Fatigue and low energy levels are usually swept under the rug as symptoms of work and physical activity.
Hence, many women accept that feeling tired and drained of their energy is the price to pay for having a busy social, personal and professional life.
But there’s no reason why fatigue should be a continuous, daily struggle. More often than not, there’s an underlying issue or unhealthy lifestyle habit behind feeling tired that can be addressed and improved accordingly.
To help you figure out what could be causing your fatigue, we’ll be going through 7 of the main causes of low energy in females, and the different natural ways to improve it.
This guide covers:
- 7 Causes of Low Energy in Females
- Other Natural Ways to Improve your Energy Levels
- FAQs on Low Energy in Females
7 Causes of Low Energy in Females
According to a National Health Interview Survey, women aged 18 to 44 years old are almost twice as likely as men to have low energy levels and feel fatigued.
Here are 7 main reasons why:
#1: Vitamin D Deficiency
Sunshine’s the best medicine, but we don’t get enough of it. Vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition worldwide.
Whether it comes from lack of sunshine, not consuming dairy and fish, or not taking vitamin D supplements, vitamin D deficiency weakens our bone strength and lowers our energy.
And if left untreated for a long time, it can lead to a hormone imbalance that leads to sleeping issues, low libido, and unexplained weight changes.
What you can do about it:
A simple blood test can help you see whether you’re getting the right amount of vitamin D. If not, a supplement can get you the exact amount you need. For most people, 10 milligrams a day is enough.
#2: Iron Deficiency
Each month, throughout their menstrual cycle, women lose around 80ml of blood. And during birth, they can lose between 500ml and 1,000ml of blood. This makes them prone to iron deficiency, which means there’s a low level of red blood cells.
Red blood cells are blood cells responsible for carrying oxygen from our lungs to the rest of our bodies. They make up half of our blood, so you can probably guess why a red blood cell deficiency can cause you to feel drowsy and tired. Other symptoms include headaches, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath, and paleness.
What you can do about it:
You can usually diagnose iron deficiency by taking a complete blood count (CBC) test, which shows your blood’s iron level. From there, you’ll have to take iron supplements, maintain an iron-rich diet, or a combination of both.
#3: Thyroid Problems
Your thyroid gland is about the size of two thumbs held together in the shape of the letter V. Regardless of its small size, the organ is extremely important to your body as it produces the hormones that control your metabolism.
When it’s underactive or overactive, you’ll likely experience fatigue and low energy levels as symptoms.
An underactive thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones, which causes fatigue, muscle weakness, slowed heart rate, and depression. An overactive thyroid does the opposite: produces too many thyroid hormones. This causes nervousness and difficulty sleeping, which wears you out and leads to persistently low energy levels and fatigue.
What to do about it:
The only accurate way to figure out if you’re experiencing thyroid issues is by taking a thyroid function test. Treatment options include antithyroid medication, radioactive iodine, hormone pellet therapy, and surgery.
Want to know more about the common signs of a hormone imbalance and what remedies to seek? Head over to our guide on hormone imbalance symptoms.
Women report experiencing depression at much higher rates than men. This is due to several reasons specific to women, such as premenstrual issues, pregnancy, infertility, postpartum depression, and menopause.
One of the most common signs of depression is feeling fatigued, drained of energy, and sluggish. Other symptoms include appetite changes, loss of motivation, feelings of hopelessness, and weight loss or weight gain.
In the short term, stress is detrimental to our productivity.
In the long run, it can be all the more harmful. Extreme levels of stress can lead to anxiety disorder, adrenal fatigue, high blood pressure, heart disease, and other conditions. These can cause excessive worrying, fatigue, trouble sleeping, hyperventilation, and irritability.
What you can do about it:
If you experience regular symptoms of depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor and get a physical exam. In case there’s no physical cause (such as menopause or pregnancy) to your issue, then consider talking to a psychologist or psychiatrist for a psychological evaluation.
Depending on the cause, you can relieve symptoms with medication, therapy, lifestyle changes, or a combination of the three.
Want to learn more about how anxiety causes adrenal fatigue, and how to address the issue? Check out our guide on adrenal fatigue & anxiety.
#6: Poor Quality Sleep
A good night’s sleep is a cure in itself.
But getting it is easier said than done. When you’re balancing a job, family, friends, housework, and other responsibilities, squeezing in a full 8-hour sleep is sometimes hard.
