What Can I Do About Fatigue
Recognise that the fatigue is real and be kind to yourself. Explain to your family, friends, and colleagues at work the impact the fatigue is having. Because fatigue is invisible, sometimes it is not properly understood. Until it is experienced it can be hard to understand the impact of fatigue and how debilitating it can be.
Get a good nights sleep. Fatigue feels much worse if your sleep pattern is also disturbed. Try to improve your sleep pattern by reading the sleeping well section.
Try relaxation techniques. These can help with fatigue as they promote a good sleep pattern, and can help reduce stress. Consider trying techniques such as mindful meditation, aromatherapy, yoga, tai chi, and other activities you find relaxing, such as reading or having a long shower or bath.
Plan, prioritise and delegate.
Eat well. A healthy diet can help. See the section on eating well.
What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome , also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME/CFS, is a condition in which fatigue lasts six months or longer and is not related to other diseases or conditions. People with CFS experience symptoms that make it hard to do daily tasks like dressing or bathing. Along with severe fatigue that doesnt get better with rest, CFS symptoms can include problems with sleep, memory and concentrating, pain, dizziness, sore throat, and tender lymph nodes. Learn more about CFS.
Depression Mild To Moderate
Daytime drowsiness can be a symptom of depression. Other symptoms of depression include lack of interest in your usual activities, low energy, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness, and sleep problems such as insomnia, excessive waking during the night, nightmares, and other sleep disturbances.
The fatigue associated with depression can be both mental and physical. It may or may not be caused by the sleeping difficulties that are common in depression.
Mild to moderate depression, whether it be acute or chronic can be treated with medication prescribed by your health care provider. There are things that you can do yourself to help to alleviate depression and daytime sleepiness. Exercising, spending time out-of-doors every day, or talking with a trusted friend or family member may be helpful.
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Bacterial Or Viral Infection
You have a cold or the flu. Youre feeling worn down and tired. Thats because your body is fighting the infection and its putting a strain on your immune system.
More serious bacterial and viral infections can interact with different organ systems which can cause fatigue, says Dr. Ankerman.
Infections like mononucleosis and COVID-19 can even cause long-lasting tiredness.
Spending Too Much Time Indoors
If your day is made up of waking up, getting in the car, working in an office or staying at home all day and then going to bed, you probably dont get enough fresh air or sunshine.
Fresh air gives you a burst of oxygen and sunshine gives you vitamin D. Both these elements boost your energy levels and wake you up. They also boost your immune system, so youre less likely to get colds, bugs and other illnesses which make you feel run down.
Try getting out of the office at lunchtime or going for a walk in the evenings. When its warm enough, open windows and doors too to let the air and sunshine go through your house.
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Fact: Common Medications Can Trigger Drowsiness
Many common medications, such as those used to treat colds, allergies, or motion sickness, can hinder alertness on the road. If the bottle lists drowsiness as a side effect or warns against operating a motor vehicle, itâs best not to get behind the wheel. Even small amounts of alcohol can amplify the fatigue associated with these medications.
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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Why Do I Feel So Tired After Covid
What makes post COVID fatigue last a long time? In some people, different things contribute to the fatigue and make it last a long time. Low levels of physical activity, a disturbed daily routine, poor sleep patterns, demanding work, caring responsibilities, low mood, anxiety and stress can all make fatigue worse.
Reasons Why You’re Feeling Tired And Dizzy
Dizziness as a disorder is defined by a dimmed vision, confusion, light-headedness, or a brief loss of consciousness. Fatigue is mental or physical exhaustion that may be triggered by overwork, medication, stress, physical illness, or disease. The symptoms could be related toalcoholism,substance abuse, or strict dieting. For people experiencing dizziness and tired, the causes are many, ranging from light to severe.
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Smoking Or Drinking Alcohol Before Bed
We often feel sleepy after drinking a lot of alcohol, so youre fooled into thinking it aids sleep. But actually, our quality of sleep is affected after having a few drinks and youll feel tired the next day. Similarly, smoking last thing at night can mean your quality of sleep suffers even though you think youve had enough sleep. This is because like alcohol, nicotine is a stimulant.
