Feeling tired low energy

Self-help tips to fight tiredness

Many cases of tiredness are due to stress, not enough sleep, poor diet and other lifestyle factors. Try these self-help tips to restore your energy levels.

If you feel you're suffering from fatigue, which is an overwhelming tiredness that isn't relieved by rest and sleep, you may have an underlying medical condition. Consult a GP for advice.

Eat often to beat tiredness

A good way to keep up your energy through the day is to eat regular meals and healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, rather than a large meal less often.

Read more about healthy eating.

Get moving

You might feel that exercise is the last thing on your mind. But, in fact, regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run, so you'll have more energy.

Even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.

Start with a small amount of exercise. Build it up gradually over weeks and months until you reach the recommended goal of 2 hours 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.

Read more about starting exercise.

Find out the physical activity guidelines for adults.

Lose weight to gain energy 

If your body is carrying excess weight, it can be exhausting. It also puts extra strain on your heart, which can make you tired. Lose weight and you'll feel much more energetic.

Apart from eating healthily, the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to be more active and do more exercise.

Read more about how to lose weight.

Sleep well

Many people don't get the sleep they need to stay alert through the day.

The website of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has information on sleeping well.

Tips for sleeping well include:

  • going to bed and getting up in the morning at the same time every day
  • avoiding naps in the day
  • taking time to relax before you go to bed

Reduce stress to boost energy 

Stress uses up a lot of energy. Try to introduce relaxing activities into your day. This could be:

  • working out at the gym
  • yoga or tai chi
  • listening to music or reading
  • spending time with friends

Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.

Read more about how to relieve stress.

Talking therapy beats fatigue 

There's some evidence that talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might help to fight fatigue, or tiredness caused by stress, anxiety or low mood.

See a GP for a referral for talking treatment on the NHS, or for advice on seeing a private therapist.

Cut out caffeine

The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends that anyone feeling tired should cut out caffeine. It says the best way to do this is to gradually stop having all caffeine drinks over a 3-week period.

Caffeine is found in:

  • coffee
  • tea
  • cola
  • energy drinks
  • some painkillers and herbal remedies

Try to stay off caffeine completely for a month to see if you feel less tired without it.  

You may find that not consuming caffeine gives you headaches. If this happens, cut down more slowly on the amount of caffeine that you drink.

Drink less alcohol

Although a couple of glasses of wine in the evening can help you fall asleep, you sleep less deeply after drinking alcohol. The next day you'll be tired, even if you sleep a full 8 hours.

Cut down on alcohol before bedtime. You'll get a better night's rest and have more energy.

The NHS recommends that men and women should not regularly drink more than 14 units a week, which is equivalent to 6 pints of average-strength beer or 10 small glasses of low-strength wine.

Try to have several alcohol-free days each week.

Read more about how to cut down on alcohol.

Drink more water for better energy 

Sometimes you feel tired simply because you're mildly dehydrated. A glass of water will do the trick, especially after exercise.

Read about healthy drinks.

Why am I tired all the time?

Feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, TATT, which stands for "tired all the time".

We all feel tired from time to time. The reasons are usually obvious and include:

  • too many late nights
  • long hours spent at work
  • a baby keeping you up at night

But tiredness or exhaustion that goes on for a long time is not normal. It can affect your ability to get on and enjoy your life.

Unexplained tiredness is one of the most common reasons for people to see their GP.

Why you might be tired all the time

Before you see a GP, you may want to work out how you became tired in the first place.

It can be helpful to think about:

  • parts of your life, such as work and family, that might be particularly tiring
  • any events that may have triggered your tiredness, such as bereavement or a relationship break-up
  • how your lifestyle may be making you tired

A GP will look at the following causes of tiredness:

  • psychological causes
  • physical causes
  • lifestyle causes

Psychological causes of tiredness

Psychological causes of tiredness are much more common than physical causes.

Most psychological causes lead to poor sleep or insomnia, both of which cause daytime tiredness.

Psychological causes include:


The strains of daily life can worry most of us at some point. It's also worth remembering that even positive events, such as moving house or getting married, can cause stress.

Read more about how to deal with stress.

Emotional shock

A bereavement, redundancy or a relationship break-up can make you feel tired and exhausted.


If you feel sad, low and lacking in energy, and you also wake up tired, you may have depression.

See your GP if you think you are depressed.


If you have constant uncontrollable feelings of anxiety, you may have what doctors call generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) in adults.

As well as feeling worried and irritable, people with GAD often feel tired. See a GP, as medication and talking therapies can help.

