The question “Why am I always tired?” is one of the most popular health-related searches on Google — and we understand why. Feelings of fatigue and tiredness transcend cultures, genders and locations. Everybody experiences it at some point in their life, with some occurring more often than normal. Tiredness is not unusual and is typically driven by lifestyle factors, but consistent feelings of fatigue can also mean an underlying condition. We’ve identified the top reasons why people are always tired and what can be done to fix them.

1. You ate too much carbs

While carbohydrates are our bodies’ source of energy, refined carbs tell a different story. When processed carbohydrates are consumed, this results in an increase in blood sugar levels, which then releases insulin from pancreas. The result is the feeling of exhaustion. So what can you do? You can introduce foods that will combat tiredness or protect your body against it. These include dried bonito broths and okra.

Sleeping in Public
We’ve identified the top reasons why people are always tired and what can be done to fix them. Pictured: A passenger sleeps at Frankfurt Airport during a strike by security personnel Getty Images/Thomas Lohnes

2. You don’t get enough quality sleep

Getting sleep is different from getting quality sleep, the latter being the one that makes you feel refreshed and energized the next day. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says that optimal health means getting seven to eight hours of high-quality slumber per day. This is enough to replenish the energy lost in the body and give it ample time to recover. In addition, having a consistent sleep routine helps.

3. You don’t consume enough calories

Calories are troublesome words for weight watchers, but when you understand their importance to the body, you can better manage your consumption. Eat too few and your metabolism slows down; this is what causes fatigue. The minimum calorie requirement per day for the average human is 1,200 to prevent your metabolism from stalling. As you age, your body will also need more than 1,200 to cope.

4. You’re not properly hydrated or rely too much on energy drinks

Energy drinks provide a boost for a short time, but if you consume them too often, they can cause your body to eventually crash. Typical energy beverages contain sugar, caffeine, amino acids, herbs, and B vitamins. Rebound fatigue begins when the sugar and caffeine effects fade — and you end up feeling more tired than ever. To fix this, you can start by slowly cutting back and limiting your coffee consumption. Often, drinking plenty of water already does the trick.

5. Anemia

Anemia is a lack of hemoglobin in the blood or a low red blood cell count. Because the blood is what is responsible for transporting oxygen to the different parts of the body, you will certainly feel the ill effects when it is low functioning. The same can be said about iron deficiency. A simple blood test will help determine if you do have anemia and it’s best to consult your doctor about it as it’s not always about a low iron content in the blood.

Underlying conditions related to constant tiredness and fatigue can also involve hypothyroidism, depression, heart disease, sleep apnea, diabetes and hepatitis. It’s best to consult with your physician to explore all options for treatment.