Why am I so tired all the time?
November 6, 2008 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Why am I so tired all the time?

On weeknights, I go to bed between 10:30 and 11:30 usually. I attempt to get up for work at 6:45. I somehow always manage to get up 15 minutes late, too. It's honestly painful in the mornings to wake up when my alarm goes off. I don't remember it being this bad in high school.

I then do not eat breakfest. At work, I'm always exhausted. I'm always 90% falling asleep in meetings. Even after lunch, I'm tired but it's not like I really do anything physical at work. I sit behind a desk or in meetings all day. This tiredness just makes me feel like shit all day and I hate it.

Why can't I be the person going to bed at midnight, getting up at 6:30 and having energy all day? Is that easily attainable? I hate that I feel close to falling asleep all day. The older people don't have this problem, why do I? I'm 23 for God's sake.

Is it my eating habits? Is it that I haven't worked out in a while?
posted by decrescendo to Health & Fitness (52 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
 
I felt the same way when I started working an office job. A half hour in the gym every day made a huge difference. Oddly enough, so did getting away from soda, candy, and other "empty" calories and eating more healthy.
posted by indyz at 3:29 PM on November 6, 2008


Ditto the workout. Eat some protein in the morning, I love eggs (protein + fat) for a filling energy providing meal. If lunch tends to be a large meal, watch your food intake during the day, ease back on carbs and sugars so your blood sugar level doesn't spike and fall. When you start exercising regularly you'll be able to eat a wide variety of food and not feel the impact.
posted by Science! at 3:32 PM on November 6, 2008


I also had to go to the bathroom 4 times today. I have no idea what's wrong with me but my stomach just rejects everything it seems. It sucks.

I'm not eating breakfast. I'm eating Chipotle/Subway/etc for lunch. Not usually McDonalds or anything. And then dinner is pasta a lot.
posted by decrescendo at 3:36 PM on November 6, 2008


Have you been to a doctor? You seem to describe someone who is unwell.
posted by xmutex at 3:38 PM on November 6, 2008


Have you been to a doctor? You seem to describe someone who is unwell.

I should. I just moved to DC. I ride the metro now. Maybe I'm getting kicked in the face by all those metro germs? I have no idea.
posted by decrescendo at 3:40 PM on November 6, 2008


you need to work out. the days i go to the gym i definitely feel more energized.
posted by violetk at 3:42 PM on November 6, 2008


It's probably a good idea to see a doctor. Blood tests might show something easily correctable like a nutritional deficiency, thyroid situation, etc. Also, your stomach doesn't sound great -- maybe a food allergy?

Do you snore? Maybe it's sleep apnea. Good luck. It sucks to be tired.
posted by defreckled at 3:44 PM on November 6, 2008


Some people can get by on 7 hours of sleep a night. Some people cannot. It sounds to me as though you are one of the people who cannot. Sorry, that's just the luck of the draw. Try going to bed at 10 consistently every night for a few weeks. See if you feel any better.
posted by decathecting at 3:45 PM on November 6, 2008


It's probably a good idea to see a doctor. Blood tests might show something easily correctable like a nutritional deficiency, thyroid situation, etc. Also, your stomach doesn't sound great -- maybe a food allergy?

Yeah maybe. I had a blood sugar spiking when I first moved to college. I was throwing up at random parts of the day for no reason. But this doesn't seem like that at all. That was going from living at home to eating absolute garbage all the time.
posted by decrescendo at 3:47 PM on November 6, 2008


Checklist for tiredness:

