Tired with No Energy? Decoding Genetics & Fatigue, Why You Might Be Tired All the Time & How to Boost Energy Levels

Tired with No Energy? Decoding Genetics & Fatigue, Why You Might Be Tired All the Time & How to Boost Energy Levels


  1. Introduction
  2. Fatigue Breakdown
  3. Causes of Fatigue
  4. Genes linked to Fatigue
  5. How to combat Fatigue
  6. How DNA health Tests help
  7. Conclusion

In 30 seconds...Ever wake up feeling like you've run a marathon, even after a full night's rest? Your genes might be the culprits. From the MTNR1B gene affecting your sleep patterns to the ACE gene influencing muscle efficiency, our DNA holds clues to our energy levels and fatigue. But it's not just about genetics. Lifestyle factors like diet, exercise, and stress play pivotal roles too. Feeling drained? It might be time to delve deeper into your DNA, embrace a balanced diet, kick-start a regular exercise routine, and master the art of stress management. And if you're curious about your genetic predispositions, DNA health tests could be your next step to unlocking a more energetic you.


Feeling sleepy all the time? In today's fast-paced world, it's not uncommon to hear someone sigh, "I'm always tired." But have you ever stopped to wonder why? Why, despite getting a full night's sleep, do some of us wake up feeling as if we've run a marathon? The answer might lie deep within our DNA.

1. What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is more than just feeling very tired. It's a pervasive sense of tiredness that doesn't go away after resting. It can be physical, mental, or a combination of both. While everyone feels tired at times, chronic fatigue is persistent and can significantly impact daily life.

  • Physical Fatigue: This is when your muscles cannot perform at their optimal level. Symptoms include muscle weakness, making even light physical tasks seem daunting.
  • Mental Fatigue: This affects your ability to concentrate and stay alert. It can make tasks that require concentration, such as reading or solving problems, seem impossible.

2. Symptoms of Fatigue

Recognising the symptoms of fatigue is the first step towards addressing it. Here are some common manifestations:

Physical Symptoms

  • Feeling tired and achy
  • Experiencing tired and dizzy, which can lead to balance issues
  • Feeling tired with headache, which can be debilitating

Cognitive Symptoms

  • Struggling to concentrate, feeling tired and can't focus
  • Experiencing a tired with headache sensation, which can be debilitating

Emotional Symptoms

  • Feeling drained or very fatigued, even without physical exertion
  • Experiencing mood swings or irritability

3. Causes of Fatigue & Low Energy

Lifestyle Factors

1. Poor Sleep Habits: The quality and quantity of sleep we get directly impact our energy levels. Consistently sleeping less than the recommended 7-9 hours for adults can lead to chronic fatigue. Factors like irregular sleep schedules, frequent interruptions, or sleeping in an uncomfortable environment can also contribute.

2. Unhealthy Diet: Consuming a diet high in processed foods, sugars, and unhealthy fats can lead to energy crashes. On the contrary, not consuming enough calories or missing out on essential nutrients can leave one feeling perpetually tired.

3. Lack of Physical Activity: While it might seem counterintuitive, not getting enough exercise can actually decrease energy levels. Regular physical activity boosts endorphin production, which acts as a natural energy booster.

4. Chronic Stress: Prolonged periods of stress can lead to adrenal fatigue, where the adrenal glands cannot produce enough of the stress hormone cortisol. This can result in persistent tiredness and difficulty handling additional stress.

5. Afternoon Slumps: Ever wondered, "Why tired in the afternoon?" This common phenomenon can be attributed to several factors. A heavy lunch, especially one rich in carbohydrates, can cause a spike and subsequent drop in blood sugar levels, leading to drowsiness. Additionally, our body's natural circadian rhythm often causes a drop in alertness during the early to mid-afternoon.

Medical Conditions

1. Anaemia: This condition occurs when there's a deficiency of red blood cells or haemoglobin in the blood, leading to reduced oxygen flow to the body's cells. Symptoms include fatigue, weakness, and paleness.

2. Thyroid Issues: Both hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) can result in fatigue. The thyroid gland plays a crucial role in metabolism, and any dysfunction can impact energy levels.

3. Diabetes: Uncontrolled diabetes means the body's cells cannot absorb glucose from the bloodstream efficiently. This can leave individuals feeling constantly drained.

4. Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS): This condition is characterised by persistent, unexplained fatigue that doesn't improve with rest. Those with CFS often feel tired all the time no energy, regardless of sleep quality.

5. Other Medical Conditions: There are numerous other conditions, such as sleep apnea, heart disease, and fibromyalgia, which have fatigue as a primary or secondary symptom. Severe fatigue causes can indeed range from specific medical conditions to broader lifestyle choices.


Various medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, list fatigue or drowsiness as potential side effects. Some common culprits include:

  • Antihistamines: Often used for allergies, they can cause drowsiness.
  • Blood Pressure Medications: Some antihypertensives can lead to fatigue.
  • Antidepressants: While they can be effective for treating depression, fatigue can be a side effect for some individuals.
  • Anti-anxiety Medications: Drugs like benzodiazepines can cause drowsiness.
  • Pain Relievers: Some pain medications, especially opioids, can cause feelings of fatigue.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect your medication is causing fatigue. They can provide guidance on potential alternatives or dosage adjustments.

4. Genetics Related to Fatigue & Energy

Our genes play a pivotal role in how our bodies function, and this includes our energy levels and susceptibility to fatigue. Here are some genes that have been linked to energy and fatigue:

MTNR1B (Melatonin Receptor 1B) Gene

Function: The MTNR1B gene encodes for the Melatonin Receptor 1B, which is primarily found in the retina and brain. This receptor binds melatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland that regulates our circadian rhythm and sleep-wake cycle.

