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Q: What can I do to feel less tired?

It's normal to feel tired now and then, especially if you've had a late night, are working harder than usual, or are coming down with a cold. If you find yourself feeling tired all the time, or you're having trouble managing work or family responsibilities because of low energy, there might be something else going on, and it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.

Of course, it's important to make sure you're getting enough sleep. How many hours you need depends on your age and body, but most adults need 6 to 9 hours a night. Sleep deprivation is directly linked to a number of health issues, including weight gain, depression, impaired cognitive function, and a weakened immune system.

If you're getting enough sleep and still feeling tired, there are a number of conditions that might be to blame. Fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, diabetes, and even allergies can all cause fatigue. Feeling tired in the morning can also be a sign of sleep apnea, a condition that interrupts your sleep throughout the night, leading you to get a poor-quality sleep and feel less rested. Finally, if you find yourself exhausted after physical activity, especially after exercise that should be easy, like walking upstairs, talk with your doctor—it could be a sign of heart disease or other medical issues.

Linda M. Teter, MD

Family practice

Kihei Wailea Medical Center
221 Pi'ikea Ave., Suite A
Kihei, HI 96753