One symptom that all autoimmune disorders seem to share is fatigue. How do we know when we are fatigued or tired?
The dictionary says that fatigued means: tired; wearied. The definition of tired is: exhausted, as by exertion; fatigued or sleepy. So how do we know when we are tired, fatigued or chronically fatigued?
For me, I can’t wait for the end of the day. When I am super tired I can barely sit still. It’s all I can do to sit and watch something on TV. I finally have to call it quits and head to bed. In less than 5 minutes I’m out. I will usually sleep straight through until morning, unless the dog or leg cramps wake me up.
If the dog wakes me up, I want him to hurry up because I need to get back to sleep. Again, within 5 minutes of laying down, I’m out until its time to get up. Then I am ready to go. I cannot just lay there in bed. When I wake up, I hit the floor running.
I sleep anywhere from 8 to 11 hours. I would say the the nights I get 8 hours of sleep, I’m just tired. The nights I get 11 hours of sleep I’m fatigued and I don’t usually feel rested. I will usually have one day a week where I feel truly fatigued.
Being tired is the result of not getting enough sleep. Typical sleepiness is more likely to be short term. If you don’t get enough hours of sleep during the night, you can catch up with a short nap and your energy is restored.
People who suffer from fatigue feel they lack motivation and energy. Fatigue, especially chronic fatigue, is usually linked to a medical condition or health problem.
The main symptom of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome is extreme exhaustion that surpasses simply feeling tired. If your exhaustion lasts more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise, then it may be Chronic Fatigue.
What can cause you to be tired?
- Not getting enough sleep
- Poor diet
- Sitting too much
- Medical conditions – BINGO!
Two Types of Fatigue
Physical fatigue: A person finds it physically difficult to do the things they normally do or used to do, for example, climbing stairs. It includes muscle weakness. Diagnosis may involve a strength test.
Mental fatigue: A person finds it difficult to focus on things and stay on task. The person may feel sleepy, or have difficulty staying awake while working.
Symptoms of Fatigue
- aching or sore muscles *
- apathy and lack of motivation
- daytime drowsiness
- difficulty in concentrating or learning new tasks
- gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea
- headache *
- irritability and moodiness *
- slowed response time
- vision problems, such as blurriness
I put a red star next to the symptoms I experience.
Here is a list of medical conditions that can cause fatigue. Other than my autoimmune disorders, I can identify with the UTI and anxiety.
- underactive thyroid
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- urinary tract infection
- food intolerance
- heart disease
- glandular fever
- vitamin and mineral deficiencies
Too Tired to Sleep
Who has ever been too tired to sleep? When I think about that statement it reminds me of the Kenny Rogers song, “The Gambler”. He mentions that he and the gambler are both too tired to sleep. Anyhoo, being too tired to sleep is characterized by fatigue during the day coupled by restless and disturbed sleep. We may not have problems falling asleep; we have problems staying asleep.
5 Ways to a Better Night’s Sleep
When you are tired, get the right amount of sleep to get you back on track. You should want to wake up, bright eyed and ready to go.
When you are fatigued, slow down, sleep, rest and be good to yourself.