Tiredness (Fatigue) - Causes

Authored by Dr Mary Harding, 03 May 2017

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The Information Standard

Reviewed by:
Dr Helen Huins, 03 May 2017

What are the causes of tiredness?

Physical causes of tiredness

Tiredness may be due to a wide range of physical illnesses. Examples include:

Most physical causes of tiredness will cause other symptoms. Some causes of tiredness (such as anaemia and hypothyroidism) may not cause any other symptoms apart from tiredness.

Psychological causes of tiredness

Psychological tiredness is much more common than tiredness caused by a physical problem. Both anxiety and depression can make you feel very tired. Eating disorders can make you feel tired, particularly if you are underweight or overweight. Any cause of a sleep problem will also cause tiredness during the day.

Stress is a common cause of tiredness, either because it interferes with sleep, or because of the effect of having a worry on your mind all the time.

Other possible causes include:

Lifestyle causes of tiredness

Tiredness can be caused by lifestyle. We often try to cram too much into our lives and as they become more and more busy we can get tired. Lifestyle causes of tiredness include:

In many cases no specific cause for tiredness is found.

Further reading and references

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