Sleepiness Fatigue Tiredness And Lack Of Energy – May is Mental Health Awareness Month! Project Sleep believes that mental health and sleep health are inextricably linked. We are excited to share some interesting connections between sleep and mental health.
When your energy feels off, it can be hard to know what’s wrong and what to do about it. Feeling sluggish could be a sign of many things including anemia, thyroid issues, sleep disorders, diabetes, depression, nutritional deficiencies, and so on. . You may also be thinking, “Will this go away or should I talk to a doctor about it?”
- 1 Sleepiness Fatigue Tiredness And Lack Of Energy
- 2 Tiredness And Fatigue: Why It Happens And How To Beat It
Sleepiness Fatigue Tiredness And Lack Of Energy
In everyday life, we use different words interchangeably – feeling tired, tired, sleepy, exhausted, lazy, stressed out, foggy, burnt out, zombie, or energized low But these terms can have different meanings.
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For example, at Project Sleep, we often hear from people with sleep problems who struggled with excessive sleepiness for many years before finding an accurate diagnosis of sleep apnea, narcolepsy, or idiopathic hypersomnia. Even when a person mentions silence to a health care provider, it may be easy to confuse it for depression or fatigue.
Sleep, fatigue, and depression can be invisible, creep into a person’s life, and be difficult to explain to loved ones or doctors.
So what are the main differences between depression, fatigue, and depression? In this post, we break each one down to help educate about the similarities and differences. It is important to be able to communicate about these symptoms to help find an accurate diagnosis, treatment, and a community of people who understand.
It is normal to feel sleepy now and then or take a nap at times. However, having trouble staying awake during the day, consistently for at least 3 months is considered excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). If you have trouble sleeping, talk to a board-certified sleep specialist to see if you have a sleep disorder.
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Tiredness is a lack of physical and emotional energy and motivation (aka tiredness, fatigue, and low energy). Fatigue can look like:
Tiredness after mental or physical exertion is normal. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) that lasts for 6+ months without a known cause, is not improved by sleep or rest, and worsens with physical or mental activity. If you suffer from chronic or severe fatigue, consult your doctor to determine the underlying cause.
The main difference between sleepiness and fatigue is the ability to fall asleep during the day when you feel tired and when you get the chance.
Depression includes persistent feelings of sadness, disappointment and hopelessness, along with other emotional, mental and physical changes that interfere with daily activities. Depression can look like:
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We all get sad from time to time, and that’s healthy. When sad feelings persist for 2+ weeks and are felt almost all day, almost every day, they can be clinical depression. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is important to seek help from your doctor or mental health practitioner.
It is much easier to say than to make out the difference between silence, fatigue, and depression, or which came first. They overlap and interact a lot. The feedback loop between sleep issues and depression can be difficult, but understanding the complex relationship can be key to better managing both.
There is no “one size fits all” treatment for depression, anxiety or fatigue; we are all different! Finding the right treatment for you may take some trial and error, but remember: help and support is available!
It is normal for people to feel tired or overwhelmed sometimes. If mood changes and feelings of anxiety or unhappiness are severe, or if they last longer than 2 weeks, please consider seeking a medical professional.
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If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health or suicidal thoughts, 24-hour help is available through the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273- 8255, Veterans Hotline and Military Hotline at 1-800-273-8255, and the Emergency Text Line by texting “hello” to 741741. Veins are a major player in the body: Here’s why baby formulas ‘ deliver nutritional claims? Holiday arguments brewing? Here’s how to get rid of them What does a birth doula do? Cellulitis: How long does it take to heal on the legs? 21 spices for holiday meals What to do when driving skills decline Tough question: When should an older driver stop driving? 3 ways to create community and fight loneliness Opill: Is this new birth control pill right for you?
When I’m slacking and feeling tired on a few low-energy days, my elixir goes to an extra cup (or two or three) of black French coffee. It gives my body and brain a boost it needs, but it might not help where I need it most: my cells.
What we call “energy” is a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), produced by tiny cellular structures called mitochondria. The job of ATP is to store energy and then deliver that energy to cells in other parts of the body. However, as you age, your body has fewer mitochondria. “If you feel like you don’t have enough energy, this may be because your body is having problems producing enough ATP and therefore providing enough energy to your cells,” says Dr. Anthony Komaroff, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. You may not be able to overcome all aspects of age-related energy loss, but there are ways to help your body make more ATP produce and replenish depleted energy levels.The most common strategies revolve around three basic concepts: diet, exercise, and sleep.
Diet. Increase your ATP with fatty acids and protein from lean meats like chicken and turkey, fatty fish like salmon and tuna, and nuts. While eating large amounts can cause your body to forage for more ATP, it also increases your risk of weight gain, which can deplete energy levels. “The extra pounds mean your body has to work harder to move, so you use more ATP,” said Dr. Komaroff. When lack of energy is an issue, it’s better to eat small meals and snacks every few hours than three large meals a day, according to Dr. Komaroff. “Your brain has very limited energy reserves and needs a constant supply of nutrients,” he said. “Also, large meals cause insulin levels to rise, which then drop your blood sugar quickly, causing a feeling of fatigue.”
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Drink plenty of water. If your body is short on fluids, one of the first signs is feeling tired. Although individual needs vary, the Institute of Medicine recommends that men should aim for about 15 cups (3.7 liters) of fluid per day, and women about 12 cups (2.7 liters). In addition to water and beverages like coffee, tea, and juice, you can also get your fluids from liquid-heavy fruits and vegetables that are up to 90% water, such as cucumbers, zucchini, squash, strawberries, citrus fruits, and melons.
Get enough sleep. Research suggests that sleep can increase ATP levels. ATP levels rise in the initial hours of sleep, especially in key brain regions that are active during waking hours. Talk to your doctor if you have trouble sleeping at night.
Follow an exercise regimen. Exercise can increase energy levels by increasing energy-boosting neurotransmitters in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin, which is why you feel so good after exercise. Exercise also makes muscles stronger and more efficient, so they need less energy, thus conserving ATP. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you do, but consistency is key. Some research has suggested that as little as 20 minutes of low-to-moderate aerobic activity, three days a week, can help sedentary people feel more energized.
You should see your doctor if you experience a prolonged period of low energy, as it can be an early warning of a serious illness. “Unusual fatigue is often the first major red flag that something is wrong,” says Dr. Komaroff. Lack of energy is a common symptom of most serious diseases, such as heart disease, many types of cancer, autoimmune diseases such as lupus and multiple sclerosis, and anemia (too few red blood cells). Fatigue is also a common symptom of depression and anxiety. And fatigue is a side effect of some medications.
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Matthew Solan is executive editor of Harvard Men’s Watch. He previously served as executive editor for UCLA’s y Years and as a contributor to Duke Medicine News and Weill Cornell Medical College… See Full Bio
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Tiredness And Fatigue: Why It Happens And How To Beat It
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