Does this sound familiar? You feel tired so you do less, but you feel you should try to do something, but you’re tired; and so the cycle continues. Tiredness is an unfortunate fact of modern life, with 1 in 5 people feeling unusually tired at any one time, and while some causes are transparent others are less so. Time to put tiredness under the spotlight.
There are many very obvious reasons for tiredness. Working double shifts, getting up every night for the baby and so on. I’d first like to focus on some less obvious reasons. Certain physical illnesses and conditions are quite strongly associated with tiredness, especially if they involve some degree of pain. Chronic infections, anemia, liver, heart or breathing problems are similarly implicated. Glandular conditions such as hypothyroidism and diabetes, and muscular conditions such as myositis (muscle inflammation) or multiple sclerosis are all associated with tiredness.
Physical conditions such as those previously outlined rarely occur without psychological implications. Worries and stress about the condition and its implications can itself make the person feel tired, especially if the problem appears long-term or you can’t see ways to resolve it. And as a common implication of stress and anxiety is insomnia or even depression the issue of tiredness is compounded. Unfortunately the treatments offered in relation to these conditions often come with a side effect of tiredness. Medications used for anxiety or depression are prime examples, although the worst effects generally pass after a short period.
Many people can’t look to an illness as a cause of their tiredness but they might consider their physique and activity levels. For example, people who are underweight will find they simply don’t have the musculature to go about daily tasks without feeling fatigued. People who are overweight will find they have to work harder to achieve the same results as a person of healthy weight.
Emotional reasons for tiredness aren’t so easy to spot. But tiredness often follows stressful situations like bad news, friction in a relationship, and even changes in routine like planning a party, or moving house or job. Some of these issues may seem pleasurable but so far as the body is concerned they are placing extra demands on its capacity to respond. We also have to keep in mind that tiredness can result from placing too many personal demands, setting too high standards and worse still, seeing these standards fail or being frustrated.
So what’s the answer? Well, given the fact that I’ve outlined several different reasons for tiredness it stands to reason that the answer depends on the cause. Aside from the specifics, like seeing your doctor to work out a possible cause of tiredness, I can perhaps suggest some more general strategies.
Broken sleep is a very common cause of tiredness so this can be tackled by attempts to establish a sleep routine. Cut out stimulation like the television, laptops or other mobile devices and keep the bedroom for sleeping. If you drink alcohol or coffee before you sleep, it is likely to either keep you awake or send you to sleep quickly and wake you early.
Asking someone who is tired to take exercise may seem like a tall order but it really works. Start simply and build up. Keep your expectations realistic and this goes for other aspects of life too! Finally, there is always the temptation to counteract tiredness by using one of the many products on the market, such as caffeine based drinks. These may be alright for short-term needs but you can’t put off tiredness in this way for long. The same applies for vitamin supplements, diets that remove certain food groups (unless you actually know they cause a problem).
Published On: August 03, 2013