We all feel tired sometimes, but how do we distinguish between fatigue and tiredness? Fatigue can make it hard to get out of bed and even harder to complete tasks in the workplace. Consistent fatigue can be due to numerous health and lifestyle factors such as mental health issues, metabolic issues, medication and sleep problems. It is important to prevent fatigue in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
Symptoms of Fatigue
These are the most common as described by Better Health:
- Aching / sore muscles
- Lack of motivation
- Daytime drowsiness
- Difficulty concentrating
- Slowed response time
- Vision problems, such as blurriness
Have you experienced any of these symptoms lately? Don’t worry — there are simple ways to combat them straight away. Here are a few tips to handle fatigue.
4 Tips to Handle Fatigue
1. Get lots of rest
Ensuring you sleep and wake up at the same time allows you to maintain your sleep pattern over time. To do this effectively, keep your bedroom temperature at a comfortable level to allow you to sleep through the whole night and ensure the room is dark and quiet to avoid light sleeping. Avoid eating and keep screen time to a minimum an hour before bed.
2. Hydrate and nourish yourself
Consuming drinks that are high in sugar can lead to poor sleep quality. Therefore, it is important to stay away from soft drinks and energy drinks. Diets high in fibre and low in fat are associated with reduced fatigue. Foods such as fish, fruits, vegetables and wholegrain bread and pasta may be suitable to implement into your diet.
3. Move your body!
Engaging in regular physical exercise helps to improve your sleep pattern and reduce fatigue. High intensity exercise such as aerobics or running result in lower levels of fatigue compared to low-intensity sports such as yoga.
4. Practise Mindfulness
A study using individuals with Multiple Sclerosis examined the effects of mindfulness meditation on levels of fatigue. Participants completed two months of mindfulness meditation. After the two months, levels of fatigue, anxiety and depression were lower than prior to the mindfulness course. Therefore, implementing mindfulness into your daily life may also improve symptoms of fatigue.
If all else fails…
Visit your local GP. Your doctor can run diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your fatigue. They will help identify your symptoms, run urine tests, imaging scans and maybe ask you to complete mental health questionnaires to determine the cause of your fatigue. Once an illness has been diagnosed, appropriate treatment will be suggested to combat your fatigue.
Overall, we can all fall victim to these symptoms sometimes. It is important to take a step back and look at why this may be. Maintaining a consistent sleep pattern, healthy diet and engaging in exercise or mindfulness can help to relieve symptoms of fatigue. Of course, if you have previously tried to tackle this yourself and have been unsuccessful, it may be worth visiting your GP or therapist for further guidance.
Written by Fay Maddock
Fay is a Clinical and Health Psychology graduate, currently completing a masters in Psychological Research. She has assisted in collecting data to determine whether an anti-bullying programme can reduce rates of bullying in primary schools across the UK. Furthermore, she has completed a dissertation regarding predictors of motivation and wellbeing within undergraduate students. Her particular interests are in the area of mental health and neuropsychology.