Why Do I Feel Tired? Causes of Low Energy Levels in Females

By: Women's Care Staff

Work, family, home… if just thinking about all of your responsibilities is enough to make you crave a nap, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 16% of women ages 18-64 report being “very tired” or “exhausted” on most days. Why so fatigued? The causes of low energy levels in females has many possible explanations.

Before we explore some of the most common reasons for exhaustion in women, consider how long it has been since your last well-woman visit. If it has been more than a year and you’re experiencing consistent fatigue, you may want to consider scheduling an exam.

Poor Diet

We all know that a healthy diet is important to good physical and mental health. However, unhealthy eating habits can be some of the causes of low energy levels in females. Junk foods high in processed sugars can cause your blood sugar to soar then quickly crash. This up-and-down leaves you feeling sluggish and tired. In addition, eating too little can also cause a dip in blood sugar. To sustain energy levels, we recommend you skip the junk food and eat smaller, healthy meals throughout the day. Learn more about nutrition to promote healthy lifestyles.

Low energy can also be a sign of dehydration. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies recommends that women consume 91 ounces (just over 11 cups) of fluid through drink and food every day. Also, while you can count caffeinated beverages toward your daily fluid intake, limit the amount you consume. Caffeine can have a detrimental impact on your adrenal glands, worsening possible adrenal fatigue.

Poor sleep habits

Although unsurprising, lack of sleep is another one of the causes of low energy levels. A gender and stress report put out by the American Psychological Association states that only 33 percent of women report getting enough sleep while 75% of them believe it’s important. And a study by the National Sleep Foundation reports that women are more likely than men to have difficulty falling and staying asleep.

How can you get the seven to nine hours of sleep recommended for adults? The National Sleep Foundation suggests you follow their healthy sleep tips which include sticking to a sleep schedule, practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual, and exercising daily. Be sure to talk with your doctor if you suspect you suffer from sleep apnea, a condition that temporarily stops your breathing throughout the night and leads to fatigue.

Thyroid issues

A gland located in your neck, the thyroid controls your metabolism. Furthermore, your metabolism controls the way your body uses energy. When the thyroid produces too many hormones, also called hyperthyroidism, you can experience exhaustion. In addition, when the thyroid process too few hormones, also called hypothyroidism, you can also experience exhaustion.

Either way, share any symptoms of thyroid disease with your doctor. Blood tests can reveal any thyroid-related issues. Furthermore, women are more likely than men to have thyroid problems.


Pregnancy can be one of the causes of low energy levels in females as well. Women experience exhaustion in the first trimester as the body adapts to the beginning of many physical changes. While many regain their normal energy levels mid-pregnancy, the third trimester can also cause fatigue. View our list of tips on how to beat fatigue during pregnancy such as eating every four hours and staying hydrated.

Heart Disease

Fatigue is one of the warning signs of heart disease, the number one killer of women. When the heart can’t pump enough blood, the blood is diverted from other organs to send to the heart and brain; this leads to a lack of energy. If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, have a family history of heart problems or suffer from other health risks, it is important to report fatigue, or any other unusual symptoms, to your physician.

AND ALL THE REST… Although we’ve shared five possible reasons for fatigue, there are others you may want to be aware of, including anemia, diabetes, depression, medications, and stress. It is important you talk with your doctor about persistent fatigue and other reoccurring problems or symptoms, especially when it’s not managed by a good diet and sleep habits.

If you’re experiencing fatigue or exhaustion, schedule a well-woman visit at Women’s Care, or find a physician near you.

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