To paraphrase the Dos Equis guy, I don’t always feel tired, but when I do — no, actually, I do always feel tired. Or, if not always, often enough that it’s my normal.
For the longest time, I hoped that there was something specific (but fixable!) wrong with me, like iron-deficiency anemia or an underactive thyroid. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), blood tests through the years have ruled those things out. We did eventually figure out that one of the medications I was taking in college was the reason I kept falling asleep in class, and changing that helped quite a bit. But I still routinely find myself overwhelmed by the urge to lay my head on a pillow, close my eyes, and let my brain recharge with sleep.
Pregnancy and the early postpartum period made everything much worse, of course. Now, however, I no longer wake unprompted at 5 a.m., expecting either a hungry baby or loud thuds from our ex-neighbors. By the numbers, I’m getting enough sleep at night. Yet I still often find myself unable to think or focus or process information by the end of the day.
And so I run through the list of possible reasons:
- I’m hungry and have low blood sugar.
- I just ate and am in a carbohydrate stupor.
- I worked out today.
- I haven’t worked out much lately.
- I’m depressed.
- My antidepressant makes me drowsy.
- My antidepressant keeps me up at night.
- I didn’t get the chance to take a nap.
- I took a nap, but it wasn’t long enough.
- I took a nap and it was too long.
- I tried to do too many things today.
- I didn’t do anything today.
- I haven’t had any caffeine yet today.
- I had too much caffeine today.
- I’m bored.
- I’m worried.
- I’m being overdramatic… maybe this is normal and everyone feels this way.
Maybe I’ll figure it out someday.