Health Library







Categories > Sleep Disorders > Fighting fatigue

Rest assured
No rest for the weary


Something more
Something more

Can’t shake that exhaustion? Sometimes fatigue can be caused by underlying medical problems, such as:

  • anemia
  • cancer
  • depression
  • diabetes
  • restless legs syndrome
  • sleep apnea
  • thyroid disorders
  • chronic fatigue syndrome

If you’ve made lifestyle changes but are still unable to regain your energy after several weeks, speak with your healthcare provider.

Does it feel like you’re running on empty? Are mid-afternoon naps a necessity to get you through the day? Many times, fatigue is a result of lifestyle habits or routines.

No rest for the weary

Finding relief for fatigue starts with getting to the source of the problem. Do any of the following statements sound familiar?

1. I’m not getting enough sleep. Even an hour less every night can affect how you function the next day.

Solutions: Set your alarm for the same time every day to help establish a sleep pattern. Naps a must? Make sure they’re short and early in the day. If you exercise, time your workout for at least six hours before you go to bed. Don’t eat, read or watch TV in bed or consume a large meal right before going to sleep. Keep your bedroom cool, dark and quiet. If you still can’t sleep, don’t toss and turn. Get up and read a book or relax until you feel sleepy.

2. I’m feeling stressed. Going nonstop will eventually catch up with you, keeping you from relaxing and getting rest.

Solutions: Pace yourself. Organize your activities and put aside a little time each day to engage in a favorite activity. Ease work-related stress by resolving conflicts with co-workers and discuss work overloads with your boss. Make sure to get up from your desk to stretch at least several times a day.

3. I don’t move around a lot. You can tire easily if you’re out of shape.

Solutions: Moderate exercise for a half-hour or longer on most days can give you a much-needed energy boost. Try walking, swimming, running or dancing to get your heart pumping. If you don’t have the time to do a full 30 minutes at one time, break it up into 10-minute sessions.

4. I don’t eat right. Food gives your body energy, so if you’re filling up on low-grade fuel, don’t expect it to run properly.

Solutions: Low-fat, high-fiber breakfasts will give you energy to last for hours. Fruit, a bran muffin or oatmeal are all excellent choices. Skip the sugary cereals and caffeinated and alcoholic drinks. Make sure to eat every few hours. Not consuming enough calories only makes fatigue worse.

5. I’m on medication. Medicines such as beta-blockers and antihistamines may cause fatigue. Certain cold medications and pain relievers contain stimulants such as caffeine, which can disturb your sleep and lead to drowsiness.

Solutions: Talk with your healthcare provider about your fatigue and alternative medications you can take. Find over-the-counter medicines that don’t contain stimulants.