Shift Work Sleep Disorder
Shift work can wreak havoc on your body’s 24-hour internal clock, or circadian rhythm. When you work nights or rotate shifts, your body doesn’t know when to be awake and when to sleep, which causes fatigue.
Daylight is often a cue to be awake. If you must sleep during the day, try to make your sleeping area as dark, cool, and quiet as possible. If you must work at night, keep your workplace brightly lit. Try to work night shifts all in a row and avoid frequently rotating shifts. Stay away from caffeine, and stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule as much as possible on days off.
Excess Of Physical Or Mental Activity
Even if you are having fun, too much of anything is not good for you. So if you are exceeding the maximum amount of physical or mental activity allowed for your body, you will feel fatigued and the feeling might take longer than expected to go away. Here we will find sports activities to work and video games.
Nothing should be considered as harmless if you are overdoing it, so be honest when you reflect on it. Again, the limits may vary from person to person, so ask your personal trainer, coach, and doctor about it.
Why Am I So Tired What Am I Lacking
If your tiredness isnt caused by something obvious such as a lack of sleep and you dont suspect an underlying condition such as diabetes or an underactive thyroid, its sometimes worth looking at what youre eating and what nutrients you may be lacking.
There are a handful of vitamin deficiencies that might be the cause of your fatigue. If youre deficient in iron , vitamin B12 , or vitamin D , tiredness and consistent fatigue can occur.
Think this may be the case for you? You can check in on your vitamin levels from the comfort of home with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home vitamin and mineral tests which test for some of the most common vitamin deficiencies.
Fatigue can be a result of a number of different health conditions or illnesses. If you feel as if youre always tired and its not a result of any lifestyle changes such as an increase in physical activity, its important to find out more. You can do this by visiting your doctor and keeping a close eye on your health and wellbeing with LetsGetCheckeds range of at-home health tests.
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What Causes Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
There are a number of reasons that cause EDS some of which can be easily fixed by following simple healthy sleep rules. On the other hand, EDS may be caused by some serious sleep disorders which require immediate professional attention. Here are some of the most frequent causes of Excessive Daytime Disorder, from Dr. Pagels article published in American Family Physician:
- Primary hypersomnias of central origin :
- Narcolepsy. EDS may be a symptom of narcolepsy. This rare disorder can be dangerous. People with narcolepsy are extremely tired and even tend to fall asleep while performing their daily tasks. To fall asleep during driving is dangerous to their environment and to themselves. Narcolepsy causes early REM onset instead of reaching it about 90 minutes into sleep, those who suffer from narcolepsy either fall directly into rapid eye movement stage or reach it within 10 minutes.
- Idiopathic hypersomnia is diagnosed with those who very frequently although not always sleep for at least 11 hours per day. Even after such a long period of sleep, they do not feel refreshed. These people may have difficulty waking up to alarms, thinking and moving after being suddenly awakened sleep inertia.
Secondary hypersomnias may come from:
All of the listed disorders have one thing in common they impair sleep quality and quantity. This means either less time sleeping or less time getting all of the needed sleep stages.
Primary Disorders Of Sleep And Wakefulness
Excessive sleepiness is also the hallmark symptom of some primary sleep disorders, including narcolepsy and idiopathic hypersomnia, both of which are mediated through the CNS., Excessive daytime sleepiness in primary disorders of sleep-wake dysregulation results from CNS dysfunction in 1 or more of the mechanisms that normally regulate sleep and wakefulness. Narcolepsy, for example, is associated with a deficiency of orexin/hypocretin. Orexin/hypocretin cells are found in the anterior hypothalamus and are thought to facilitate wakefulness via projections to ascending subcortical arousal systems and the basal forebrain. A deficiency in orexin/hypocretin protein is believed to result in narcolepsy. Loss of orexin/hypocretin cells are thought to contribute to narcoleptics having an increased drive for sleep during periods of normal wakefulness, along with exacerbated symptoms of excessive sleepiness associated with the disturbed sleep that is typical of this disorder.
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Symptoms And Consequences Of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
Sleep plays an important role in consolidating memory, restoring the immune system, and other vital processes. As a result, a lack of quality sleep may result in a host of symptoms that you may not immediately connect to sleep.
Even if you dont consciously feel sleepy, you may be suffering from excessive sleepiness if youre experiencing any of the following:
- Trouble staying alert
- Slower reaction times
- Risk-taking behaviors
Being sleepy can have wide-ranging effects on health and daily life. Consequences of daytime sleepiness include:
- Increased risk of car and work accidents
- Worse quality of life
- Problems regulating mood and emotions
- Social and relationship problems
Excessive sleepiness may be particularly dangerous for young adults, shift workers, medical staff, and people who drive a lot.
Long-term sleep deprivation has been linked to a higher chance of developing diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other chronic conditions. Daytime sleepiness in children may affect development, while in older adults, daytime sleepiness heightens the risk for falls and may be a risk factor for cognitive impairment, memory loss, and earlier mortality.