1) Extra hour of sleep? (Some folks just need more)
2) Right diet?
3) Enough exercise?
4) Am I depressed? (Low grade depression often feels like constant 'bleh, must sleep!')
5) Am I getting -good- sleep? (Comfy bed, okay breathing. Check for sleep apnea, allergies and snoring bed partners who kick and steal pillows)
6) What does my doctor say? (Immune system, thyroid, etc...)
7) Am I abusing caffeine? (In the long run, those "Bolt" sodas and Starbucks runs will leave you strung out and more tired.)
8) Am I living in chaos? (Crazy busy or drama filled environments will sap your energy)
9) Do I hate my job with unusual passion? (Sometimes that extra 15min gluing you to the bed is your body trying to get you fired for your mental health. Are you being harassed, abused or otherwise have a reason to not want to get out of bed?)
10) Am I on a completely different weekend schedule? (If you’re up until 2AM on Friday night, your body may just be trying to establish a regular cycle)
posted by Phalene at 3:48 PM on November 6, 2008 [24 favorites]


you are probably not getting enough sleep, and you are not eating a good diet. you need more fruits and vegetables, and probably better, if not less, fat (olive oil and nuts vs. mcdonald's and pizza).
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:50 PM on November 6, 2008


Also: when my sleep needs are not being met, my digestive system acts like I have a mild stomach bug. If the whole 'Yuck' food thing is recent, it might be that as well.
posted by Phalene at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


You are not getting enough sleep, skipping breakfast so that your body has no real calories to start pumpin' up the energy production, eating a lunch loaded with carbohydrates and fat to kick in the post-lunch doldrums, and you wonder why you're sleepy all the time :)

I used to have the same problems as you do when I started an office job, and getting into a good daily routine has really helped me be at least awake all day, if not energized.

1) Plan and maintain at least 8 hours of sleep every night. For me that means getting into bed by 10:30 (not "starting to go to bed - I am in bed with the light off by 10:30) and wake up at 6:30.
2) Eat at least a 200 calorie breakfast with calcium, protein, and fiber (I like yogurt and bran flakes cereal with a bit of beef jerkey, or peanut butter on toast with a glass of milk).
3) I work out for at least 20 minutes every morning, but you can do it after work, too.
4) Really, the biggest difference was when I started packing my own lunch, instead of eating Chipotle/Subway/burgers all the time. I like to eat a sandwich and some pretzels or just leftovers from the night before. It's got a good balance of protein without a lot of fat and complex carbohydrates.
5) Yeah, you could be sick.

Why can't I be the person going to bed at midnight, getting up at 6:30 and having energy all day?

23 is still young! As you get older you will probably need less sleep, but honestly I don't know anyone who is alert after only 6.5 hours of sleep every day.
posted by muddgirl at 3:52 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


1) Extra hour of sleep? Maybe
2) Right diet? I need to eat better
3) Enough exercise? I need to exercise. I'm not overweight by any means. I'm actually underweight.
4) Am I depressed? Definitely not. Loving life.
5) Am I getting -good- sleep? I had the same bed when I lived down in MD. Never felt like this. But I've honestly felt shittier since I moved a month ago.
6) What does my doctor say? Need to check.
7) Am I abusing caffeine? Had to resort to a Rockstar Energy Drink today for the first time in 4 months. Was gonna fall off my chair in a meeting after falling asleep.
8) Am I living in chaos? Nah.
9) Do I hate my job with unusual passion? Nope. I like my new job.
10) Am I on a completely different weekend schedule? I do go out drinking on the weekends and go to bed at 3 AM or something. I've done this type of thing for 4 years though and it never did anything to my weekdays before.
posted by decrescendo at 3:54 PM on November 6, 2008


I seriously have to go to the bathroom after every meal. It's not like that usual type of thing. It's that "oh God I need to find a bathroom because my stomach is torn up" type of thing. I'm up to 5 times today.
posted by decrescendo at 3:57 PM on November 6, 2008


Not to jump the gun here, but maybe you should rethink your food choices? You've just described exactly how I've felt for most of graduate school, up until fairly recently, when I've really tried to be conscientious about eating whole grains, cutting out sugar, and replacing meat with vegetables as often as I can.

