I Have No Sleep Illnesses So Why Do I Feel Tired During the Day?

Student sleeping in computer lab
Photo: Graphic Stock

In our previous article, we discussed sleep deprivation and its associated symptoms. Now, let’s look at why you feel sleepy during the day if you don’t have sleep deprivation illnesses.

Other circumstances must be evaluated if this happens regularly and does not appear to be due to sleep-deprived illnesses or external situations (e.g., athletic workout, long day at the office, stress, etc.).

How is Your Heart?

Human heart, 3d rendering, medically accurate illustration of the human heart anatomy
 with venous system

Several heart conditions can lead to fatigue and affect energy levels. If your heart weakens, it will try harder to pump the blood. This reduces oxygen to your organs, leaving you tired even after minimal activity. 

If your fatigue is related to your heart, here are some of the common ailments that you may have:

    • Coronary Artery Disease (CAD): Blocked or narrowed arteries restrict blood flow to the heart, hampering this organ’s ability to function normally. This can lead to chest pain (angina) and fatigue, especially during physical exertion.
    • Arrhythmias refer to Irregular rhythms in the heart that can disrupt the normal flow of blood, depriving the body of necessary oxygen and nutrients and subsequently causing fatigue and possibly dizziness.
    • Congestive Heart Failure: Has your doctor ever looked at your ankles during your visit for a check-up? The reason is that he/she is checking to see if they are not swollen, which could be a sign of a heart defect. Congestive heart failure refers to the build-up of fluid in your lungs and lower limbs if your heart is not pumping blood properly, which can lead to shortness of breath and swollen legs. Consequently, this additional strain on your body can exacerbate fatigue.
    • Valvular Heart Disease is different from clogged arteries. It refers to leaky heart valves that can cause blood to flow back into the heart chambers, increasing pressure and leading to fluid build-up and tiredness.
Graph of a heart rate
Heart Rate Vector Design Element. Bigstock

In general, the severity of your fatigue, if it is related to your heart, can vary depending on your specific heart condition and how long the condition has progressed. Some people may experience general tiredness during the day, while others may feel sluggish after minimal activity. The condition can also worsen with exertion, emotional stress, or certain medications.

If you suspect your fatigue is related to a heart condition, it’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and proper management can significantly improve your health and energy levels.

Additionally, lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, regular exercise, adequate sleep, and stress management can help to combat fatigue and improve your overall well-being.

It is important to emphasize that persistent fatigue should not be ignored, especially if accompanied by other symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, or swelling.

Summary: There are constant advances in the study of heart health, but the bottom line is you should always consult a doctor who can help determine the cause and guide you toward appropriate treatment to boost your energy and address any underlying heart concerns.

Excessive Salt Intake and Disrupted Acid-Base Balance

Salt on a set of spoons
Sea salt. Bigstock

Your heart health is related to the food you eat, and salt can be a major culprit. Excessive salt use is often associated with the development of cardiovascular conditions.  

Salt can also disrupt the acid-base equilibrium in the body, which scientists consider one of the reasons behind one’s sluggish disposition.

Processed and junk foods are inherently rich in salt because it enhances and preserves the taste. Most people today rely on these bad food choices to replenish their calorie count. Therefore, it has become common not to feel fresh even after sleeping enough hours.

Cut junk food from your diet and try to decrease the amount of salt in your home-cooked dishes. Cutting down the excessive salt in your diet is a gradual process, but once you succeed, you will feel more energetic and productive throughout the day.

Selenium Deficiency

Selenium is one of the micronutrients a human body needs in trace amounts. A person not eating a balanced diet might face a selenium deficiency. The trace amounts of selenium in the body are part of various physiological functions. An adequate amount of selenium is responsible for the normal functioning of the thyroid. Selenium is also vital for brain and immune functions.

Scientists have found that a selenium deficiency has a direct link with the feeling of exhaustion and cognitive confusion. A person not taking the recommended amount of selenium through their daily diet can develop this problem of feeling sleepy all the time. Seafood, nuts, beans, and eggs are rich in selenium. So ensure they remain part of your regular diet to prevent selenium deficiency. Selenium supplements are also available on the market, but we recommend you fulfill your selenium requirements from natural sources.