Recognizing A Heart Attack
In case of a heart attack, it’s important to get emergency medical help right away. You should call 9-1-1 if you or someone else has a sudden onset of any of these symptoms:
- Chest pain or pressure can also be felt in the upper abdomen
- Pain that radiates to the jaw, neck, back, one or both arms, or stomach
- Shortness of breath
Your fatigue may be due to an illness like this if you also have:
- Muscle aches
Typically fatigue from infections clears up with the illness, which, depending on the source and severity, may be treated by antibiotics, antiviral medications, symptom management, or simply time and rest.
In some cases, though, fatigue lingers well after the illness itself is gone. This is sometimes referred to as post-viral fatigue, persistent fatigue after infection, or, in the case of COVID-19, post-COVID syndrome, long-COVID, or long-haul COVID. Post-viral fatigue and ME/CFS are sometimes used interchangeably.
More than half of people who’ve been hospitalized with COVID-19 still have fatigue several weeks after being discharged. Some researchers have begun looking into whether the coronavirus disease can lead to ME/CFS, as the long-haul symptoms are extremely similar.
The Epstein-Barr virus , which causes mono, is known to linger or reactivate later and cause fatigue, among other symptoms. It’s implicated in ME/CFS and several autoimmune diseases.
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How Are Sleep Disorders Treated
There are a variety of treatments recommended by healthcare providers:
- Counseling: Some sleep specialists recommend cognitive behavior therapy. Such counseling helps you recognize, challenge and change stress-inducing thoughts that can keep you awake at night.
- Medications and/or supplements.
- Practice sleep hygiene such as keeping a regular sleep schedule.
- Get regular exercise.
- Manage the temperature so that youre comfortable.
Your healthcare provider will recommend treatments based on your unique situation.
How Can I Get A Better Sleep
If you suspect you may have a medical condition that interferes with your sleep, go to your doctor and have any concerns investigated.
There is no one way to get a good sleep – what works for one person may not work for another. In general, suggestions include:
- Go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat at regular intervals and consume a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats and protein.
- Use your bed primarily just for sleeping .
- If you are not sleepy, do not try to go to bed. Get up and read or do something quiet instead.
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco or alcohol – especially before bed time.
- Turn off the phone ringer and answering device speaker or phone notification.
- Ask family members to be respectful if one person is sleeping. Family members can use headphones for the TV and radio if necessary.
- Make the room as dark and quiet as possible. Use heavy, dark curtains, blinds, or a sleeping eye mask. Soundproof the room where possible or use ear plugs.
- Most people sleep better when the room is cool. Consider using an air conditioner or fan in the summer months.
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Causes Of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness
According to Dr. Kapur, the top cause of excessive daytime sleepiness isnt an underlying disorder or condition but rather lack of adequate sleep duration. Adults, he says, should try to sleep 7 to 9 hours per night, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 35 percent of American adults average less than 7 hours.
Its important to talk to your doctor if your sleep is disrupted and to find ways to address the cause, Kapur notes.
That said, excessive daytime sleepiness may be caused by several factors:
2. Stress Whether at work or in your personal life, stress can keep you awake. If you find yourself tossing and turning at night, worrying about things that happened during the day, talk to your doctor about steps you can take to reduce or better manage your stress.
3. Alcohol, recreational drug use, and prescription medication Use of alcohol or illegal drugs can also affect your sleep, says Kapur. Excessive alcohol consumption, for example, disrupts sleep. According to the Cleveland Clinic, alcohol, a sedative, can help you fall asleep, but it can also work to keep you awake later in the night as its effects wear off.
In addition, many illegal drugs are stimulants that can keep you awake late into the night, preventing you from getting a good nights sleep. Finally, many prescription medicines have been known to adversely affect sleep, the Cleveland Clinic says. These include:
When To See A Healthcare Provider
You should see your healthcare provider if your fatigue:
- Has come on suddenly and is not the result of normal short-term physical or mental stress
- Is not relieved with rest, sleep, or removal of stressors
- Has become severe or chronic
- Is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms
- Irregular or fast heart rate
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Common Causes Of Excessive Sleepiness
Psychiatric Clin North Am.Chronobiol Int.
- Belenky G.
- et al.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep.Sleep Med Clin.J Clin Sleep Med.
Sleep.Gastroenterol Clin North Am.Curr Psychiatry Rep.J Affect Disord.
Am J Respir Crit Care Med.Nat Rev Neurol.
|Non24 hour sleep-wake rhythm disorder|
|Shift work sleep disorder|
|Circadian rhythm sleep-wake disorder not otherwise specified|
|Secondary to another cause|
|Excessive sleepiness secondary to a medical disorder|
|Excessive sleepiness secondary to a psychiatric disorder|
|Excessive sleepiness secondary to a medication|
|Insufficient sleep syndrome|
Periodic Limb Movement Disorder
Though you are probably unaware of it, you may be involuntarily moving your legs during the night as you sleep. The movement may be significant enough to wake you. The interruptions in sleep may or may not wake you, but either way are significant enough to cause havoc in your sleep cycle. People with PLMD often complain of feeling unrested and of daytime sleepiness.
