We all experience tiredness at times, which can be relieved by sleep and rest. Fatigue, however, is when the tiredness is overwhelming and isn’t relieved by sleep and rest. Typically, you feel you can’t be bothered to do anything, your muscles feel heavy, and you get tired very quickly.
Here are 10 reasons why you may be feeling fatigue …
Sleep apnoea is a condition in which your throat narrows or closes during sleep and repeatedly interrupts your breathing. This results in loud snoring and a drop in your blood’s oxygen levels. The difficulty in breathing means you wake up often in the night and feel exhausted the next day.
As well as making you feel very sad, depression can also make you feel drained of energy.
It can stop you falling asleep or cause you to wake up early in the morning, which makes you feel more tired during the day.
This is when you get an overwhelming urge to move your legs, which can keep you awake at night. You might also have an unpleasant crawling sensation or a deep ache in your legs, or your legs might jerk spontaneously through the night.
Feeling anxious is sometimes perfectly normal. But some people have constant uncontrollable feelings of anxiety that are so strong they affect their daily life. Doctors call this generalised anxiety disorder (GAD). It’s a common condition, affecting slightly more women than men. As well as feeling worried and irritable, people with GAD often feel tired.
One of the main symptoms of diabetes, a long-term condition caused by too much sugar (glucose) in the blood, is feeling very tired. The other key symptoms are feeling very thirsty, going to the toilet a lot, and weight loss. Your GP can diagnose diabetes with a blood test.
Ever notice that when you’re feeling tired or cranky, you haven’t had a glass of water for a while? That’s no coincidence – being dehydrated can have a real impact on your mood and energy levels. Researchers believe parts of our brain may actually shrink when they’re low on liquids (yikes!). And you don’t need to be severely dehydrated to experience these cognitive symptoms, either.
Food sensitivities or intolerances typically cause symptoms like rashes, digestive problems, a runny nose or headaches. But fatigue is another symptom that’s often overlooked. Also, research suggests that quality of life may be more affected by fatigue in those with food sensitivities.
Sleeping at the wrong time
Sleeping at the wrong time can reduce your energy. Sleeping during the day instead of at night disrupts your body’s circadian rhythm, which are the biological changes that occur in response to light and darkness during a 24-hour cycle.
Relying on energy drinks
There’s no shortage of beverages that promise to provide quick energy. Popular energy drinks typically contain the following:
– Amino acids
– Large doses of B vitamins
It’s true that these beverages may provide a temporary energy boost due to their high caffeine and sugar content. For example, a study in sleep-deprived healthy adults found that consuming an energy shot led to modest improvements in alertness and mental function. Unfortunately, these energy drinks are also likely to set you up for rebound fatigue when the effects of the caffeine and sugar wear off.
High stress levels
Chronic stress may have a profound effect on your energy levels and quality of life. Although some stress is normal, excessive levels of stress have been linked to fatigue in several studies. In addition, your response to stress can influence how tired you feel.
Sources: www.healthline.com, www.nhs.uk and www.prevention.com
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