This is hard to do if you don't like cooking on your own, but it's made a huge difference for me. I have friends who are really big on yeast and fermentation - I can't really speak to this, other than to say that I really like pickles. And beets, and leafy greens, which are my go-to foods when I'm feeling crabby and tired. In general, the closer you can get to a full vegetarian / macrobiotic diet, the better you'll feel.

See this post for good breakfast options.

Spoken as someone who is categorically bad at getting off my ass and working out. But I hear that works too.
posted by puckish at 4:00 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well I'm twice your age, but I can offer a bit advice. EAT! Seriously, you need something for breakfast. That whole addage about the most important meal, yadda yadda yadda ... totally true. The reason (well one reason anyway) you get tired after lunch (probably your first meal of the day) is that your body just wants to concentrate on digesting and is telling you to take a nap so it can recharge.

Eat breakfast. Eat lunch. Go for brief walks during the day - even for just 5-10 minutes. Exercise, perhaps after work if you can manage it, and eat light for dinner. Avoid alcohol at least an hour or so before going to bed. Try and go to bed earlier if you can. If you wake up earlier, maybe that's good. You have time to make breakfast and even lunch ahead of time.

And based on your last comment, I would definately suggest visiting a physician.
posted by elendil71 at 4:02 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


You've re-emphasized how often you're going to the bathroom (and I hate to ask this, but it's relevant--is it diarrhea or a normal BM?), but I'm still not sure it's related. It could be irritable bowel, which might flare up if you're not sleeping right. It could also be a host of other things. Really, go to a doctor about the stomach issues.

As for the sleep issues, do you snore? It could be sleep apnea--the sleep you do get wouldn't be restful, then. You might also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder; do you feel better rested when you get the same amount of sleep but later in the night/waking up later?

I do think it sounds like you're not getting enough sleep generally. Up to 10 hours a day is considered normal for an adult. While some people in their early twenties can be functional on six, I don't know many. I, for one, really need nine hours of sleep to feel adequately rested. You also need to eat breakfast, something, but preferably a balanced and nutritious meal. I don't know anyone who feels present, much less alert, on sixish hours of sleep and an empty stomach. Plus, you're totally disrupting your sleep schedule on the weekends by staying out late and drinking. You really can't live like a college student forever--it takes a toll on your body, especially when forced into a lifestyle when you have to be up early regularly (which I bet you weren't during college--just guessin').

But yeah, you really need to go to a doctor about all of this. It also could be mono.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:16 PM on November 6, 2008


No. I don't snore. I know that for a fact. And I always sleep through the night.

But yeah I guess that combo of 7 hours of sleep and no food in the morning doesn't help.
posted by decrescendo at 4:18 PM on November 6, 2008


You might also have a circadian rhythm sleep disorder; do you feel better rested when you get the same amount of sleep but later in the night/waking up later?

I actually do. Getting up early sucks more than getting the same amount of sleep and waking up at 8 as opposed to 7.
posted by decrescendo at 4:18 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]



Why can't I be the person going to bed at midnight, getting up at 6:30 and having energy all day? Is that easily attainable?


For a 23 year old, no, it's not. There's a little chart here that discusses normal sleep times.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:20 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


You've re-emphasized how often you're going to the bathroom (and I hate to ask this, but it's relevant--is it diarrhea or a normal BM?), but I'm still not sure it's related. It could be irritable bowel, which might flare up if you're not sleeping right. It could also be a host of other things. Really, go to a doctor about the stomach issues.

It's diarrhea-ish most of the time. Definitely not normal.
posted by decrescendo at 4:20 PM on November 6, 2008


On weekends, how long do you sleep in? See how long it takes you to get rested (if ever) then.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:24 PM on November 6, 2008


Er...that might help you determine how much sleep you DO need to feel rested.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:25 PM on November 6, 2008



On weekends, how long do you sleep in? See how long it takes you to get rested (if ever) then.


Maybe ten at the latest? I definitely do not sleep in on the weekends as much as I used to in college.
posted by decrescendo at 4:26 PM on November 6, 2008


It's diarrhea-ish most of the time. Definitely not normal.