Tom Hemelryk explains, Stimulants like alcohol, tobacco and heavy foods in the run up to bed will disrupt the chemical balance in your brain needed for restful sleep.
If you do smoke, try to have your last cigarette at least four hours before bedtime. Nicotine patches or chewing gum can also affect your sleep. Its also best to avoid drinking large amounts of alcohol close to bedtime if you are feeling tired or having sleep problems.
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
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Can Boredom Cause Fatigue
Being bored can make you feel tired. That may sound strange, but it’s true. If you were very busy during your working years, you may feel lost about how to spend your time when you retire. When you wake up in the morning, you may see long days stretching before you with nothing planned. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Engaging in social and productive activities that you enjoy, like volunteering in your community, may help maintain your well-being. Think about what interests you and what skills or knowledge you have to offer and look for places to volunteer. Read Participating in Activities You Enjoy for ways to find volunteer opportunities.
How Can A Workplace Address Fatigue
Fatigue can be addressed through the workplaceâs safety management system, or as a separate fatigue management program. Creation of a program that addresses both workplace and personal factors may include to:
- identify the hazards and conduct a risk assessment for factors associated with fatigue
- develop and implement the organizationâs response to when a person is experiencing fatigue
- document of the steps to take to report fatigue in self or others
- design the work area to have appropriate lighting, temperature, and noise levels.
- develop administrative practices such as maximum hours of service, appropriate shift rotation, extended workdays, reducing or eliminating the need to do high risk activities between certain hours , etc.
- assess physical and mental job demands.
- provide appropriate work, where possible. For example, try to offer a variety of tasks that vary in interest and movement throughout the shift.
- provide lodging or areas to rest or sleep, where appropriate and necessary
- educate and train about fatigue, including recognizing signs and symptoms of fatigue, how to gauge alertness, or steps to help achieve better sleep
- provide medical screening for health issues that may affect sleep
- provide mental health services, including employee assistance programs , as needed
- include fatigue as a possible factor and related causes of fatigue when investigating incidents
For more information, please see the following OSH Answers documents:
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Food Allergies Food Intolerance And Fatigue
Symptoms: Fatigue, sleepiness, continued exhaustion
Although food is supposed to give you energy, medical research suggests that hidden food intolerances — or allergies — can do the opposite. In fact, fatigue may be an early warning sign of food intolerance or food allergy. Celiac disease, which happens when you cant digest gluten, may also cause fatigue.
Ask your doctor about the elimination diet. This is a diet in which you cut out certain foods linked to a variety of symptoms, including sleepiness within 10 to 30 minutes of eating them, for a certain period of time to see if that makes a difference. You can also talk to your doctor about a food allergy test — or invest in a home test such as ALCAT — which may help you identify the offending foods.
Try Increasing Your Activities
It can be hard to find the motivation to do pretty much anything when youre depressed. And when your activity level drops, you might feel even less motivated and more tired. This leads to a vicious cycle.
With physical tiredness, you need to rest. But with depression, its the opposite. Sleeping and sitting around often make you feel more tired and also gives you time to sit with depressive thoughts, which can make you feel worse.
One way to break this cycle is to start gently increasing your activities. This is a cognitive behavioral therapy technique known as behavioral activation. The theory is that doing things will help give you the energy to do more things.
Again, start small, and prioritize manageable, reasonable activities that bring some enjoyment, or activities that provide a sense of achievement.
Here are some ideas for gentle activities to try:
- Go for a small walk, and smell the flowers that you pass on the way.
- Watch birds in your local park.
- Make a playlist of upbeat music.
- Move your body in a way that feels good.
- Research a topic that youre interested in.
- Do a jigsaw or a crossword puzzle.
- Make a warm drink.
- Rewatch a favorite movie.
- Have a spontaneous picnic.
