Is Tiredness Taking a Toll on Your Health?
We all live busy lives. Feeling tired from day-to-day activities is very common for all of us. Rest rejuvenates us and we get on with our regular chores. But tiredness can be a serious problem if it is persistent and it stops you from enjoying and getting on with your life. Let us learn how to deal with it and what does tiredness, in real terms, signify.
Does your tiredness carry any subtle message?
Tiredness could be experienced due to many reasons. Nearly about 1 in 5 people report unusual tiredness. The reasons can be physical or psychological. Common physical causes are being overweight or being too thin, pregnancy, Anaemia, Autoimmune disorders, Chronic infections, Cancer, Liver, heart or long-term chest problems, Diabetes, Hypothyroidism, Narcolepsy, Sleep apnea, Myositis and Multiple sclerosis.
Tiredness could also be due to psychological causes such as stress, anxiety, depression, work-related stress, bereavement, sleep problems (insomnia) and relationship problems.
How to Manage Tiredness?
If your tiredness is due to the above mentioned physical causes, then consult a physician regarding it. For psychological causes, see a psychiatrist. If your tiredness is associated with insomnia, try these measures to improve your sleep hygiene.
- Avoid napping during the day.
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine, tea, and alcohol too close to bedtime.
- Exercise promotes good sleep. Although this might feel difficult initially due to tiredness, but once you get into the groove, you will love it and will be able to reap the benefits in the long run.
- Avoid eating Food just before you sleep as it may be disruptive right before sleep.
- Try to destress yourself.
- Establish a regular relaxing bedtime routine. Try to avoid emotionally upsetting conversations and activities before trying to go to sleep. Don’t dwell on, or bring your problems to bed.
- Associate your bed with sleep. It’s not a good idea to use your bed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or read.
If the condition does not improve, see a psychiatrist who can help you with the above problems.
What is Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (M.E.) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
A small number of people suffer from severe and disabling tiredness that goes on for a long time and for which there is no clear cause. This is called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).
For a diagnosis of CFS, you have to have:
- 6 months or more of medically unexplained tiredness that is new and not relieved by rest.
- 4 or more of the following symptoms: sore throat, tender lymph nodes, muscle pain, joint pain, headache, un-refreshing sleep, tiredness after exercise that last more than 24 hours.
- No active physical disease or mental disorder that could be responsible for these symptoms. So, before a diagnosis of CFS is made, physical and psychological examinations (and physical investigations) are required. You will also need an assessment of your mental state.
Certain viral infections can trigger CFS/ME. Maintaining factors could be difficulty in sleeping, depression and anxiety.
Treatment for CFS is as follows:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). This is a talking treatment which helps you to change any unhelpful ways of thinking about your illness and to improve your coping skills. This will be done by psychiatrists/psychologists.
Graded Exercise Therapy (GET). This is a way of gradually increasing your amount of physical activity and stamina without over-tiring yourself.
Dr Daljeet kaur
Founder of DAWN Healthyminds