Variations & Impact: Certain variations in the MTNR1B gene can affect the sensitivity of this receptor to melatonin. As a result, individuals with these variations might experience disruptions in their sleep patterns, leading to insomnia or fragmented sleep. This can result in waking up feeling tired for no reason, even after a seemingly full night's rest.

ACE (Angiotensin I Converting Enzyme) Gene

Function: The ACE gene plays a role in the renin-angiotensin system, which regulates blood pressure and fluid balance. It also has implications in endurance and muscle efficiency.

Variations & Impact: Variations in the ACE gene can influence how muscles respond to exercise and fatigue. Some variants are associated with better endurance, while others might lead to quicker muscle fatigue, resulting in low energy levels after physical activity.


Function: PPARGC1A is crucial for energy metabolism. It's involved in the regulation of genes that control energy expenditure and mitochondrial biogenesis.

Variations & Impact: Certain variations in the PPARGC1A gene can influence the efficiency of energy production in muscles. This can affect endurance and how quickly muscles tire, potentially leading to muscle fatigue after less exertion than usual.

ADRB2 (Beta-2 Adrenergic Receptor) Gene

Function: ADRB2 plays a role in the body's response to stress. It's involved in the release of energy in response to adrenaline and noradrenaline.

Variations & Impact: Variations in the ADRB2 gene can affect how the body responds to stressors. Individuals with certain variants might experience a heightened stress response, leading to rapid energy depletion and feelings of being always tired no energy.

IL6 (Interleukin 6) Gene

Function: IL6 is a cytokine involved in inflammation and immune response. It plays a role in the body's response to injury or infection.

Variations & Impact: Elevated levels of IL6 have been linked to chronic inflammation, which can contribute to fatigue. Individuals with certain IL6 gene variations might produce more IL6 in response to stressors, leading to persistent feelings of being tired all the time no energy.

SLC25A40 Gene

Function: SLC25A40 is involved in mitochondrial function. Mitochondria are the "powerhouses" of cells, responsible for producing energy.

Variations & Impact: Variations in the SLC25A40 gene can affect the efficiency of energy production in mitochondria. This can influence overall energy levels in the body, potentially leading to feelings of fatigue and low energy.

5. How to Combat Fatigue

Battling fatigue is more than just getting a good night's sleep. It involves addressing the root causes and making holistic changes to your lifestyle. Here's a detailed look at some effective strategies:

Dietary Changes

Balanced Diet: Consuming a diet rich in whole foods like fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains ensures that your body gets the necessary nutrients to function optimally. These foods provide sustained energy, preventing the highs and lows associated with sugary or heavily processed foods.

Stay Hydrated: Dehydration can lead to feelings of fatigue and reduced alertness. Ensure you're drinking enough water throughout the day. The recommended intake varies, but aiming for 8 glasses a day is a good start.

Supplements: While it's best to get nutrients from food, some people might benefit from supplements, especially if they have specific deficiencies.

  • Iron: Essential for producing red blood cells and transporting oxygen throughout the body. An iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, a primary symptom of which is fatigue.
  • Magnesium: Plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including energy production.
  • Vitamin B12: Vital for nerve function and the formation of red blood cells. A deficiency can lead to fatigue and weakness.


Consistency is Key: While it might seem counterintuitive, regular physical activity can increase energy levels. It boosts circulation and oxygen supply to every cell in the body, helping you feel more alert and alive.

Start Small: If you're new to exercise or feeling very fatigued, start with low-impact activities. Even a short walk, stretching, or gentle yoga can be beneficial.

Find Activities You Enjoy: You're more likely to stick to an exercise routine if you enjoy it. Whether it's dancing, cycling, swimming, or hiking, find something that brings you joy.

Stress Management

Meditation: This ancient practice can help calm the mind, reduce stress hormones, and increase feelings of well-being and relaxation.

Deep Breathing Exercises: Techniques like the 4-7-8 method, where you inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 7, and exhale for 8, can activate the body's relaxation response.

Yoga: Combining physical postures with breath work, yoga is an excellent way to reduce stress and increase energy levels.

Set Boundaries: In our always-connected world, it's essential to set boundaries. Allocate specific times for work, relaxation, and self-care.

Sleep Hygiene:

Consistent Schedule
: Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body's internal clock.

Create a Restful Environment
: Ensure your bedroom is conducive to sleep. This means a comfortable mattress, dark curtains, and a quiet environment.

Limit Screen Time
: The blue light emitted by phones, tablets, and computers can interfere with the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep. Try to avoid screens for at least an hour before bedtime.

Watch Your Diet
: Avoid large meals, caffeine, and alcohol before bedtime. These can disrupt sleep.

6. The Power of DNA Health Tests

Understanding your genetic makeup can provide invaluable insights into why you might be experiencing fatigue. DNA health tests can decode your DNA, offering personalised solutions based on your genetic predispositions. Furthermore, DNA + Epigenetic Health Tests can provide even more comprehensive insights.

By understanding your DNA, you can make informed decisions about your health, diet, and lifestyle, empowering you to address fatigue at its root cause.


In conclusion, while fatigue can be debilitating, understanding its causes – from lifestyle factors to our very genes – can empower us to take steps to combat it. By making informed choices and considering tools like DNA health tests, we can pave the way to a more energetic, vibrant life.