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How to Compare Simply Tired With Totally Fatigued

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us feel tired some of the time. It's hard not to be tired when you are juggling jobs, family and the world at large. At the end of the day you may simply sag a little, but when you are totally fatigued, that's different.

If you are drinking more coffee and moving more slowly in the morning, it may be time to do a check to see what is really going on.

Comparing Notes

If you are staying up late, using your cell 24/7 and losing lots of sleep, tiredness is inevitable and normal, but fatigue is different, according to

When someone is fatigued they may not feel sleepy. Instead there may be an all-consuming sense of exhaustion, where an individual feels really worn down and not normal.

Doctors point to time as a key difference between the two situations. Tiredness from lack of sleep should be temporary. When you improve your routine, and get 7 to 9 hours of rest every night, everything should level out.

On the other hand, complete exhaustion tends to keep going and sometimes get worse. It may require a complete rethinking of work and sleep habits with a visit to your doctor. It is easy to accept changes without realizing how much impact they have on the mind and the body. Step back, look at your life and ask a few questions.

  • Have there been major changes in your life
  • Do you push ahead anyway
  • Have you been missing from the gym for weeks
  • Have new stress issues come up and taken hold
  • Are antibiotics or antidepressants causing fatigue
  • Could anemia be showing up as overwhelming tiredness

Turn Everything Around

Take a few simple steps to get back on track.

  • Increase daily activity, walking or working out
  • Cut out junk food and eat fresh whole foods
  • Take a brief 20- to 30-minute nap daily
  • Reach out to friends and family and stay connected
  • Take small breaks throughout the day for meditation or breathing exercises

Make Sleep a Priority

  • Cut out caffeine in the evening
  • Skip spicy foods and alcohol right before bedtime
  • Shut down electronics at least two hours before bedtime
  • Make sure mattress and pillows are comfortable
  • Use blackout drapes to blot out light
  • Use an air filter to screen out noise
  • Make an effort to resolve stress from health, finances or family
  • Develop a simple sleep ritual with a warm bath, soft music or a good book

If you are still experiencing ongoing exhaustion as anxiety, inability to concentrate, depression or lack of energy interfere with life, see your doctor to review your health and check for underlying conditions.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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