Why Do I Feel Like a Tired Mom All the Time?

If you are a mom, no one needs to tell you that being a mom is exhausting. No matter how old your kids are, you probably feel like you could sleep an entire weekend away without a problem. While parenting, and even life in general, is tiring, you should not always feel like a tired mom. At some point, you are either not getting enough sleep to function or there is something going on that is making you feel tired. Here are some reasons why you might be feeling like such a tired mom all the time and when it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor about it. 

Why Am I Tired All The Time? 

Of course there are times that you feel exhausted or like you need more sleep simply because you are a tired mom. If you are the mom of an infant or toddler, you are definitely suffering from tired mom syndrome. Little ones, especially infants, wake up a lot throughout the night to be changed, fed, or just have not gotten used to a good sleep schedule yet. If you are a breastfeeding mama, it can be especially hard to feel rested because you are the one who is primarily responsible for feedings (Yes, you can pump but have you ever slept through a night while your breasts were filling up with milk? Yikes!). 

Obviously, if you are sleep deprived from getting up with your little one, you are going to feel like one tired mom all the time. With any luck, your baby will get into at least a semi-regular sleep routine sooner rather than later and you can take advantage of some decent blocks of sleep. 

If you are not dealing with a sleepless child, your tired mom feeling could be caused by your own sleep issues. If you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, you are obviously going to feel tired, especially if you regularly have trouble sleeping. That is considered insomnia. One night might not be such a big deal but if you are lying in bed for nights on end and can’t fall asleep or are waking up in the middle of the night every night, that is going to wear on you and eventually you are going to be exhausted. With any luck, after a few sleepless nights you will fall asleep and sleep soundly. 

Why Do I Feel Like A Tired Mom All The Time?
READ MORE: YOGA NIDRA FOR SLEEP: 4 HEALTHY WAYS TO CENTER YOUR LIFE

You might be surprised to find out that even if you do not realize it, you might be suffering from a sleep disorder. You may be falling asleep and staying asleep, but not reaching or staying in the stages of sleep that your body needs to repair and rest itself for long enough. During the course of the night, we go through various stages of sleep. During the deep stage of sleep, your body repairs and regrows tissues, builds bone and muscle and strengthens its immune system. Unfortunately, as we get older, we tend to sleep more lightly and get less of this reparative deep sleep. 

The problem with getting less deep sleep is that you still need as much sleep as when you were younger, so as you age you are likely to start feeling like a tired mom more of the time.

You might be thinking, Of course, I feel tired when I don’t get enough sleep. That’s obvious. Besides just not getting enough sleep, there are a number of other reasons that you might feel like a tired mom all of the time. 

Allergies and Illness. You might be surprised to know that allergies – both seasonal and year round – are commonly linked to fatigue. This is because when you are suffering from allergies your immune system is constantly at work releasing chemicals called histamines to help your body fight off the allergen. This can cause your body to feel overworked and leave you feeling exhausted. 

The same type of thing happens when you are sick. Your immune system is working in overdrive to fight off whatever germs or virus that is trying to invade your body and make you sick. While you need your immune system to protect you, when it is having to work extra hard, it leaves you feeling drained, weak, and exhausted. 

On top of your body being tired from fighting off allergens or germs, allergy symptoms and common illness symptoms like a stuffy nose and cough can lead to trouble sleeping, which makes you have that groggy tired mom feeling all day and night.

Why Do I Feel Like A Tired Mom All The Time?

Depression and Anxiety. Common causes of feeling tired all the time are depression and anxiety. When you are suffering from depression, it creates changes in your brain’s neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters – dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. – are important in regulating your energy level, sleep, and motivation, among other things. People with depression have a lower interest in activities than people without depression. This decreased energy level and desire to engage in activities turns into an outward feeling of fatigue.

To make matters worse, people with depression generally also have trouble sleeping. They often have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or sometimes both. So that tired mom feeling might be something more serious if you have no energy, have little or no desire to do things, and you feel deeply sad and lonely.

READ MORE: THE DIFFICULTY OF LIVING WITH ANXIETY

Food Allergies. Another surprising reason you might feel so tired all the time is if you have food allergies or have certain food intolerances. Feeling tired all the time can be an early warning sign of some sort of food allergy or intolerance, especially if you have that tired mom feeling frequently right after you eat. 

