How Can I Stop Feeling Tired And Sleepy During The Day
Start by talking to your healthcare provider. A routine physical can identify many treatable causes of fatigue, such as iron or vitamin D deficiencies, thyroid disorders, and diabetes. A sleep study can rule out a sleep disorder. Lifestyle changes such as eating more fruits and vegetables, getting moderate exercise, and practicing good sleep hygiene can ease daytime sleepiness.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Associated With Fatigue
Fatigue is a symptom that usually has some underlying cause. Fatigue may be described by people in different ways, and may include some combination include weakness, lack of energy, constantly tired or exhausted, lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and/or difficulty starting and completing tasks.
Other symptoms such as fainting or loss of consciousness , near-syncope, rapid heartbeat , dizziness or vertigo may also be described as part of the fatigue experienced by the affected individual. The presence of these symptoms may actually help lead a health care practitioner to discover the underlying cause of the fatigue.
The potential causes of fatigue are numerous. The majority of diseases known to man often list fatigue or malaise as possible associated symptoms. This is complicated by the fact that fatigue can occur in normal healthy individuals as a normal response to physical and mental exertion. However, normal fatigue may begin to become abnormal if it becomes chronic, extreme or prolonged fatigue usually this occurs when a person experiences chronic or prolonged physical or mental exertion. For example, unusually hard physical or mental exertion for one day can result in normal fatigue that may last about a day or sometimes more, depending on the exertion level, while daily unusually hard physical or mental exertion may result in prolonged fatigue . This latter situation may develop into abnormal fatigue.
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Whats The Difference Between Tiredness And Fatigue
Feeling tired or sleepy simply means youre having trouble staying awake and want to nod off, sleep specialist Christopher Winter, M.D., owner of Charlottesville Neurology and Sleep Medicine, tells SELF. Constant fatigue, on the other hand, is when youre seriously lacking energy on a consistent basis.
This can be a tricky thing for even doctors to suss out. Fatigue is a subjective feeling, Alfred F. Tallia, M.D., MPH, professor and chair of family medicine and community health at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, tells SELF. And in his experience, its one of the most common symptoms that prompt people to make an appointment with their family doctor.
Laurie A. Kane, M.D., an endocrinologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, agrees that it can be difficult to figure out if a patient has constant fatigue or just normal tiredness. Its a matter of semantics, she tells SELF. We have to really try to understand what a patient means when they come in and talk about what theyre experiencing.
In general, though, normal fatigue gets better when youre able to rest , and normal sleepiness gets better with more sleep.
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What Happens When You Start Cutting Calories
Then there is the fact that your body thinks that there is a famine because youve got weight loss setting in so your body is like, Okay this is bad we havent had enough food to sustain our body weight now for days upon days upon weeks upon weeks. This famine is severe and its how are we not starve to death. What it decides is that its going to lower its metabolism low enough that it can still carry on necessary functions but maybe not optimally.
It lowers your thyroid level, and now youve got some pseudo hypothyroidism going, and it starts to subsist on fewer calories essentially and that makes you tired. Your metabolism slows down literally because your body thinks its doing you a favor by saving your life because clearly, the food has run out.
Ari Whitten: Yeah.
Susan Pierce Thompson: Yeah, so for lots of reasons you are like really tired.
Ari Whitten: Yeah for sure. Its interesting because of the whole metabolism down regulation thing, I guess its worth pointing out to people that there is actually a center in the brain that is monitoring whether you have enough calories to deal with your normal daily expenditure. If you dont then it starts to down regulate things.
We just talk about metabolism because its easier to talk about things in that way, but there is actually a couple of different pieces of that energy expenditure side of the equation that get down regulated. One is the resting metabolic rate, like your metabolism cropper.
Not Following A Healthy Lifestyle
With all of the keto-friendly junk food lining the shelves of grocery stores these days, it can be confusing to choose healthy snacks. A good rule of thumb is to always eat whole foods whenever possible.
It can be difficult to always keep whole food snacks on hand if you are frequently on the go. But its best to strive to keep healthy food on hand to maintain satiety without filling our bodies with junk that can lead to fatigue.
It is also essential to meet your macro goals to fuel your body and maintain optimal health and energy while your body is burning fat.
Weve already mentioned fat, but protein is another macronutrient we need to prevent tiredness and fatigue on keto.