Definitely see a doctor, then. It might be a food allergy or IBS or lactose intolerance. They can give you tests to figure it out.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:26 PM on November 6, 2008


Are you pregnant?
posted by crazycanuck at 4:27 PM on November 6, 2008


Yeah. Not to be a hardass or anything, but I don't think you really get to complain of feeling tired when you're drinking all weekend, getting no exercise, skipping breakfast and eating like crap. Garbage in = garbage out. And you certainly seem to be outputting...

Really, you need to get some exercise - something moderate even, like yoga, just so you're using your body - eat a breakfast that includes real fuel and some fruit, add plenty of vegetables to your pasta, and maybe cut down on the drinking a bit.

The fact is that even if you're not ill, you simply cannot hack the same stuff as you grow older. In college I could drink a six pack of beer and go 24 hours with no sleep easily; at 36, I can't feel my face after two beers, I need 8 - 10 hours of sleep, and when I forget my digestive system yells HELLO, FRUIT IS A FOOD GROUP in no uncertain terms.

Those are all general life stuff though. You need to do that stuff to nurture the body you walk around in as a grown up. But if you're chronically tired, you should see a doctor to eliminate other obvious causes for exhaustion before addressing your diet and exercise issues.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:27 PM on November 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have constant digestive system problems when I'm not regularly taking psylium fiber. Pure psylium fiber in water. You can find it anywhere in the aisle where they keep diarrhea medication, but I would stay away from the stuff that has other junk in it. Makes the time on the throne way way better. In my experience, it fixes both constipation and diarrhea.

Having to go so many times is removing a lot of water and nutrients from your system, so you want to get that fixed.
posted by zhivota at 4:29 PM on November 6, 2008


You're underweight, have digestive issues, lack energy... it could definitely be something that you need a Doctor for, but I would absolutely try a better diet. A healthy breakfast, for starters.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 4:30 PM on November 6, 2008


Yeah. Not to be a hardass or anything, but I don't think you really get to complain of feeling tired when you're drinking all weekend, getting no exercise, skipping breakfast and eating like crap. Garbage in = garbage out. And you certainly seem to be outputting...

Yeah I should have realized that. I suppose I'm just looking for the best way to help this and avoid this happening again. It's really only started happening since I moved a month ago. I don't think I eat differently? I have the same bed. My job is just a little bit more low key than the last one and I'm exposed to metro germs all the time now.
posted by decrescendo at 4:30 PM on November 6, 2008


When you start a new job, even if you like it, it can be exhausting for a while until you get into the groove. Getting used to new expectations, politics, people, and a new schedule. So that could be one thing.

However, if you're having loose stools as often as 5 times a day, there's a better than fair chance that you're dehydrated, which contributes to that draggy feeling. Drink water, and eat bland foods that you prepare yourself. Processed foods contain a bunch of junk that's just going to give you more diarrhea.

If you haven't made an appointment with your doc, do it now. It'll probably be at least a few days until you can get seen, so the sooner you make the call, the sooner you'll have answers.
posted by ImproviseOrDie at 4:35 PM on November 6, 2008


When this happened to me (at the age of 24) it was because repeated strep throat infections had turned my tonsils to hamburger. I had them out. A couple months later I was once again fine with my full-time work / full-time school / full-time partying schedule. I bet you have a low-grade chronic bug of some kind.

My eating habits back then were "whatever I can afford" and it was hit and miss, both before and after the tonsillectomy. I was underweight, very happy, but frustrated about the lethargy.
posted by jet_silver at 4:36 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would try going to bed an hour earlier. Try it out for a week. See how it goes. You know how they say teenagers need the most sleep of all? It's a proven fact. You're still young and I'm betting you need more sleep.

Are you getting enough liquid? Drink one (or two) caffeinated beverage in the morning and drink nothing but water throughout the day. Sometimes when we are dehydrated there is a feeling of sluggishness.

