Being tired after a long day or heavy exercise is normal. Being sleepy and tired all the time, especially for no apparent reason, can indicate a more serious problem or an underlying chronic disease. If you experience fatigue that lasts more than a few days or that is severely debilitating, talk to your doctor as soon as possible.
Feeling sleepy and tired all the time can be a sign of fatigue. Tiredness and fatigue can manifest in a number of ways. According to eMedicineHealth, fatigue can cause weakness, dizziness, tiredness, shortness of breath and even palpitations. When fatigue comes on suddenly and is not relieved by adequate sleep and rest, it might indicate a more serious medical issue. The same is true if the tiredness is accompanied by severe headache or abdominal pain, vomiting blood or chest pain.
The most obvious reason for being tired and sleepy is lack of sleep. According to MayoClinic.com, the average adult needs between seven and eight hours of sleep every day. If you're sleeping less than that, adjusting your sleeping schedule might provide some relief. Snoring, uncomfortable surroundings or other aspects can also affect your sleeping patterns. According to the medical team at NetDoctor, anemia, hormonal problems and even certain medications can all cause you to feel tired and low in energy. A series of medical tests might be needed to rule out more serious problems such as cancer.
NetDoctor also mentions anxiety and depression as two possible causes for being always tired. If you're taking anti-depression medication, the drugs themselves can also be causing fatigue. Chronic fatigue syndrome, which sometimes has no apparent cause, can also be due to stress. NetDoctor points out that cognitive therapy might be helpful in treating chronic fatigue and alleviating the feelings of tiredness.
If the causes for your fatigue are not obvious, like lack of quality sleep, your doctor might recommend a series of tests to rule out health issues. Urinalysis and blood tests are usually first to search for anemia, infections or diabetes. Your doctor can also search for chronic diseases, do an HIV test or take an x-ray to rule out a respiratory infection.
If the problem is due to a health issue, your doctor will prescribe the right medication to help you solve it. A change in diet or in your sleep schedule might also help. Vitamins, iron supplements and an exercise program can help combat anemia and anxiety and help you regain your energy.