And even if you do make time to have your 8-hours of sleep, sometimes it doesn’t depend entirely on you. One in four women has some insomnia symptoms. Insomnia affects your ability to concentrate and causes fatigue, lack of energy, slowed thinking, mood changes, and irritability.
What you can do about it:
Decreasing caffeine use, avoiding sugar, sticking to a regular bedtime routine, drinking chamomile tea with honey, putting on soft music, taking natural sleeping supplements, and managing your stress and worries.
If you want to know how to get your hormones and sleep back on track, head on over to our guide on insomnia and hormone balance.
#7: Unhealthy Diet
A saying goes: “One can’t think well, love well, or sleep well if one hasn’t dined well”.
And that couldn’t be more true - the food we consume is our body’s fuel.
If you’re not eating enough or consuming poor nutrition, it will manifest in increased levels of stress, tiredness, and lowered capacity to work. And these are just the short-term effects.
In the long run, unhealthy dieting can increase the risk of developing diabetes, hormone imbalances, depression, heart disease, tooth decay, and other health issues.
To sustain your energy levels, make sure you’re eating nutrient-rich meals that contain protein, fiber, calcium, and potassium. Avoid added sugar, refined grains, and processed foods.
For more information on what foods you can eat to increase and maintain your energy levels, read our guide on a hormone balance diet for 11+ foods that balance hormones.
Other Natural Ways to Improve your Energy Levels
Of course, the above-mentioned solutions are not your only option to ease fatigue and increase your energy levels. Here are some other natural methods through which you can improve your energy levels:
#1: Move More
We know that when you’re feeling tired, the last thing you wanna do is lift weights at the gym or go for a walk.
But, counterintuitive as it may seem, exercising has shown to increase both energy levels and sleep quality. More than 90% of studies draw the same conclusion: people who engage in regular exercising report improved fatigue, in comparison to those who don’t.
Your physical activity doesn’t have to be intense or time-consuming, either.
If you work an office job, consider leaving your desk during lunch break to go for a walk. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Jog or cycle around your neighborhood early in the morning. Deep clean your house. The options are countless!
#2: Restrict Your Naps
As good afternoon naps can feel, a healthy adult doesn’t need to nap more than 10 to 20 minutes a day. Anything longer and more frequent can interfere with your nighttime sleep and leave you less energetic the following day.
#3: Try A Little Pick Me Up: All-Natural Energy Booster
A Little Pick Me Up does exactly what its name suggests: picks up your energy for when you need a boost throughout the day. The supplement is a collection of herbs that provide a quick boost of clean energy in a caffeine-free formula. More specifically, it supports you by:
- Supplying you with pure, happy energy
- Powering up your brain and increasing your focus
- Calming down nerves, anxiety, and distractions so that you feel content and energized
#1. What Diseases Cause Low Energy?
Common diseases/conditions that cause low energy levels and fatigue include:
- Anxiety disorders
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Sleep apnea
- Thyroid issues
#2. How Can I Increase My Energy?
For starters, get more sleep. It’s recommended that you sleep around 7 hours per night. Keep a diet filled with nutritious food and stay hydrated by drinking a lot of water and other hormone-balancing drinks. Limit your alcohol and smoking, don’t drink coffee after 2 pm, and engage in regular exercising.
#3. Why Am I Always Sleepy Even Though I Get Enough Sleep?
A good night’s sleep is supposed to leave you feeling refreshed and full of energy. But sometimes, regardless of having slept throughout a full 8-hour cycle, you still feel tired and worn out.
Here are some reasons why:
- Excessive alcohol consumption disrupts your sleep quality
- Coffee affects your sleep rhythms
- Anxiety wakes you up throughout the night and won’t let you fall into a deep sleep
- Dehydration puts you at risk for leg cramps and limb movements during sleep
#4. What Are the Signs of Low Energy in a Person?
Common signs of low energy include:
- Chronic sleepiness or tiredness
- Slower reflexes
- Moodiness, such as irritability
And that’s a wrap!
For a quick recap, here are some of the main points we’ve covered:
- Tiredness and low energy levels are commonly reported issues amongst women.
- The causes vary from conditions such as low iron levels, anxiety, depression, vitamin D deficiency, and thyroid problems, to lifestyle decisions like unhealthy dieting and poor quality sleep.
- For severe symptoms, it’s best to seek medical help and evaluation from your doctor and/or a psychologist.
- You can try out natural remedies and lifestyle changes to increase energy levels, including getting more hours of sleep, decreasing caffeine intake, exercising regularly, and taking all-natural energy boosters such as A Little Pick Me Up.