Zinc Deficiency and Slower Metabolism  

Zinc is another trace mineral with a more critical physiological role than selenium. It acts as a catalyst in various metabolic reactions so that zinc deficiency can slow down the normal progression of metabolic reactions. A slow metabolic regimen is not just bad for weight management; it also lowers the energy levels of the affected person, resulting in tiredness. The World Health Organization says over one billion people worldwide suffer from zinc deficiency.

Any person with acute zinc deficiency can experience the condition discussed in this article. Meat, dairy products, and legumes are good sources of the recommended zinc intake. However, please don’t go overboard with meat because it can lead to other problems. Similarly, make sure you use dairy products with minimal fat content.

Weight Gain

Sandwich with measuring tape around it

Gaining four pounds might not sound like a big deal. However, scientists have found that gaining this kind of weight can instigate a feeling of undefined exhaustion. If you can’t get rid of the atmosphere of tiredness after completing the recommended sleep amount, check your weight.  

Excessive Sugar and Slowed Down Metabolism

It is primarily believed that sugar intake restores our energy levels. That’s true. However, excessive sugar intake is counterproductive for the body. The surplus sugar stored in the body converts into acid, which lowers the metabolic rate. In normal circumstances, vitamin B1 neutralizes this sugar-driven acid. However, in the case of excessive intake, vitamin B1 can’t neutralize all of it. As a result, the person starts feeling low and drowsy.

Excessive Sugar Can also Affect the Quality of Sleep

Spoon spilling sugar onto a cup
Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

Some recent studies have suggested that excessive sugar in the bloodstream also increases the back-and-forth between REM and deep sleep stages. A sleeping duration with so many underlying disruptions doesn’t ensure quality sleep. Thus, the affected person can feel the lingering feeling of exhaustion even after sleeping for enough hours.

Protein and Amino Acid Deficiency

Protein is one of three essential macronutrients our body needs to perform its regular functions. People eating fewer proteins can eventually face their acute deficiency. In such cases, the homeostatic mechanism directs the body to fulfill its protein needs from muscles (muscle fibers are primarily made of proteins).

This protein redistribution within the body also uses metabolic amino acids. The depletion of amino acids in the metabolic subsystem can slow down its rate and give rise to the feeling of undefined tiredness.

A Cluttered Space and Overworked Brain

Not every undefined instance of tiredness is the function of physiological processes. Researchers at Princeton University have studied that the human brain is wired to sort everything in a particular order in the subconscious. When the brain perceives visual signals from cluttered and untidy spaces, it takes more time to categorize all the information.

As a result, the brain starts feeling tired even when it has not engaged in any cognitive activity.  This unproductive brain activity is also why many feel tired regardless of how much sleep they get.

Regular exercise can also help us combat the feeling of lethargy. Even 20 minutes of daily exercise can have an energizing effect on the body. Scientists also believe that listening to too much music can create physiological and psychological conditions similar to stress, leading to sleepiness and exhaustion for no apparent reason. A healthy diet that takes care of every macro and micronutrient need of the body can help eliminate the undefined feeling of exhaustion.


There could be many reasons why you feel tired. The first thing to do is to see your doctor and have him/her run a thorough workup to see where the problem exists. Standard blood tests can help determine why you are tired. If it is not an illness, the blood tests can determine if you lack nutrients or other factors, such as insufficient sleep habits. There can be many remedies to help you feel more alive and active again, so why wait? Do some homework and get lively again! 

A Brief Guide to a Healthy Heart

Heart with Muscles

From the getgo, stay away from sodium. If you are overweight avoid sugar, specifically bread and soda, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. According to CDC statistics, more than 600,000 people in the US die due to heart-related diseases annually.  

With smart and healthy lifestyle choices, you can take care of your health. Let’s have a look at some of the measures which should be adopted by every individual to preserve the wellbeing of your heart and other elements of your cardiovascular system. 

Addition of Fiber-Based Foods

Many people refer to fiber-rich food when they are suffering from digestive issues. However, a better approach is to make fiber-based foods a part of your daily staple diets. There are two noteworthy benefits of fiber-rich foods.

  • They help in reducing the levels of cholesterol. It’s now a well-established fact that increased levels of cholesterol can lead to multiple cardiovascular issues.
  • Fruits and vegetables rich in fiber make you feel satiated, this means you will not get troubled by cravings every hour and consequently, will be protected from an ill habit of overeating.

heart beating graph
Photo by get4net – yayimages.com

Aside from fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, chickpeas, and lentils are also a good source of dietary fiber. Also, munch on some raspberries and pears and cook some whole wheat paster while you’re at it.

