Our weaknesses

The reasons for always feeling tired

Muhammad Asif Attari Madani

The death of 270 people

According to a report, in April 2019, 270 people lost their lives in Indonesia due to tiredness and other illnesses during an election. They counted votes for long periods without having a break (Dawn News, 28 April 2019). In August 2005, a person died in South Korea after playing video games non-stop for 50 hours. In September 2007, a person in Guangzhou (China) played games online for three days straight, resulting in his death caused by exhaustion and tiredness.

The nature of the human body is such that we become tired after writing, reading, teaching, lifting objects, walking, cooking, driving and doing other tasks. The body then requires adequate rest for us to regain strength and carry out tasks again. Becoming tired because of one’s daily routine is not a cause for concern. However, sometimes people feel completely exhausted by carrying our minor tasks, or they feel tired all the time without having engaged in any physical or mental activity. Such fatigue is a cause for concern, as people become averse to doing anything at all; they have no willingness to worship or carry out their duties at work properly.

The reasons for always feeling tired

Experts have conducted extensive research on this topic. The ten major factors for always feeling tired identified in a study are stated here. Read through these carefully, understand them, assess whether they are affecting you, and try your best to mitigate them; your life will change for the better اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.

Ten things that cause tiredness

1. Poor diet

Food and drink provide our body with energy and strength. This only happens if our food contains the vitamins, iron and carbohydrates necessary for the body to function properly. These are found in foods and drinks such as milk, yoghurt, fresh fruits (or their juices), vegetables, poultry, meat, fish and eggs. On the other hand, if we regularly consume junk food, fizzy drinks, takeaways prepared using substandard ingredients, fried street foods, unhealthy confectionery and products with low-quality artificial ingredients, there will be more harm than benefit. One of the consequences of having such a poor diet is feeling constantly tired. Also, eating spontaneously without following a schedule or eating in large amounts can also harm the body. Keeping a balanced diet provides the body with what it needs and makes it less prone to feeling constantly tired.

The nutritional and dietary requirements of a person vary depending on age, weight and health. Hence, you are advised to consult a dietitian to find out what you should eat and drink, in what amount and at what time. Two books of the Ameer of Ahl Al-Sunnah دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ are especially informative in this regard: ‘Islamic Manners of Eating’ and ‘Excellences of Hunger.

2. Missing breakfast

During sleep, the body expends energy in pumping blood and oxygen around the body. This is why we should have breakfast after waking up to gain energy. Carrying out minor tasks will tire an individual if this vital meal is left out due to rushing to school or the office. Expect the same outcome if you have simply developed a habit of missing breakfast. Most of a day’s activity takes place between breakfast and lunch, and so including fruit in one’s breakfast is also beneficial. However, not many people do this, as many opt for having a tasty breakfast by eating Paratha, Naan and Halwah Puri instead of having a nutritious and healthy breakfast.

3. Not drinking enough water

Irrespective of whether or not you feel thirsty, you should drink 12 glasses of water each day. Many of us do not drink enough water, which can lead to dehydration, thickening of the blood and impacting the cardiovascular system, leading to a low supply of oxygen to muscles and other parts of the body. This results in fatigue.

4. Inadequate sleep

Humans need different amounts of sleep based on age. According to medical research, a young child needs 12 to 15 hours of sleep. Between the age of 15 to 40, seven to eight hours are needed, and for those over the age of 40, six hours of sleep is required. Sleep plays an instrumental role in restoring energy to the body. We feel refreshed after sleeping. Those who do not sleep well at night find themselves drowsy, sleepy and tired during the day. One’s surrounding is very important for a good night’s sleep, and this is compromised if there is too much light or noise. Also, falling asleep whilst using a mobile phone, laptop or watching TV is unhealthy as these things impact the hormones which regulate the body’s sleep pattern, resulting in a person beginning the day feeling tired.

Waking up in the night and checking WhatsApp or Facebook on your mobile phone can disrupt your sleep. At times, this can totally ruin a good night’s sleep. Unless it is necessary, you should not check your mobile phone at night if you happen to wake up.

