Why am I Tired All the Time? Sleepy, Irritated, and Unfocused

Why am I tired all the time sleepy and irritated

Why am I Tired All the Time? Sleepy? Irritated?

When we go without sleep, it is difficult to function. Sleep rests our bodies and helps our minds reset. So, when you experience sleep deprivation, many things can happen.  For example, it can be difficult to focus, suffer from extreme fatigue, and possibly irritation. It is so frustrating when you lack the ability to do the simplest tasks, which increases agitation for the smallest problems.

Too Tired to do anything

Have you ever tried to focus on a report and glean any information from it when you are tired? Multitasking is completely out of reach and you are thinking in half thoughts. And even though we try it, even gallons of coffee are not going to fix it.  In fact, coffee may be part of the issue. More on that later.

The trouble is it is not just being sleepy and irritated.

Lack of sleep impacts your health

Excessive sleepiness may have significant impacts on health. According to VeryWellhealth, sleep deprivation can cause things from hormone changes, weight gain, and other major health problems.

Sleep apnea or sleep disorders can increase your risk for hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, infertility, suppressed immune response, heart attack, heart failure, diabetes, stroke, brain damage and sudden death. Quality of life is considerably compromised by lack of sleep or poor sleep.

Serious Consequences of being tired all the time

Excessive sleepiness can have serious consequences.  You could fall asleep at a red light or while driving. It can cause mood problems such as irritability, anxiety, lack of motivation and depression. Lack of concentration and forgetfulness.

Sleep deprivation can cause longer reaction times, poor decisions, and impulsive overeating.  Those effects can then affect your relationships, your job, and ultimately your life.

The first step in correcting this is to find out what exactly is causing the lack of sleep. Is it due to stress? Do you have a poor sleep schedule? Trouble falling asleep. Or is it a sleep disorder?

What Causes Sleepiness?

There are many things that cause daytime sleepiness. These factors can be anywhere from common stress to a sleep disorder. If you do not know what is causing your sleepiness, it’s time to find out.

This is not a way for self-diagnosis, it is just to encourage you in the right direction. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor.


Drinking more coffee to stay awake is something most of us have done at one time or another.  As WebMD says, “Some try to cope with excessive sleepiness through caffeine or stimulants.” People consume caffeine late in the day, responding to sleepiness. Unfortunately, they are actually causing secondary insomnia related to caffeine.

Stress and anxiety

We all deal with stress daily, from work, school, home, traffic, or family. Stress is the enemy of sleep and relaxation. Breathing exercises to calm your breathing and allowing yourself to relax the brain can help.

If the stress and anxiety persist, contact a professional for help. There is no shame in asking for help with psychological troubles.

Bad Sleep Schedule

Gamers stay up to improve their ranking, students think that sleep should come after death. And let’s not forget the workaholics that keep going well into the night. These bad sleep habits become detrimental to your health.

Other causes of sleepiness

  • Not knowing how much sleep your body needs.
  • Choosing not to sleep enough because of work, obligations, etc.
  • Sleeping in a poor sleep environment that is not conducive to good sleep
  • Poor bedtime routine
  • Drinking or eating right before bed

Ways to help you go to sleep

Something you can do to help is put away the screens, the work, the textbooks, and just relax your brain. Reading a book of choice or listening to an audible is a great way to get into this mode.

  • Don’t eat or work out right before bed
  • Put down the screens an hour before bed
  • Make sure your bedroom is cool and dark
  • Get on a regular sleep schedule
  • Practice yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to reduce stress
  • Don’t look at your clock and obsess about not falling asleep
  • Listen to relaxing music
  • Get comfortable – mattress, pillow, sheets
  • Try aromatherapy
  • Visualize things that make you happy

Red Flags for being Tired all the time.

If you experience these symptoms, they are potential red flags and you should seek medical help.

  • Light fragmented sleep with frequent waking up and not feeling refreshed after sleep.
  • Disturbed breathing during sleep including snoring, gasping, choking, and witnessed pauses in breathing.
  • Other symptoms of sleep apnea include, frequent urinating during the night, teeth grinding, morning headaches, heartburn at night, heart palpitations.
  • Vivid hallucinations while falling asleep or waking up
  • Recurring sleep paralysis or the inability to move with waking or falling asleep.
  • Sudden temporary muscle weakness in response to an emotion. For example, knees buckling when laughing.
  • Uncomfortable feelings in the legs when lying down that are relieved by movement
  • Sleepwalking, sleep talking, and dream enactments like hitting, kicking, or jerky movement of the body.


Sleep Disorders when you are tired all the time

Unfortunately, the reasons for your sleepiness may not be that simple. It could be a sleep disorder, such as insomnia, sleep apnea, or narcolepsy.

The first step in treatment is getting a sleep study. At Colorado ENT, we can determine if you have a sleeping disorder. And from there we will discuss your treatment options.

Sleep Apnea

A condition where you stop breathing while asleep. The person experiencing sleep apnea doesn’t usually know they have it, but witnesses observe pauses followed by a loud snort or gasping for air.

Each of these pauses can shift you into lighter stages of sleep. You may wake up and not even remember it. This leads to poor sleep quality and extreme daytime sleepiness.

Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome (UARS) is similar to sleep apnea but the symptoms are less pronounced.


This sleep disorder happens when there is a problem with regulating being asleep and awake. Suddenly paralysis may happen when awake or experiences of wakefulness may happen during sleep.

The most common characteristic of Narcolepsy is the loss of muscle tone suddenly during an emotional stimulus like surprise or laughter.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

This condition can make you feel tired or exhausted. It is described as extreme fatigue after exertion, less refreshing sleep, and joint or muscle pain.

Restless Legs Syndrome

This disorder results from uncomfortable sensations in the legs with the urge to move. This is repetitive and disturbs the sleep of the affected person and potentially their bed partner.

Kleine-Levin Syndrome

This is a rare syndrome that affects young adults and causes recurrent episodes of excessive sleepiness. This can last for days, weeks, or months at a time. It often interferes with school, work, and daily functions. This may be associated with hallucinations, hypersexual or compulsive behaviors.

Circadian Rhythm Disorders

Circadian Rhythm is your body’s natural clock. It helps you to coordinate your activities to the timing of light and dark. If the timing gets off, you may become sleepy at inappropriate times.

Are you struggling with being tired all the time? We can help.

If you are struggling with persistent sleepiness, consider an evaluation from our physicians to discover what underlying causes are causing your sleepiness. Then treatment can happen, and a good night’s sleep won’t be so elusive. What would it be like to feel rested again?

Colorado ENT & Allergy is the regional leader in Colorado Springs for ear, nose, throat, and allergy care, providing a full range of the highest-quality, patient-centered services. Please Contact Us Today for a Consultation. We’ll be happy to answer all your questions.

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