Why is my Child Always Tired? Common Causes of Fatigue in Kids

Discover common causes of fatigue in kids and understand why your child may be tired, from inadequate sleep to underlying medical conditions.

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Children are naturally energetic and always ready to explore and try new things. However, if you notice that your child is constantly tired, it could be a sign of an underlying issue. 

Feeling tired, exhausted, or lacking energy is commonly called fatigue. Your child may experience this due to either excessive or insufficient activity. 

Stress, lack of sleep, boredom, and an unhealthy diet can also contribute to feelings of fatigue. Furthermore, various medical issues, such as viral infections, can also be underlying factors leading to fatigue.

How can I tell if my child is not getting enough sleep?

Suppose your child is not getting enough sleep. In that case, they may show signs of fatigue, such as being less active, having difficulty concentrating or showing a lack of interest in activities they usually enjoy.

They may also complain about feeling tired, which may interfere with things they typically enjoy.

How much sleep does my child need to avoid fatigue?

Children need at least 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night. If they are getting less, this can lead to fatigue.

Common Reasons for a Child's Trouble Waking Up

  • Insufficient Sleep: Children need at least 8 to 10 hours daily to avoid fatigue.
  • Stress: Emotional stress can contribute to difficulty waking up in the morning.
  • Unhealthy Diet: Poor nutrition can impact a child's energy levels and ability to wake up feeling refreshed.
  • Medical Issues: Various medical conditions, such as viral infections, can also lead to fatigue.

For more detailed information on the recommended hours of sleep for children, see our article on how many hours a kid should sleep.

Why is my child always tired?

There are several common reasons why your child might be experiencing fatigue:

Not getting enough sleep

Children who do not get enough or good quality sleep will naturally feel tired. This can happen if they stay up later than they should for homework or other reasons.

You should also learn how to help my toddler sleep through the night.

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Sleep disorders

 Toddlers sleeping issues and disorders, such as obstructive sleep apnea, can result in poor sleep quality, leading to persistent fatigue.

Excessive screen time

Excessive use of electronic devices can interfere with a child's sleep, leading to fatigue.

“Research has shown negative associations between screen time, particularly television viewing, and the development of physical and cognitive abilities.”
💡PubMed Central

A diet lacking in essential nutrients

Not getting enough essential nutrients, such as iron, vitamin D, or B vitamins, can lead to fatigue.

Lack of physical activity

While too much physical activity without enough rest can cause fatigue, a lack of physical activity can also lead to feelings of tiredness and exhaustion.

In addition to these common causes, fatigue in children can also be a symptom of more serious underlying conditions such as infections, toddlers sleep habits, mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, chronic illnesses, or even rare conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome.

 Consult a healthcare professional if your child's fatigue persists despite adequate rest or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms.

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Written By

Francisco Cornejo
CEO Storybook

Francisco Cornejo, a dynamic entrepreneur with a Masters in Communication from RMIT University in Australia, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Storybook. As a serial entrepreneur, he notably served as the Chief Marketing Officer at Honda Motors in Latin America, shaping the brand's regional presence. ‍ Passionate about family well-being and communication, Francisco leads Storybook in its mission to improve children's health globally, aiming to create positive impacts in both corporate and societal spheres.

Medically Reviewed by:

Lorena Koppel
Child Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Lorena Koppel is a distinguished Child Clinical Psychologist based in Azuay, Ecuador, with over 26 years of experience at Monte Sinaí Hospital. She specializes in treating emotional disorders in children and adolescents, providing family counseling, and integrating theoretical and practical approaches in clinical psychology.


  • Muppalla, S. K. (2023). Effects of Excessive Screen Time on Child Development: An Updated Review and Strategies for Management. Cureus, 15(6). PubMed Central. 

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