If you think your tiredness may be a result of low mood or anxiety, try this short audio guide to dealing with your sleep problems.

Audio: Sleep problems

In this audio guide, a doctor explains what you can do to give yourself the best chance of a good night's sleep.

Media last reviewed: 2 March 2021
Media review due: 2 March 2024

Physical causes of tiredness

There are several health conditions that can make you feel tired or exhausted.

These include:

  • iron deficiency anaemia
  • underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
  • sleep apnoea

Tiredness can also be the result of:

  • pregnancy – particularly in the first 12 weeks
  • being overweight or obese – your body has to work harder to do everyday activities
  • being underweight – poor muscle strength can make you tire more easily
  • cancer treatments, such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy
  • carbon monoxide poisoning – especially if your gas boiler has not been serviced regularly
  • side effects of medicines and some herbal remedies

If you have been feeling constantly tired for more than 4 weeks, it's a good idea to see your GP so they can confirm or rule out a medical condition that could be causing your tiredness.

Lifestyle causes of tiredness

In today's 24/7 "always on" world, we often try to cram too much into our daily lives.

And to try to stay on top of things, we sometimes consume too much alcohol or caffeine, or eat sugary and high-fat snacks on the go rather than sitting down for a proper meal.

The main lifestyle causes of tiredness include:


Drinking too much interferes with the quality of your sleep. Stick to the guidelines of no more than 14 units a week for both men and women.

Read more about tips on cutting down on alcohol.


Too much or too little exercise can affect how tired you feel.

Read more about the benefits of exercise.


Too much of this stimulant, found in tea, coffee, colas and energy drinks, can upset sleep and make you feel wound-up as well as tired.

Try decaffeinated tea and coffee, or gradually cut out caffeine altogether.

Night shifts

Night workers often find they get tired more easily. This is more likely if the timing of the shifts keeps changing.

Daytime naps

If you're tired, you may nap during the day, which can make it more difficult to get a good night's sleep.

Page last reviewed: 25 March 2021
Next review due: 25 March 2024

Causes of constant fatigue

A daily routine, rational nutrition and stress control will help to overcome chronic fatigue.

Petr Yastrebov


Question answer



Wayhomestudio / Freepik

Feeling tired can often be a symptom of a serious illness, but in most cases it is caused by simple lifestyle factors. Fortunately, many of them are easy to fix. In this article, we have collected 7 factors that can cause fatigue.

Contents of the article

Sedentary lifestyle

Inactivity can be the main reason for your low energy. But many people say they are too tired to exercise. People with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) tend to have low levels of strength and endurance, which limits their ability to exercise. However, a review of studies found that exercise can reduce fatigue in people with CFS. To increase your energy level, change your sedentary lifestyle to a more active one.


Click and watch

Lack of quality sleep

Lack of sleep is one of the most obvious causes of fatigue. Your body does many things while you sleep, including storing memory and releasing hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy levels. After a night of quality sleep, you usually wake up rested and full of energy. It is important to note that sleep must be restful and uninterrupted to allow your brain to go through all the stages of each sleep cycle. A regular sleep schedule not only helps you get enough sleep, but also prevents fatigue. In addition, daytime naps can help boost energy levels.

( See also: 9 Habits to Improve Your Memory.)

Sleeping at the wrong time

In addition to not getting enough sleep, sleeping at the wrong time can also lower your energy. Sleeping during the day, rather than at night, disrupts your body's circadian rhythm, the biological changes that occur in response to light and darkness over a 24-hour cycle. This is a common problem among people who work in shifts or at night. Moreover, even staying awake at night for a day or two can cause fatigue. Sleep better at night if possible.


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Not enough calories

Too few calories can make you feel exhausted. Calories are a unit of measure for the energy contained in food. The body uses them for movement and such processes. When you eat too few calories, your metabolism changes to conserve energy, which can make you feel tired. Also, when your calorie intake is too low, it is very difficult to meet your macronutrient, vitamin, and mineral needs. If your goal is to lose weight and cut back on your diet to do so, make sure that your calorie deficit is moderate - 15-20 percent of your maintenance level.

( See also: 3 Reasons Why Losing 30 Pounds in 30 Days is a Bad Idea.)

Not Enough Protein

Not eating enough protein can contribute to your fatigue. This macronutrient performs many functions in your body. To keep your metabolism up and prevent fatigue, try to consume a high quality protein source with every meal. Also, a feeling of fatigue and drowsiness can occur after eating a large portion of carbohydrates: here we wrote in detail why this happens.


