Fatigue is more than just a temporary feeling of tiredness. When you feel fatigued, you may find it an uphill task to get up from bed in the morning. You will also need more energy than usual to go about your daily chores.
Fatigue can arise due to many lifestyle factors and medical issues. Here, we delve into the five common causes of fatigue and how to address them effectively.
1. Poor Sleep
According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and the Sleep Research Society (SRS), people between the ages of 18 and 60 need seven or more hours of sleep for good health.
Unfortunately, poor sleep plagues one in three adults in the US and is a prevalent cause of fatigue. When we are sleep deprived, our bodies and minds cannot function as they should and we feel bogged down by fatigue and lack of sleep.
2. Excessive Stress
Human life is fraught with stress as we have to regularly deal with stressors like work deadlines, mounting chores, financial bills, and so on. If you don’t take steps to manage your stress level, it will take its toll on your body and mind, leading to fatigue and illness.
3. Sedentary Lifestyle
Most of us lead a sedentary lifestyle as we sit for long hours in the office which causes fatigue. Even after work, we typically deal with fatigue by watching television while sitting on the couch. But this only leads to more exhaustion and fatigue due to lack of movement and exercise.
4. Nutritional Deficiencies
Our body needs many vitamins and minerals to maintain its energy levels, stay alert, and remain active. Nutritional deficiencies may lead to feelings of exhaustion and fatigue even if you’re getting proper sleep.
Fatigue can arise from deficiencies in the following nutrients:
- Niacin (vitamin B3)
- Riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Pyridoxine (vitamin B6)
- Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)
- Cobalamin (vitamin B12)
- Folate (vitamin B9)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Nutritional deficiencies are common. Studies show that around 25% of the world’s population has anemia. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most widespread form, comprising 50% of anemia cases. People with this condition frequently experience fatigue as a symptom. However, their energy levels usually improve once their iron levels are replenished.
5. Medical Conditions
Underlying medical issues are another reason that you may feel fatigued.
Fatigue is a common symptom of the following medical conditions:
- Heart disease
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Food intolerance
- Urinary tract infection
- Underactive thyroid
- Glandular fever
Importance of Reducing Fatigue
Why is it important to reduce fatigue? Some common and important reasons to address fatigue include:
- Inability to process information
- Slower responses
- Errors in decision-making
- Lack of focus
- Low productivity
- Reduced awareness
- Memory lapses
- Decreased coordination
- Inability to properly assess risky situations
- Increased risk of road accidents and injuries
How Do You Address Fatigue?
How do you address fatigue and what coping strategies can be used when feeling fatigued?
Here are some ways to address and cope with fatigue:
- Maintain a proper sleep routine and ensure that you get at least seven hours of sleep each night.
- Adopt stress management techniques like journaling, meditation, going for regular walks, and so on.
- Do moderate-intensity aerobic exercises for a minimum of 150 minutes or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workouts weekly.
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet. Consume supplements to deal with nutritional deficiencies and fatigue.
- See a doctor to manage and treat underlying medical conditions that are causing fatigue.
Fatigue can make it difficult to do your daily chores and activities. It can even affect your quality of life. But making lifestyle changes and treating underlying health issues can help you on the road to recovery. If your feelings of fatigue last for over two weeks, see a doctor.