Also, try to get some heart pumping exercise daily. Walk the stairs in the morning, or during your lunch hour. Walk or bike to work, or join a gym.

Have some protein in the morning. An egg or two, a little bit of leftover chicken breast, an apple with a smear of peanut butter, etc. Avoid anything heavy and avoid simple carbs, since you'll only crash later. Protein in the morning will give you more energy.

It probably wouldn't hurt to take a multi-vitamin.

I seriously have to go to the bathroom after every meal.

When I am sleep-deprived I always have a queasy stomach. It's not from a hangover. If I get less than six hours, my stomach is in knots and I generally feel like hell. I'm not saying this is your problem (besides, you're getting 7+hours) but see how you feel when you get 9 hours.

Good luck.
posted by Fairchild at 4:40 PM on November 6, 2008


dude,

your shit sucks b/c your diet sucks. You're describing me like, 6 months ago.

Fix your diet first.

Eat breakfast. Seriously. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day- why the heck would you skip it?

honestly, by your tone, it sounds like you being a bit stubborn about this, but you're going to have to experiment. You need to get some exercise. Try doing some pushups and situps when you get out of bed.

AND, you need to get more sleep. In college getting by on 4 hours of sleep was okay b/c we'd stack it with 8 hours the next day and 12 hours on the weekends. If your body is chronically underslept, it's going to be really unhappy all the time.

Seriously try it. Getting more sleep would be the obvious solution, but you don't want to seem to do that, so try changing your diet.

1) Eat breakfast
2) If you're going to eat subway and chipotle, eat 1/2 at noon time and 1/2 at 4 pm.
3) Have a light dinner. skip the pasta.

Whatever you do, your body needs to recalibrate. Give yourself a week or two for your body to adjust or before you say "shit this isn't working, I need to try something else".

For me, I basically spent a month living like a hermit trying to get my shit together. Now I average about 7 hours a night, and can get by with 5 1/2, and I just catch up with 8 on the weekends.

BUT I work out 3 hours a day and I eat really healthy. I can't even remember the last time I had diarrhea. I didn't even realize that until now, but I think it's awesome that my poops have been pretty awesome.

Stop being stubborn and listen to your elders!
posted by unexpected at 4:40 PM on November 6, 2008


Thanks for all your help, everyone. I really appreciate it.
posted by decrescendo at 4:43 PM on November 6, 2008


I suggest you make sure you are drinking enough water. Plus if you are pooping that much my guess is that you are potassium low-get some orange juice or bananas in your system.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:50 PM on November 6, 2008


IANAD, but: It's diarrhea-ish most of the time. Definitely not normal?

And: I'm up to 5 times today.

Go to the doctor. You may have inflammatory bowel disease. Your symptoms sound like mine prior to being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis.

See your doctor. You will probably be forwarded to a specialist.
posted by beachhead2 at 4:55 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm. This doesn't sound like a bad food situation if you have diarrhea every day despite what you eat. I'm sure you probably ate much worse in college at times(as did most of us) and still felt fine. I'd check with a doctor. It could be a new allergy or your thyroid my be shot.

You said that your blood sugar used to spike? Do you feel worse when you eat things with sugar in them now adays? Being underweight, you're probably not susceptible to diabetes at your age, but it still might be a good idea to figure out when you feel the worst.

If it's a new place you're living at, there might be something in the house/apartment that's affecting you. Is there a lot of mold where you live? Was your place previous occupied by owners who had pets? Is there a roach infestation?
Scrub down your apartment, from top to bottom and vacuum/clean the floors thoroughly. Be sure to use soap or something anti-bacterial. Does it make you feel any better health-wise?
posted by nikkorizz at 5:20 PM on November 6, 2008


Sounds like you eat a lot of carbs. Carbs can be hard to digest, leading to, um, bathroom issues. They also cause a spike and fall in blood sugar, resulting in that tired feeling after you eat.

Try ditching the sugar and flour and upping your protein intake - especially first thing in the morning.