Protein intake should account for around 20% of your total calorie consumption and come from healthy sources like bone broth, steak, and chicken. Its usually not hard to hit our protein goals, but you can always add in a high-quality protein supplement if you find it difficult to meet your protein needs.
Finally, always include exercise and adequate sleep as a part of a healthy lifestyle to prevent feeling sluggish and improve overall health.
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Viral Or Bacterial Infection And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, fever, head or body aches.
Fatigue can be a symptom of infections ranging from the flu to HIV. If you have an infection, you’ll probably have other symptoms like fever, head or body aches, shortness of breath, or appetite loss.
Infections that may cause fatigue include:
Fibromyalgia is one of the more common causes of chronic fatigue and musculoskeletal pain, especially in women. Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome are considered separate but related disorders. They share a common symptom: severe fatigue that greatly interferes with people’s lives.
With fibromyalgia, you may feel that no matter how long you sleep, it’s never restful. And you may feel as if you are always fatigued during daytime hours. Your sleep may be interrupted by frequent waking. Yet, you may not remember any sleep disruptions the next day. Some people with fibromyalgia live in a constant fibro fog — a hazy feeling that makes it hard to concentrate.
Constant daytime fatigue with fibromyalgia often results in people not getting enough exercise. That causes a decline in physical fitness. It can also lead to mood-related problems. The best way to offset these effects is to try to exercise more. Exercise has tremendous benefits for sleep, mood, and fatigue.
Acute Fatigue As Urgent/emergent
The new onset with sudden and profound change in ability to do what one used to do can be an urgent or emergent condition. If the fatigue is associated with chest pain, shortness of breath, irregular heart rate, or sense of imminent passing out, these are urgent conditions that warrant immediate medical attention. These could be symptoms of a serious heart condition or major vascular insufficiency. Likewise, if this type of fatigue is associated with suicidal or homicidal thoughts, then immediate medical attention is required.
The bottom line is that being tired or fatigued is expected more as we age than when we were young. There are things we can do to restore some of that old vim and vigor, but there are some conditions that might cause this that require our seeking medical help. Be alert if you are fatigued!
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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:
Why You Need To Stick To Your New Diet For At Least 90 Days
Ari Whitten: Weve talked, weve dissected some of the reasons for the crashing energy now. Then there is this other side of the equation which is what youve noticed in these people that youve worked with, tens of thousands of people that youve helped successfully lose weight. After lets say 90 days or so energy starts to come back so why is that?
Susan Pierce Thompson: Its staggered like its all, I would say that there is a lot more consistency in when the fatigue sets in than when it lifts. I would say it just starts lifting for people and why is that? I am spinning stories here Ari, Im guessing its because maybe theyve run out of toxins.
Now, here is the weird thing though, these people by and large are not done losing weight, they are not done losing weight. The toxin element of it doesnt really make much sense to me. Im guessing that those fat cells would have been pretty homogeneously distributed with toxins throughout. If the toxin explanation were the primary driver here Im guessing that they should stay fatigued.
Ari Whitten: Yeah, I agree.
I mean, I will point out for people because I think this is an important piece to the puzzle. My program is the only program I know of that actively tells people to be sedentary during their weight loss body days, I tell them not to exercise.
Susan Pierce Thompson: You need to know about circadian rhythm too thats probably, yeah I just realized. Probably circadian rhythm.
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When Should You Worry About Fatigue
Q.I have been quite fatigued over the past two weeks. How long should I wait before seeing a doctor?
A. We all go through periods of low energy. Even a week of feeling more tired than usual is not uncommon.
Yet most people can tell when their fatigue feels like something more serious. If that’s the case, or your fatigue gets worse or lasts longer than a week or two, it’s time to see your doctor. Your fatigue might be related to an underlying illness or infection, especially if it’s accompanied by symptoms, such as a low-grade fever, shortness of breath, or loss of appetite.
Other reasons to see your doctor about fatigue are if you often wake up exhausted despite sleeping well, do not feel motivated to begin the day, or struggle to do activities that are ordinarily easy. These could be symptoms of a sleep disorder or depression.
During your exam, your doctor will try to rule out issues like medication side effects. He or she also may order blood tests to determine if the fatigue is related to a specific problem, such as anemia, an underactive thyroid , or liver inflammation . However, don’t be surprised if your doctor does not find a cause. I have found that in most cases people bounce back from fatigue after some rest and a good night’s sleep.
by Howard LeWine, M.D.