The cause of PLMD is unknown, but may be related to anemia, central nervous system problems or may be genetic. Good sleep hygiene habits will help relief PLMD. If you are not relieved despite having good sleep hygiene, a consultation with your health care provider is necessary.
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Fatigue Cause No : Anemia
Anemia is one of the leading causes of fatigue in women. Menstrual blood loss can cause an iron deficiency, putting women at risk. Red blood cells are needed because they carry oxygen to your tissues and organs.
Fix: For anemia caused by an iron deficiency, taking iron supplements and eating iron-rich foods, such as lean meat, liver, shellfish, beans, and enriched cereal, can help.
Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders
In circadian rhythm disorders , excessive sleepiness is caused by a mismatch between the timing of sleep and wakefulness and the timing of the internal circadian pacemaker., For example, in shift work disorder, excessive sleepiness occurs during the time that the homeostatic sleep drive is high but the suprachiasmatic nuclei of the hypothalamus is not helping offset this drive by promoting wakefulness. By contrast, when the night shift worker then attempts to sleep in the morning, the circadian wake drive is increasing. The resulting misalignment between the work-rest/wakefulness-sleep schedule and the circadian pacemaker can cause the patient to experience clinically significant excessive sleepiness during the work shift, insomnia when trying to sleep the following day, or both.
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Not Getting Enough High
Not getting enough sleep is one of the more obvious causes of fatigue.
Your body does many things while you sleep, including store memory and release hormones that regulate your metabolism and energy levels .
After a night of high-quality sleep, you typically wake up feeling refreshed, alert and energized.
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society, adults need an average of seven hours of sleep per night for optimal health .
Importantly, sleep should be restful and uninterrupted in order to allow your brain to go through all five stages of each sleep cycle .
In addition to getting enough sleep, maintaining a regular sleep routine also seems to help prevent tiredness.
In one study, adolescents who went to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends reported less fatigue and less difficulty falling asleep than those who stayed up later and slept fewer hours on the weekends .
Being physically active during the day may help you get more restorative sleep at night. One study in older people found that exercising helped improve their sleep quality and reduce levels of fatigue .
Furthermore, napping may help boost energy levels. Taking naps has been shown to decrease tiredness in pilots, who often experience fatigue due to long working hours and jet lag .
To improve the amount and quality of your sleep, go to bed at roughly the same time every night, relax before sleeping and get plenty of activity during the day.
Sleep Disorders And Fatigue
Symptoms: Chronic fatigue, feeling exhausted upon awakening, snoring
Sleep disorders are a group of conditions that disrupt or prevent restful, restorative sleep. That can take a toll on your health and quality of life, so its important to look out for signs and symptoms.
Sleep apnea is one of the most common sleep disorders. If you or your partner notices loud snoring and you wake up tired and stay that way, you could have sleep apnea. More than one-third of adults in the U.S. snore at least a few nights a week. But if the snoring stops your breathing for seconds at a time, it could be sleep apnea. Learn more about the best sleep positions and see if sleeping on your stomach is bad or not.
Obstructive sleep apnea causes low blood oxygen levels. That’s because blockages prevent air from getting to the lungs. The low oxygen levels also affect how well your heart and brain work. Sometimes, the only clue that you might have sleep apnea is chronic fatigue.
Your doctor may prescribe a medical device called CPAP that helps keep your airways open while you sleep. In severe cases of sleep apnea, surgery may help. The surgeon will remove tissues that are blocking the airways. If left untreated, sleep apnea can increase your risk of a stroke or heart attack.
But sleep apnea is just one of many sleep disorders that cause fatigue. Other common types include:
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Fatigue Cause No 1: Heart Disease
When fatigue strikes during everyday activities, such as cleaning the house or weeding the yard, it can be a sign that your heart is no longer up to the job. If you notice it’s becoming increasingly difficult to finish tasks that were once easy, talk to your doctor about heart disease.
Fix: Lifestyle changes, medication, and therapeutic procedures can get heart disease under control and restore your energy.
Fatigue Cause No : Sleep Apnea
Some people think they’re sleeping enough, but sleep apnea gets in the way. It briefly stops your breathing throughout the night. Each interruption wakes you for a moment, but you may not be aware of it. The result: youâre sleep-deprived despite spending eight hours in bed. Your doctor may order a sleep study to check for this.
Fix: Lose weight if you’re overweight, quit smoking, and you may need a CPAP device to help keep your airway passages open while you sleep.
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How Much Sleep Do People Need
It varies, but on average studies say we need at least 7 to 9 hours every day. Studies have reported that most night shift workers get about 5 to 7 hours less sleep per week than the day shift. Humans follow an “internal” or “biological clock” cycle of sleep, wakefulness, and alertness. Although these circadian rhythms are influenced by external clues such as the sun setting and rising, it is the brain that sets your pattern. Most cycles are 23-25 hours long and there are natural dips or periods when you feel tired or less alert – even for those who are well-rested.