The bathroom issues could also be a food intolerance - I've posted many times before about fructose intolerance, which goes undiagnosed most of the time. I have this condition. Before my diagnosis. I also had pretty similar symptoms to what you are describing.
posted by chez shoes at 5:26 PM on November 6, 2008


Yeah, yeah, improve your diet, improve your sleep hygiene, blah blah.

But go to a doctor. The fact that you have digestive issues and you're underweight worries me that something bigger is going on here.

And yeah, maybe cut the drinking down and see if that helps. My partner drank a LOT from 18 on. It didn't start to hit him until he was about 27. All of a sudden alcohol made him feel like shit, he started getting hangovers when he never had before. Add that to the stress of a move and a new job, and you might have (part of) your answer.
posted by sondrialiac at 5:37 PM on November 6, 2008


Along with what everyone else said, try taking some iron. It takes a bit for it to kick in, so give it 2-3 weeks.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:44 PM on November 6, 2008


You mentioned that you just moved. Did you recently buy a new bed?

A couple of years ago, I moved to a new city and bought a new bed. I kept waking up unexplainably exhausted and felt sore all over. I got nosebleeds, terrible menstrual cramps and irritable bowels. Every morning when I woke up I had to rush to the bathroom.

Finally, I heard about how many toxic chemicals are added to new mattresses to make them flame retardant. New mattresses are the worst and off-gas these chemicals. We bought an all-natural latex mattress and my aches and bowel problems went away almost immediately.

The only other thing I can think of is that it might be allergies. DC has a wide variety of trees and plants. That can make you feel really run down. And if you are like me, I'm not a sneezer so it's not always apparent when I'm having allergy problems.
posted by i_love_squirrels at 6:58 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't believe coffee hasn't been mentioned in this thread yet. Guessing that you're compensating for the fatigue by drinking it? Possibly way more than just a cup in the morning? I ask because of this:

I seriously have to go to the bathroom after every meal. It's not like that usual type of thing. It's that "oh God I need to find a bathroom because my stomach is torn up" type of thing. I'm up to 5 times today.

I was having somewhat similar experience and stopped drinking coffee about a month ago. Now I'm cured. Coffee today is not the Maxwell House of yesteryear. The stuff is strong, and you're body may reacting to the caffeine.

Stop the coffee. Start drinking water (a lot). Do this for two days and you may see results.
posted by quadog at 7:22 PM on November 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


When I was in high school, I went to see a doctor for similar reasons. They said I had low blood sugar and that this was probably a major contributor to my energy problems. At the time, I often skipped breakfast (or ate something sugary) and I drank ridiculous amounts of caffeinated soda. I didn't cut the soda out completely (such habits are hard to break, even without mildly addictive chemicals involved), but I did start drinking lots of water and occasionally drinking apple juice instead of soda. The effect was very dramatic. Later, when I started making a point of eating a good breakfast, the problem pretty much disappeared. Even now, I've noticed that I have more energy if I get breakfast in the morning (especially if it has a lot of protein).

Of course, you could have any number of other problems as well, but you might as well try out some small diet changes.

Whatever decision(s) you make, I would recommend making the changes one at a time for at least a week or two, so that you can see if it turns out to be one particular thing. (Except for cutting out caffeine. You'll probably have to wait at least a month to tell if that helps.)
posted by ErWenn at 7:43 PM on November 6, 2008


Are you in the sun 15 minutes a day? You may be deficient in Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency can kick your ass and can lead do bad things like cancer if left for too long. Maybe get a blood test?
posted by specialfriend at 8:02 PM on November 6, 2008


Seriously. You said "maybe" to needing 6 1/2 hours of sleep.

Why make this a maybe? Why not get 8 hours for the next week or so. And if 8 hours is an average, then how about for a week or two getting 9 and 1/2 hours of sleep?