Too Much Focusing Is Draining Here’s A Better Strategy
If these diversions aren’t working for you now, she recommends trying a change of scenery if you can.
For Payne, who lives in Baltimore, that meant staying at her parents’ home in West Virginia for three nights.
“It was not a very exciting trip, but we got away and it was a completely different environment. And I didn’t have any projects around the house that I could do other than reading or listening to a podcast, sleeping, eating,” Payne says. “And that was really, really renewing for me.”
However, Cyrus, who is also at Johns Hopkins, says some of her patients say their normal coping strategies aren’t working.
That’s because we are running on an emptier gas tank than usual, she says. “Your coping strategies that might be able to refill you a certain percent, you’re starting lower. So it’s not quite getting you where you need to be.”
If that’s the case for you, try changing up your routine, Payne says. “If you’re walking every day and that’s no longer helping, you try biking.”
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When To See A Doctor
Aside from improving your diet, including by adjusting when and what you eat, you can also help fight fatigue by:
- focusing on getting enough sleep
- managing stress
- getting sunlight exposure during the daytime
If these strategies dont help, its a good idea to visit your doctor about testing for food sensitivities, a thyroid issue and other potential health conditions, such as anemia, that may contribute to your tiredness. This is especially important if your fatigue interferes with your ability to work, attend school, parent, exercise, etc.
Your doctor can run several tests to check for signs of inflammation inside the body, including within the gastrointestinal tract, that may indicate an underlying cause of fatigue. You may also need a hormone panel test to check your thyroid and potentially other tests to rule out issues like nutrient deficiencies.
Additionally, it may be recommended that you keep a food journal in which you record when and what you eat. This way you can form patterns and identify potential trigger foods or combinations.
Too Much Tea And/or Coffee
Caffeine is a quick pick-me-up, but it can stay in your body for five to six hours.
This means any consumption in the afternoon and evenings will still affect your brain when youre trying to sleep at night, says Dr Alison Bentley.
Ideally, you want to have your last cup at 3pm. But if you cant, swap to green tea. Green tea has caffeine but also l-theanine, which mutes the excess stimulating effect of caffeine, says nutritionist Dana James. She also recommends avoiding non-organic drinks to beat the afternoon slump. Pesticide residue ends up in your coffee and that makes you feel tired, she says. Instead of coffee, try these foods to keep you awake.
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What Are The Main Causes Of Constant Fatigue
When Dr. Winter sees patients who say theyre tired all the time, he often tries to distinguish whether theyre sleepy or fatigued. Sleepiness is pretty easyits a defined group of problems, he says. But if theyre talking about fatigue, you could make a list a mile long of what could be causing it.
When Yvonne Bohn, M.D., an ob-gyn at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, hears her patients talking about extreme fatigue, she starts asking questions about certain lifestyle factors first. Sleep, stress, and diet can have a huge influence on how some people feel, she tells SELF.
If those types of factorslike using your phone too much before bed, or recent life events such as caring for a new baby or training for a marathonare ruled out, shell typically do a blood panel to dig a bit deeper. Remember, constant fatigue is a symptom, so it can be a sign of a health issue. Here are a few culprits that may easily fly under the radar:
Sleep apneaa condition in which you intermittently stop and start breathing while sleepingis a particularly common sleep disorder to pay special attention to, as the symptoms are often missed. Even though it is estimated that up to 1 in 15 people have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, researchers believe that 85% of people with clinically significant symptoms have never been diagnosed.1
Difference Between Feeling Tired And Chronic Fatigue
If you have persistent, crippling fatigue that lasts 6 months or longer, you may have chronic fatigue syndrome.
Chronic fatigue syndrome has been studied more in the past five to 10 years, says Dr. Ankerman. Before it was thought of to be more of a psychiatric diagnosis.
Those with chronic fatigue syndrome may experience symptoms like:
- Muscle aches.
- Flu-like symptoms including joint pain and swollen lymph nodes.
- Attention and memory problems.
It can be debilitating, says Dr. Ankerman.
While there is no cure for chronic fatigue syndrome, it can be managed with cognitive behavioral therapy and medication like sleep aids.
Its so important to talk to your doctor if youre having symptoms, says Dr. Ankerman. If youre concerned that this could be something more than just run-of-the-mill tiredness, they can help.
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