ideal breakfast includes whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fat (e.g., oatmeal with protein powder and a bit of peanut butter), eggs with two slices of whole-wheat toast, or low-fat yogurt. (Photo: Getty Images)

Not enough water

Being overly tired is often one of the first symptoms of dehydration. Plenty of studies have proved that our focus and energy levels improve when we’re drinking the optimal amount of water. It sounds like a lot, but you should be drinking eight glasses a day in order to stay hydrated. (Photo: Getty Images)

Drinking alcohol before bed

A glass of wine or two straight before you go to sleep is a big no-no. Alcohol does produce a sedative effect (making you tired), but it also creates a rebound of adrenaline (waking you back up again). For the wine and beer enthusiasts out there, not to worry. You can still have your nightcap. Just push it forward a little. Experts recommend stopping all drinking around three hours before bedtime. (Photo: Getty Images)

Food intolerances

An allergy to a certain ingredient or type of food typically causes things like rashes, headaches, and stomach pains and problems. But tiredness is something that’s commonly overlooked. If you feel like you might have an intolerance to gluten, dairy, and the like, see a dietitian for tests. (Photo: Getty Images)

Not enough iron

A lack of iron in your diet can leave you feeling moody, tired, unable to focus, and generally weak. This is because less oxygen is traveling to your muscles and cells, making you want to sit on the sofa rather than go for a brisk walk. To combat the problem, stock up on lean beef, tofu, eggs, nuts, and kidney beans. (Photo: Getty Images)


Hormonal imbalances (especially among women) are one of the most common causes of tiredness. Adrenal fatigue may be behind all your exhaustion. This is when your adrenal glands (which help produce hormones) are affected by stresses in your daily life, throwing your hormones completely out of whack. Try getting on board with meditation to de-stress each day. (Photo: Getty Images)