Cutting Down the Consumption of Cholesterol

Cholesterol, an organic lipid molecule, is the main antagonist in heart-related health issues. Therefore, it is imperative to have a strict approach regarding its consumption. Cholesterol is found nearly in every animal-based food item so you have to take care of the consumption of all such dietary products.

From meat to dairy products to poultry and eggs, cholesterol is a constituent of all the meal items prepared from these ingredients. There is a widespread misconception that low-fat and lean cuts of meat are low in cholesterol. This is not the case whatsoever because you can get high levels of cholesterol from foods termed low-fat.

Therefore, it is always necessary to read and search the nutritional value of every animal-based food item before its consumption to keep the trail of cholesterol intake. In a healthy dietary routine, the daily intake of cholesterol must not exceed 300 milligrams.

Be especially wary of red meat, as there are a lot of health issues that can be associated with it.

Include Fewer Fats in Your Diet  

Tree of FruitIn the craze of losing weight, many people go on to refrain entirely from the consumption of fats. This is not a healthy behavior because fat is one of the three basic macronutrients that are needed by the human body.

However, keeping their levels low in your diet and grains differentiating good fats from bad fats is the key to remain heart-healthy.

Unsaturated fats are considered healthy fats while saturated and trans fats are termed bad due to their detrimental effects. There are several natural food items, which contain saturated fats. The inclusion of avocados, peanut butter (natural), salmon, olive oil and nuts in moderate levels can fulfill the healthy fat requirements of the body.

On the other hand, greasy cuts of meat, fat-ridden dairy products, and various processed foods are rich in saturated and trans fats. Keep in mind that trans fats are the most detrimental variant of this macronutrient, particularly for the heart. Try to exclude them completely from your diet. Sometimes they are labeled as hydrogenated oils on food packages. So, carefully read the labels of processed food before buying them.

More Seafood

Salmon Filet Salmon is an excellent choice for your diet routine and if you choose wild salmon, it’s even better.

Adding more fish to your diet on a weekly or semi-weekly basis is a smart move to maintain the health of your heart. On one hand, they provide a good substitute by replacing beef and lamb meat.

Moreover, seafood is full of omega-3 fatty acids. Don’t get confused by the name of this unsaturated fat because it is actually very beneficial for the well-being of the heart and cardiovascular system.

Routine consumption of omega-3 fatty acids helps in lowering the levels of triglycerides in the blood, which consequently decelerates the process of plaque accumulation in the arteries. With this improvement in your cardiovascular system, you are actually reducing the chances of sudden heart attacks. Fish oil supplements also help in maintaining your blood pressure at healthier levels.  

Weight Loss

Woman showing how much fat she lostEven though all the above-discussed measures ultimately help you to lose weight, you can also take a proactive approach to maintain your BMI.

Engrave it in your mind that obesity is a root cause of many critical diseases including heart-related illnesses. By adding more physical activity to your daily schedule and by having healthy food options, you can control your weight. It’s as simple as that.

Reduction of Alcohol Consumption

Happy friends toasting each other with beerAlthough red wine contains antioxidants that help in the detoxification of the body, most alcohol-based beverages are known for their detrimental effects on human health. Apart from the liver, the heart is the second most affected vital organ from excessive drinking.

Too much alcohol in your daily routine leads to hypertension (link alcohol article), it also increases the levels of triglycerides in the bloodstream. Moreover, your daily calorie count can also be disrupted by excessive drinking.

Therefore, try to cut down your alcohol consumption for the sake of your liver and your heart. An average-sized serving is deemed as moderate daily consumption of alcohol.

Smoking: Don’t Reduce, Quit!

Illustration of Cigarette onto of lung with heartbeatHere, we are just stating the obvious that smoking can compromise the health of your heart. Other than the frightening conditions of mouth and lung cancer, smoking can also inflict its detrimental effect on your cardiovascular wellbeing as well. And now with the addition of vaping devices, you are not much better off. 

Regular smoking leads to the construction of blood vessels which in turn makes it difficult for the heart to properly perform its vital function of pumping oxygenated blood to each and every part of the body.  

For the well-being of your heart, the well-being of your mind is equally important. High levels of stress are linked to high blood pressure and increased levels of blood cholesterol. Moreover, stressed individuals try to cope with their condition through unhealthy lifestyle choices, which also leads to negative effects on the heart and cardiovascular system.