Generally people are sleep deprived. You're suffering from classic sleep deprivation effects. Why not (for at least the next 7+ days) get *more* than enough sleep?
posted by filmgeek at 10:10 PM on November 6, 2008


You sound like you're living like you're still in college.

It really sucks to face growing up, but part of being an adult is making healthy food choices, exercising regularly, and getting more sleep than we needed in our teens and early twenties. I remember feeling very old because I now WANTED to be in bed before midnight, but I had to face the fact that my body is changing and I need to listen to it.

Nthing what everyone else has said. Accept the fact that you need more sleep than you want to need. Go to bed earlier. Eat breakfast when you wake up. Eat more healthfully at lunch and dinner. Work out regularly, get sunshine and go see a doctor.

Re your diet, you might want to start getting rid of very processed foods (which includes Chipotle and Subway). Excess sodium and preservatives causes my body to do what you're describing. Eating a homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich doesn't give me stomachaches, a six inch veggie sub from Subway does. Five minutes in the morning to save me pain and discomfort at work is totally worth it.
posted by purplecurlygirl at 6:40 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


It took me months to get used to working full time in an office. All of the advice above may help but I don't think there is necessarily wrong with you. Don't judge yourself by other peoples standards of 6.5 hours of sleep a night. Listen to yourslef. Maybe you need more sleep, maybe you need naps.

And all the people telling you to eat breakfast are right, but if you are still half asleep in the morning, I totally understand the not wanting to eat. When I'm too tired, I can't eat in the morning. So don't stress about it, when you get less tired, it will be easier to eat.

You also don't mention how you get to work. I can't wake up if I take public transit. I need to walk or bike to fully wake up. So at times I wait until after I bike or walk to work to eat (up to an hour) I don't think this is unhealthy and feels right.
posted by Gor-ella at 7:51 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


When you start a new job, even if you like it, it can be exhausting for a while until you get into the groove. Getting used to new expectations, politics, people, and a new schedule. So that could be one thing.

It took me months to get used to working full time in an office. All of the advice above may help but I don't think there is necessarily wrong with you. Don't judge yourself by other peoples standards of 6.5 hours of sleep a night. Listen to yourslef. Maybe you need more sleep, maybe you need naps.

This. Clearly you should see a doctor for the rest of the stuff, but it took me forever to get used to the schedule of an office job. Not only the regular waking hours thing, but also the fact that I felt the need to be "on" for 8 hours straight. Now that I've been here a little longer, I give my brain much-needed metafilter & reddit breaks every once in a while.

Also, with the days getting shorter now it's especially a struggle to keep to that kind of set schedule where I wake up in darkness / overcastness & leave work in almost complete darkness.
posted by polexa at 8:38 AM on November 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


You are not taking care of yourself and you know you're not taking care of yourself. I can tell from your own responses that you know what you have to do.

It is unrealistic to expect to feel great on 6 and a half hours of sleep a night. Some people need 8-9 hours of sleep a night. And if you are eating processed crap, not exercising, not going to the doctor regularly, and just not making your health a priority, you are just going to feel like shit all the time.

Go to the doctor, make your own food, and get some exercise. And give yourself at least 9 hours between bedtime and when you have to wake up, 8 hours for sleep, and an extra hour to accommodate falling asleep and any sleep-interruptions.
posted by tastybrains at 5:10 PM on November 7, 2008


Do yourself a favor, and try eating really well for 1 week. Low-fat, low-salt, more veg, more fiber, moderate protein, whole grains, more fruit. Limit drinking to a couple of drinks on the weekend. For 1 week, go to bed a lot earlier, at least 1.5 - 2 hours earlier. And get at least 1/2 hour of exercise a day. Spend at least 20 min a day outdoors, getting some sun and some fresh air. Take a multivitamin.

You can stick the changes because it's just a week. At the end of the week, you should feel better, and you'll have motivation to keep eating well, sleeping enough, and getting exercise. If you don't feel better, go see a doctor.
posted by theora55 at 9:50 AM on November 10, 2008


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