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Not enough water

Good hydration is important for maintaining good energy levels. Many of the biochemical reactions that take place in your body every second result in a loss of water that needs to be replenished. Dehydration occurs when you don't drink enough fluids to replace water lost through urine, stool, sweat, and breath.

Several studies have shown that even mild dehydration can lead to low energy levels and reduced ability to concentrate. In one study, when men exercised on the treadmill and lost one percent of their body weight to fluids, they reported more fatigue than when they did the same exercise while remaining well hydrated. Common symptoms of dehydration include thirst, fatigue, dizziness, and headaches.

High stress levels

Chronic stress can greatly affect your energy levels and quality of life. While stress is normal, several studies have linked excessive stress to fatigue. Although it is extremely difficult to avoid stressful situations in our lives, developing strategies for managing our condition can help us not feel completely exhausted. For example, large reviews of research show that yoga and meditation can help relieve stress.


Click and watch

See also:

How strength training helps fight stress

Remove eye damage: what is Zoom fatigue syndrome and how to overcome it

How to overcome fatigue and regain energy? 9 tips for those who no longer have the strength

Woke up, but as if you had not slept? If you wake up tired and even broken in the morning, you need to fix it urgently. We have collected 9 working tips that will help you become alert again and wake up full of energy.

Move more

Sports are the last thing you want to do when you feel tired. But research shows that the more physical activity you have, the more energy you have.

Even short workouts will make you more alert and self-confident. And they will improve the work of the heart, lungs and muscles - and improve well-being.

  • Useful selection: First aid kit for athletes

Devices from the pharmacy will help track the state of the body before and after training:

Do yoga

Any kind of exercise is good for fighting fatigue, but yoga is especially good.

There are also several studies on this subject - for example, scientists in the UK conducted an experiment: they gathered a group of volunteers, forced them to do yoga once a week (only once!). Six weeks later, they were interviewed: everyone noted that their thoughts became clearer, and their energy and self-confidence increased.

Drink more water

Dehydration robs you of energy and reduces physical performance - if there is not enough water in the body, you will be tired even with the simplest housework. Dehydration also reduces alertness and concentration.

You can tell if you are drinking enough water by the color of your urine: if it is dark, you need to drink more.

Important: you need to drink exactly water, not juices, compotes or dairy products - the body perceives everything except water as food, and this does not save you from dehydration.

You can also buy water in pharmacies:

Go to bed earlier

The logic is simple: you get more sleep, you get less tired. Try to go to bed before midnight and put your gadgets away at least an hour before bedtime - so their bright light does not interfere with the production of melatonin, and you can fall asleep quickly.

  • Useful selection: What gadgets will help you sleep better? Top most useful devices from AliExpress

Improve sleep - fall asleep easier and sleep better - melatonin preparations will help: the more fluctuation, the more tired you are. To stabilize your sugar levels, you need to increase the number of meals and reduce the amount of servings.

How it works. Sugar is found in almost every product. If we eat a hearty lunch, a lot of sugar enters the body at a time, its concentration rises sharply, and the body absorbs it for a long time. Dividing a heavy meal into at least two small meals will reduce your blood sugar spike and keep you awake for longer.

  • Read also: What do we know about diabetes and why is it important?

Supplement your diet with vitamins for vigor:

Eat more fish

Fish contains healthy omega-3 fatty acids. They improve metabolism and increase alertness - and this helps to stay alert and alert throughout the day.

  • About vitamins and supplements: 15 vitamins with a high but justified price tag. Should I take it?

If there is not enough fish in your diet, supplement your diet with supplements:

Get rid of excess weight

Of course, you need to reduce not the weight itself, but the percentage of fat in the body - just more often one is inseparable from the other. Scientists from Johns Hopkins University have proven that even a small reduction in body fat improves mood and makes a person more alert.

To start losing weight, experts advise reducing portion sizes, eating a balanced diet, and exercising (or at least walking more often). If you work remotely and are afraid that you won’t be able to lose weight due to sedentary work at home, read this material - in it we told you how to start losing weight even remotely.

  • Instructions: How to give up sweets in eight steps

Help in losing weight can be found in pharmacies:

Keep track of your body clock.

Are you an owl or a lark? The answer to this question will help you not to suffer from fatigue during the day. If you are a morning person and feel energized in the morning, plan all the important things for the first half of the day. If an owl - at the end of the day.

This biological clock, or circadian rhythm, is determined by genetics and brain structure, so changing it can be very difficult.

Learn more