Anemia. You could feel like a tired mom because you are anemic. Anemia, the most common blood condition in the United States, is a condition that causes you not to produce enough red blood cells. It can happen because of a lot of different reasons – GI problems, taking certain medications, low iron or folic acid levels, are all common causes of anemia. For many women who menstruate, anemia is a common cause of fatigue. This is especially true for women who have heavy menstrual cycles, uterine fibroid tumors, or uterine polyps. 

Thyroid Issues. Another common cause of feeling exhausted all the time could be hypothyroidism, which means you have a slow or underactive thyroid. Your thyroid helps set your metabolism, so if it is underperforming it makes sense that you would feel tired a lot. 

What Do I Do About It? 

If you constantly feel like a tired mom, you have to figure out what is causing the problem. Start by going through the list of things above and trying to rule things out. 

Are you getting up throughout the night with a baby or young child? If this is the case, then you need to assess the situation and see if there is anything you can do to change this pattern. Do you have a partner who can split night time duty with you? It may be that you have to wait it out and be a tired mom for a little while. Knowing that this phase will pass is a little helpful.

Consider taking a nap if you can during the day. Nap when the baby naps (everyone says it and you don’t do it, but it’s time to take the nap and not worry about the laundry). If you are not getting up with a little one at night, it’s time to go on to the next potential culprit. 

READ MORE: 20 POSITIVE NIGHTLY AFFIRMATIONS TO ACHIEVE RESTFUL, SELF-IMPROVING SLEEP
Why Do I Feel Like A Tired Mom All The Time?

Are you having trouble falling or staying asleep? If the answer is yes, you have a number of options. Eliminate screen time within 30 minutes of going to bed. Try reading or meditation when you get into bed for the night. Consider a sound machine or an essential oil diffuser to help get you to sleep. You can even try taking a melatonin supplement, which helps some people fall asleep easier and stay asleep. Finally, if you wear a FitBit or other electronic device that can monitor your sleeping patterns, use it! You can find out this way if you are getting enough restful deep sleep at night. 

If you are having trouble sleeping or suspect that you are not getting “good” sleep when you are asleep, talk to your doctor. They can do a sleep assessment and find out the problem so you can stop being a tired mom and be the mom who doesn’t have to stay fueled on caffeine to survive! 

If you have allergies, are sick, or have anemia, you can obviously take over-the-counter or prescription medicine (depending on the exact problem) to help alleviate symptoms and help you sleep better. 

READ MORE: HOW TO HANDLE POSTPARTUM FOOD ALLERGIES

In the case of potential food allergies, consider a food elimination diet. This is where you cut certain foods out of your diet for a certain period of time to see if that makes a difference. You can also consult your doctor about a food allergy test. Once you get food allergies or intolerances under control, you should see an increase in your energy levels and feel less tired so often.

If you are suspicious you are anemic or have a thyroid issue, talk to your doctor who can do a simple blood test to check for either or both of these issues. If you are anemic, your doctor can get you set up with an iron supplement if needed, and in the case of hypothyroidism, there are prescription medications to help correct the issue and get you back to feeling like yourself. 

Finally, if you are suffering from depression or anxiety, talk to your doctor immediately. There are a number of medications and therapies available to help you feel better, which can help you feel less tired.


Being a tired mom is no fun. On top of feeling exhausted and just wanting to go to bed, it makes you feel cranky and have less patience. None of that works well when you are trying to take care of your kids. Sometimes you are just tired and really need some extra sleep. Other times though, there is something else going on. Hopefully, if you go through the list and can narrow down the potential culprits of what is making you feel so tired all the time, you can start to address the problem.


WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Daily Mom’s How To Be A Good Mother with 5 Simple Tips for more advice, tips, and tricks.


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Why Do I Feel Like A Tired Mom All The Time?

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Michelle Frick
Michelle Frick
Born in Massachusetts, Michelle currently lives in North Carolina. She has two teenage boys who are growing up way too fast. Besides her love of writing, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, watching hockey, and cheering on the Boston Red Sox.
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