Tired and Sluggish

by Matt Elphick

Are you constantly tired and sluggish although you slept enough? Of course, some kind of deficiency or disease might be making you feel like this, but all too often there are other reasons why you feel so lethargic. If you keep asking yourself “Why am I so tired?”, then check out the common causes of fatigue below.


Often, we only focus on how long we sleep. You should try to get somewhere between seven and eight hours a night. This is very important because people who are continually sleep deprived tend to put on weight. 

However, we frequently forget that our sleep rhythm also plays a crucial role. This means that if you constantly go to bed at different times (for example, because of shift-work), this can have a negative impact on your health (just like sleeping too little).


Are there days when you forget to eat because there is too much to do? Eating too little leaves you feeling weak. But the same thing goes for eating too much, choosing unhealthy foods, or following the “wrong” diet. If we consume a lot of simple carbohydrates (like white bread, sodas, and sweets), this can rob us of energy. Why? These foods provide the body with “empty” calories. Your blood sugar levels rise rapidly for a short time because the pancreas is pumping out insulin like crazy. But soon they will fall as fast as they rose and this makes you sluggish. Fatty foods or meals place great demands on your body. Therefore, you should try to eat as balanced a diet as possible.


It’s not just simple carbohydrates that rob us of energy. Eating meat can also make us feel tired. This is caused by the amino acid tryptophan contained in meat, which is a precursor to the “happy hormone” serotonin and can make us sleepy. Our digestive system has to work hard to digest meat, which requires additional energy.

Another cause of fatigue could be that you are drinking too much coffee. Yes, it can make you tired! It’s true that coffee initially stimulates the production of adrenaline, but this only lasts a short while, leaving you feeling more tired afterwards than you did before the cup of coffee. A lot doesn’t always mean a lot more energy.

Note: There are some foods (like bananas and legumes) that help you sleep because they contain tryptophan.  If you eat large quantities of these foods during the day, the sleep-inducing protein building block will make you feel sleepy.


Headaches or fatigue – these are just two of the effects of not drinking enough. (And we are not talking about sugary sodas or coffee, but water and unsweetened tea). Did you know our body is made up of more than 50% water? If we drink too little, our metabolism slows down and our body shifts into low gear. So, it is no surprise that we feel dead tired.


If we want more energy, we have to produce it ourselves. Exercise gets the heart pumping, boosts the metabolism, and increases circulation. People who get too little exercise feel sluggish.

A consistent workout routine can also help you sleep better. Studies show that regular exercise can improve the quality of your sleep. So, get moving! Park your car farther away, take the stairs instead of the lift, go for a walk on your next lunch break and add some resistance training to your exercise regime.


An email here, a call there, a notification on your mobile… we are practically available all the time. And that is incredibly stressful! People have never been inundated with so many stimuli as they are today. This can really wear our body down.

The reason:

Our brain has to constantly decide which sensory impressions are important and which can be ignored. Without this essential mechanism, we would drown in a giant flood of information. The problem is the more stimuli the brain has to process, the harder it has to work.

Thus, the next time you are feeling lifeless or a bit dull, try taking a break from the internet, especially social media which can be very draining.  Sometimes, it helps to schedule regular email times and turn your mobile off in the evening.

Another great way to relieve stress is to get more exercise. Many people are not aware of how regular exercise can benefit their mental health.  Can you find a way to fit 30 minutes of exercise in every day? Even if it’s just two 15-sessions, you will feel more energized, relaxed and probably end up improving the quality of your sleep as well. 

If you’re looking to make a lifestyle change and don’t know where to start, get in touch today to book your free consultation.  Our Team of professionals are here to help.

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  • Matt and Lorenza

    About Steel extreme

    Offering the best personal trainer and nutrition advice in Malta, Steel Extreme Fitness offers you private gym membership – where you will feel right at home.

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