Tiredness and Fatigue

Feeling exhausted is so common that it has its own acronym, TATT, which stands for “tired all the time”.

We all feel tired from time to time. The reasons are usually obvious and include:

  • too many late nights
  • long hours spent at work
  • a baby keeping you up at night

But tiredness or exhaustion that goes on for a long time is not normal and can affect your ability to get on and enjoy your life.

Unexplained tiredness is one of the most common reasons for people to see their GP.

Reasons you could be tired

Some reasons you could be feeling tired might be:

  • Not getting enough exercise.
    Sitting in one position for long periods of time can sap your energy, even if you’re watching the TV or using the computer. Your body equates the stillness with going to sleep.
  • Poor posture
    A lot of your energy goes on keeping you upright. Your spine can be put out of alignment by bad posture, such as:

-hunching forwards

-lumping in your seat

-cradling your phone

The more out of balance your spine is, the more your muscles have to work to compensate.

  • Constant Worrying

If you’re fretting about something all day long, your heart rate and blood pressure rise, and your muscles tighten, leading to fatigue and aches.

Try: setting aside some time to concentrate on your worries. Try to think of positive solutions, then put the worries out of your mind.

  • Exercising too much

Regular exercise is good for you, but working out intensively every day may not be good for your energy levels, especially if you’re a beginner or trying to get back in shape.

Try: taking a day off between strenuous bouts of exercise. However, don’t leave more than 2 or 3 days between sessions, or you might fall out of the regular exercise habit.

Sleep Tips

If you have difficulty falling asleep, a regular bedtime routine will help you wind down and prepare for bed.

Few people manage to stick to strict bedtime routines. This isn’t much of a problem for most people, but for insomniacs, irregular sleeping hours are unhelpful.

Your routine depends on what works for you, but the most important thing is working out a routine and sticking to it.

  • Sleep at regular times
  • Make sure you wind down before bed
  • Try a warm bath before bed
  • Write a ‘to do’ list for the next day to clear your mind of any distractions
  • Read a book or listen to music
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and between 18°c and 24°c
  • Relaxation exercises such as yoga or light stretches

When to see your GP

If you have tried some of the techniques and you still feeling tired or fatigued and are concerned, visit your GP who will ask you questions about your lifestyle and may even decide carry out some simple tests for common issues such as anaemia.