For more ideas and for a worksheet to help you monitor your activities and mood changes, you can check out the Behavioural Strategies for Managing Depression worksheet from the Center for Clinical Interventions in Australia.
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Too Much Or Too Little Activity
A person with fatigue may not feel able to exercise, and a lack of exercise can cause further fatigue. A lack of exercise may eventually cause deconditioning, making it harder and more tiring to perform a physical task.
Fatigue can also affect healthy individuals after prolonged, intense mental or physical activity.
Sleeping Through The Pandemic
Since the outbreak of coronavirus in the UK, many of our sleeping schedules have been broken. A new study by Kings College London and Ipsos MORI found that significant numbers of people have experienced changes to their sleep patterns since lockdown was first announced in the UK on 23 March.
The research showed that half the population has had more disturbed sleep than usual, while three in 10 people say theyve slept for longer but feel less rested than they normally would.
Professor Bobby Duffy, who is the director of the Policy Institute at Kings College London has outlined the negative effect that lockdown is having on our sleep. Nearly two-thirds of the UK public report some negative impact on their sleep from the Covid-19 crisis, clearly showing just how unsettling the pandemic and lockdown measures have been for a very large proportion us.
And this is clearly tied to both how stressful weve found the virus itself, and how much we fear the impact of the lockdown on our employment and finances.
He says its actually young people who have experienced the biggest change to their sleep both for positive and negative reasons. They are more likely than older people to say theyve experienced negative impacts on their sleep, but also more likely to say theyve slept better. As with so much about Covid-19, the crisis is affecting people very differently depending on their circumstances, and that includes the most fundamental aspects of life, such as sleep.
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Fact: Caffeine Provides A Mild Boost
Whether in the form of coffee, soft drinks, or gum, caffeine can briefly increase alertness. Keep in mind that the effect takes about 30 minutes to kick in, so you may want to pull over and rest until you perk up. This temporary fix has its limits — caffeine canât overcome severe fatigue and may have little impact on regular coffee drinkers.
What Else Causes Fatigue
Some lifestyle habits can make you feel tired. Here are some things that may be draining your energy:
- Staying up too late. A good night’s sleep is important to feeling refreshed and energetic. Try going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.
- Having too much caffeine. Drinking caffeinated drinks like soda, tea, or coffee late in the day can keep you from getting a good night’s sleep. Limit the amount of caffeine you have during the day and avoid it in the evening.
- Drinking too much alcohol.Alcohol changes the way you think and act. It may also interact with your medicines.
- Eating junk food. Say “no thanks” to food with empty calories, like fried foods and sweets, which have few nutrients and are high in fat and sugars. Choose nutritious foods to get the energy you need to do the things you enjoy.
- Getting too little or too much exercise. Regular exercise can boost your energy levels, but dont overdo it.
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How Do I Stop Being Tired And Lazy
How to overcome laziness
Too Hot Or Too Cold In Bed
If youre too hot or too cold to get to sleep, this is going to affect the quality of sleep you manage to get overnight.
Its also going to leave you feeling less than refreshed come the morning. Getting a comfortable nights sleep can be more challenging during the hottest months says Thom Hemelryk founder of the Drowsy sleep company.
Increased temperatures make it harder for us to drift off and mean we toss and turn more than the usual. But then sleeping with the windows open also increases outside light and noises that can keep us up.
Thom says the key to how to sleep in the heat is all about regulating your body temperature, Your body temperature naturally peaks in the evening and then drops when you are asleep. Even slight changes to your normal patterns can be disruptive. So, its important to be aware of your temperature patterns and prepare accordingly.
He suggests these 3 hacks for summer temperature control:
- Invest in a good fan, it keeps the temperature down and blocks out external noise.
- Sleep with a light cotton sheet instead of a quilt. If temperatures really soar, try rinsing it in water to keep you cool.
- Dont sleep naked as this could actually make you hotter.
- Have your own bedding! In the winter it might be great to cuddle up to your partner to keep warm, but in the summer the heat from your two bodies can make you more uncomfortable. Regulate things by having separate bedding for both of you.
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