How to put fatigue to rest

Has fatigue been dragging you down, making life seem incredibly hard?  Does the thought of doing daily necessities such as paying bills or doing laundry make you weary just thinking about it?

Feeling fatigued every so often is not necessarily unusual.  But when it begins to occur frequently and for longer periods of time, it could be signaling something else is going on you need to be alert to.

Many of us may blame fatigue on getting older or from being “busy.”  We can always reason with ourselves that feeling tired is simply inevitable.  However there are signs that anyone who is experiencing fatigue more than they used to should pay attention to:

·Being unmotivated to begin the day

·Lacking energy to do the activities you once enjoyed

·Even after a good night’s sleep you still wake up exhausted

·Experiencing sudden bouts of exhaustion that go away and then return

·Having shortness of breath

·Little energy to exercise

·Trouble concentrating , staying alert, and remembering things

·Becoming angry or upset easily

Excessive fatigue is usually a warning sign of some type of medical condition.  In order to get to the bottom of why you are feeling so tired all the time, consult with your doctor to find out what is causing this to happen.  They should check into the following possibilities as to why fatigue is coming on in full force:

·Sleep problems

A common sleep issue leading to fatigue is sleep apnea.  This condition is characterized one or more pauses in breathing or shallow breaths while you sleep.  Breathing pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes.  They may occur up to 30 times or more an hour and is common among older adults and people who are overweight. 

Overactive bladder is another sleep problem that can cause you to wake up unrested.  This condition forces repeated nighttime bathroom trips disturbing your sleep enough to make you feel overly tired the next day.


Anemia is a medical condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells which transports oxygen through the bloodstream.  When blood has too few red blood cells, those cells have too little hemoglobin which means less oxygen is distributed throughout the body in which you pay the price with low energy levels.


One area to consider for increased fatigue is what medications you are taking.  Certain ones can make you feel tired, such as blood pressure drugs, statins, antidepressants, antihistamines, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and cold medications.  Not everyone reacts the same to all medications but check with your doctor if you feel a medication you are taking is causing needless fatigue.

·Heart disease

One medical condition not to ignore that could be causing fatigue is heart disease.  This can cause the heart to pump blood less efficiently and can lead to fluid in the lungs.  When the heart is not operating like it should, this can cause shortness of breath, reducing the oxygen supply to the heart and lungs, making you feel tired.

·Depression or anxiety

Suffering from even just minor depression or anxiety can drain energy levels.  Many people may chalk up lack of energy to being overworked when it could be a mental health issue needing to be addressed.

How to boost your energy levels back to normal

Here are some ways to give a kick-start to sagging energy levels:

·Control stress – Stress-induced emotions from your job, finances or dealing with friends or family can be a huge energy drainer.  To diffuse stress, talk with a friend, join a support group or see a psychotherapist.  Also try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga or tai chi.

·Lighten your load – Having too many things to do can bring on fatigue quickly.  If you are doing it all – your job, family and social obligations – try to streamline your “must-do” activities.   Set priorities in terms of what is most important while paring down those that are less important.  Always consider asking for help too.

·Use caffeine to your advantage – A little caffeine in the form of coffee or tea can be a good jump-start to your day.  It can offer a mental and physical lift especially if morning fatigue is a problem.

·Go for a 30-minute walk – Getting outdoors walking can do wonders for clearing the mind and making you feel more energized.  If that is not possible, walk around your house in bouts of 10 to 15 minutes, two to three times a day.

·Take a nap – If tiredness strikes in the afternoon, take a nap.  But keep the nap no longer than 20 to 30 minutes. Napping any longer than that can have the opposite effect leaving you feeling groggy rather than refreshed. Avoid napping too late in the day or in the early evening as it could interfere with your normal sleep schedule.

·Eat for energy – Eat regular meals each day spread out no more than 4 to 5 hours apart.  Choose healthy carbohydrate foods like whole grains, high-fiber veggies, nuts, and healthy oils such as olive oil.  Avoid sugary foods such as cookies, donuts, or soft drinks which can leave you feeling more tired than usual. 

·Drink water – Make sure you are drinking sufficient water throughout the day.  If your body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is a feeling of fatigue.   The color of your urine can be an indicator of good hydration – it should be a pale straw color.