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Causes of Fatigue

by Ryan Peters
tired business man with head on his hands looking down on computer

You definitely do not want to feel tired during the day because it can inhibit your focus, memory, and ability to learn. Insomnia and sleep deprivations are obvious reasons why you might feel tired. However, sometimes, even if you do manage to get sufficient sleep, you still experience fatigue. Certain medical conditions and certain sleep habits can prevent you from feeling awake and focused during the day.

You have sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is a condition that results in periods in the middle of your sleep where you do not breathe properly. Most people have no idea that they have sleep apnea because most symptoms occur while you are sleeping. Fatigue is the only real symptom that occurs during the day. However, sometimes, people with sleep apnea wake up with a headache, dry mouth, and a scratchy throat every morning. Additionally, it usually causes snoring, so if you are a snorer, you might want to consider the possibility that you have sleep apnea.

Each time you stop breathing in the middle of the night, your brain will wake you up to prevent suffocation. If you wake up too many times, you can end up with an insufficient sleep cycle. As a result, you will feel very tired the following day. Over time, you might find yourself in a state of chronic fatigue. Other more serious symptoms can pop up as a result of the sleep deprivation. You might start feeling moody and you might have trouble with your memory. Luckily, if you know that you sleep apnea, it is easy to treat with certain machines that force you to keep breathing while you sleep.

You grind your teeth in your sleep.

sleepy guy experiencing fatigue rubbing the side of his headPeople who grind their teeth often suffer from stress, anxiety, crooked teeth, and certain sleep disorders. Most people do not know that they are grinding their teeth while they sleep, but if you have certain dental concerns like temporomandibular joint disorder or some other type of jaw pain, then grinding your teeth might be the cause. Grinding your teeth can also cause you to sleep poorly. It can make it more difficult to breathe and it can give you headaches while you sleep. You also may find that it is difficult to find a comfortable position before you fall asleep. When your jaw feels the need to close, you may feel discomfort if the placement of your head somehow impedes your jaw. If you put your hands under your head, it may also be difficult to bite down, which might make your jaw uncomfortable

Sleeping on your back is definitely better for your jaw and it might help to stop you from grinding your teeth. Additionally, you should avoid chewing gum and alcohol because they can both exacerbate the problem. You can also try to prevent it by figuring out what the root cause of the problem is. If you cannot figure out how to solve the problem, then you can talk to your dentist about getting a mouth guard to wear at night.

You have poor bedtime habits.

When it is time for bed, you want to engage in habits that can promote a restorative and complete sleep cycle. You want to do whatever you can in order to relax, get comfortable, and ensure that your body is at an ideal temperature. Unfortunately, certain bedtime habits can have the opposite effect. For example, alcohol inhibits REM sleep and it can cause you to go to wake up in the middle of the night due to coughing or heartburn. You also might wake up to go to the bathroom. Your phone can also keep you up at night. The blue light on the screen can reduce the melatonin in your body, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep.

man in the middle of the night on his mobile phoneAvoid television as well. Television can actually be worse than your phone because certain programs can make you too excited to sleep. Additionally, you should not engage in too much physical activity before bed because it can increase the amount of certain stress hormones in your body. Stress hormones like cortisol can keep you awake at night. Working out also temporarily raises your body temperature and that makes it difficult to fall asleep. Showering right before bed can have a similar effect.

You have poor napping habits.

When you are sleeping inadequately at night, a nap can definitely help you to catch up on all the missed sleep. However, if you do not make the most of your naps, you might still feel tired at sleep deprived after a nap. You need to make sure that your nap is about twenty minutes in order to help reduce stress levels. Alternatively, you can sleep for a full hour and a half, which will allow you go through the entire sleep cycle. You might wake up feeling a little sluggish, but you should eventually feel rejuvenated.

If the amount of time you spend napping is consistent from day to day, then shorter naps can make you feel especially tired. Your brain starts to expect a certain amount of sleep each time you nap, so you should set an alarm to make sure your brain is never disappointed when you wake up earlier than expected. You should also make sure you do not lounge around before and after a nap. Without light activity before and after a nap, your circadian rhythm can get thrown off, which can cause you to have sleep problems at night. It can also lead to serious fatigue during the day.

Even when you go to bed and wake up at reasonable hours, you still might end up feeling sleep deprived. Therefore, it is important to engage in various bedtime and naptime habits that do not damage your sleep cycle and circadian rhythm. Additionally, you might want to make sure that you do not have certain conditions that can make it more difficult to sleep. If you are worried about your fatigue and if it is accompanied with more serious symptoms and side effects, you should not hesitate to talk to a healthcare professional about finding the cause and cure to your sleep deprivation.

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