You're feeling tired all the time, and it's getting you down. Why do you feel tired all the time? It can be quite difficult to figure it out, and there may be complicated reasons why you are tired all the time. If you are asking yourself "Why do I feel tired all the time", then now is the time to sort it out.

Feeling constantly fatigued can be a physical or psychological problem, or a mixture of both. It may or may not be the same as chronic fatigue syndrome – or ME – but whatever the cause, feeling tired all the time can really get you down.

The first thing you need to do is to check out your feelings of tiredness with your family doctor. There are some simple reasons why you may be feeling tired all the time, and you may need medical tests to work out why you are feeling so exhausted. One reason is that you may be anaemic. This often happens to women, if their periods are very heavy, or they don't consume enough iron in their diets. A blood test will let the doctor know very quickly whether this is the case. A simple solution to this is that you take iron tablets for a few months to raise the iron levels in your blood, and then you will feel like you have a new lease of life, with no tiredness at all.

Chronic fatigue syndrome, at its most extreme, can leave patients unable to leave their beds. But the milder versions of chronic fatigue syndrome can be much more difficult to diagnose. There are other medical reasons as well for feeling so tired. There may be other underlying health difficulties, such as thyroid problems or hormonal issues, that a doctor will be able to test for and treat.

However, one of the reasons that doctors often look so panicked when a patient walks in and says "I feel tired all the time" is because it can be difficult to find out the reasons behind it. All the tests may prove negative, leaving both the doctor and patient frustrated – and the patient as exhausted as ever. There may be a range of small problems that all together add up to a large one.

Constantly exhausted

So what might be some of these smaller problems? On the physical side, you may not be having enough sleep. You may be burning the candle at both ends, or trying to get up early when you are really a night-owl. You may be holding down several jobs, or juggling work and childcare. Perhaps you are drinking too much coffee and eating too much sugar which, when the buzzing effects of consuming them have worn off lead to a crash of exhaustion. Some people find that carbohydrates make them sleepy, especially after lunch when they are still meant to perform at work.

Maybe you never take any proper exercise, meaning that you are slowly getting more and more unfit and, possibly, overweight too. People carrying around too much poundage find everything takes more energy.

Mental fatigue

It's not just physical tiredness that makes people feel tired all the time, it's also mental tiredness. Feeling psychologically stressed and drained can be the most exhausting of all. Perhaps you are in a difficult relationship where you feel like you're constantly treading on eggshells. Maybe your job demands more from you than you can give. Do your nerves feel "frazzled" much of the time? All these things can make you feel exhausted.

Feeling tired all the time may have many small contributing factors. Work out which of them apply to you and then you can start taking steps to fix them.