Staying awake late into the night on your day off from work can result in feeling tired the next day. Therefore, follow your normal routine even on your day off from work.

Attending nightlong events, social gatherings or ceremonies also have an adverse effect on sleep. People who cannot get proper sleep should avoid taking sleeping pills if possible. They ought to be particularly mindful of becoming dependent on them. Although these pills initially help a person sleep, their dosage is gradually increased over time. Eventually, people cannot sleep properly regardless of how many pills they take.

Taking a siesta (a short nap in the afternoon) should be a part of your routine. Just as sleeping at night benefits the body, taking a siesta in the afternoon after lunch is also very beneficial for regaining energy. Those who offer voluntary salah at night, perform zikr or study religious books should certainly make this a habit. The Prophet صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم stated: قِیْلُوْا فَاِنَّ الشَّیْطَانَ لَایَقِیْلُ, meaning, ‘Take a siesta, because Satan does not take a siesta.’[1] Allamah Abd al-Rauf al-Manaawi رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَـلَيْه writes: ‘Siesta refers to sleeping in the afternoon, and this is recommendable (Mustahab) as it is conducive for performing Salah in the night.’[2]

5. Various illnesses and diseases

A range of illnesses and diseases can cause you to always feel tired. Some examples are diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, anaemia, hepatitis, obesity, osteoporosis, muscle strains, back pain, headaches, problems related to the ear, nose or throat, urinary infections and typhoid. If you have been feeling tired for a long time, you should visit a doctor so that the underlying cause can be identified.

6. Medicinal side effects

At times, the medicines used for treating an illness can lead to certain side effects that appear after a while. These side effects appear in the form of body pain and feeling weak and tired. Anyone suffering from the aforementioned should visit their doctor.

7. Not exercising on a daily basis

Exercising is a significant part of remaining healthy. Going for a daily walk is also a form of exercise. If possible, walk for 45 minutes every morning. اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه this will help your digestive system, improve blood flow, alleviate pains and aches, reduce stress, get rid of high cholesterol and improve your mental health. As a result, you will feel less tired all the time.[3] If you wish to perform any other exercise, you should consult a physician beforehand, as not every physical activity is suitable for every person. However, avoid going to a gym where people wear shorts and uncover their knees or music is played.

8. Sitting and walking posture

The posture we adopt when walking, reading, writing or sitting can influence how tired we feel. People who sit whilst leaning forward or towards one side, or those who sit without leaning on anything and have their feet off the ground without any support will feel more tired. Adjusting how you sit and walk is a simple and cost-free method of dealing with tiredness.

9. Remaining seated for long periods of time

Blood flow is reduced if a person sits stationary for many hours without changing position, and oxygen also may not reach every part of the body. Both these things lead to feeling tired. People who work eight hour shifts while seated should get up from their seat after regular intervals, take a few steps and then sit back down. This may only take a minute or two but reduces tiredness significantly. Those working on computers also become mentally exhausted quickly. Such people should look away from the computer screen after every 19 minutes and look at an object such as a green plant or wall positioned at least 19 feet away for 19 seconds. Those who drive for eight to ten hours should also stop at service stations. They and any passengers should get out of the vehicle and walk for a short while before continuing with their journey.

10. Stressing unnecessarily

It is true that a task can only be completed to a high standard if it is taken seriously. Taking on many tasks at once when there is not a need, rushing to finish something long before it is due, regularly working long hours, deviating from your daily routine thinking that you will only rest after completing the task at hand, working on holidays, bringing work home from the office, or working in a field that you do not enjoy all lead to tiredness. People who continue in this manner without following a schedule or sensible routine will lose their energy. Consequently, tiredness becomes an obstacle in their life.

Dear readers, if we assess ourselves, we will discover many other factors that lead to tiredness and fatigue. If you take action to reduce tiredness with the intention to gain energy for worshipping and earning a halal income, you will live a smoother life and also earn immense reward اِنْ شَــآءَالـلّٰـه.

[1] Al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, vol. 1, p. 17, Hadith 28

[2] At-Tayseer, vol. 2, p. 201

[3] Khudkushi Ka Ilaj p. 71




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