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Strategies for combating tiredness

Tiredness, for some people, is not something over which to be significantly concerned. However, for others, it is sadly a fact of life. Anyone can experience feeling tired from time to time, but when it persists and appears to be caused by no particular internal or external trigger it can signal an underlying health issue. It may come as a surprise, due to how this is not generally a subject spoken about openly, that these are not uncommon and that the associated tiredness is something that affects individuals of all ages.

Thinking about the impact of chronic tiredness – or fatigue – makes one realise that the toll it takes and its debilitating effects are anything but minor.  What can cause tiredness? A fairly innocent explanation might account for infrequent episodes, such as a physically draining day. Ongoing fatigue, on the other hand, can have more serious causes, which leads to the first and most important useful strategy of overcoming it.



Rule out more serious causes

Tiredness is a symptom of diabetes, heart disease, anaemia and thyroid disease. Glandular fever can lead to tiredness even after the infection has cleared, resulting in chronic fatigue syndrome. Tiredness, when combined with any other symptom such as a sore throat, may point to an infection. Pin pointing the exact cause of the fatigue, if possible, can provide more explanation and sometimes highlight another condition at its source.

Eat more and space out meals

Lack of food merely increases tiredness, since there is less fuel for the body to work properly. Although exhaustion can dampen one’s appetite and energy to prepare food, it is damaging for one’s intake to be so reduced. Effort should be made to eat regularly and often throughout the day. One should avoid eating big meals late at night.



Don’t nap for too long

It is tempting and easy to sleep during the day when you are tired. Paradoxically though, long periods of daytime sleep make fatigue worse. If you need to, try to keep napping to a twenty minute maximum. The more physical activity you can include in your day (within reason), the more likely energy levels will improve – even if it is through light walking.

Start a new routine

It is never too late to make lifestyle changes. With the adoption of a new, more productive routine incorporating diet, activity and sleep individuals can finally experience an improvement in their energy levels. Furthermore, tiredness has a negative impact on the immune system, overall health and working life – a new routine can reverse this. It may not be easy but nothing truly worthwhile is.


This should be part of one’s daily routine, however restful it may be. It is even more important for those suffering with fatigue, as physical activity boosts energy. It is unrealistic, and inadvisable, to launch an intensive exercise routine. Built up slowly however, an increase in physical activity will both reduce stress and boost the quality of night time sleep. Exercise is invaluable for the efficiency of the heart, lungs and muscles.




The practice of yoga has become quite popular after it has emerged that it brings benefits to a range of people. It improves the posture, reduces stress and restores energy to the body. There are specific poses, within the practice, that have been formulated and can be followed in order to combat tiredness. Participants report an increase in their well being and energy levels.

Drink water

An impaired water intake can lead to dehydration. Despite the prevailing knowledge of physical effects such as headache or dizziness, a lack of water could also lead to shaky concentration and a poorer ability to focus. It is therefore especially important for someone with fatigue to make sure they drink enough water as they will feel the effects of dehydration more than others.

Get enough sleep

While it may seem obvious, the trick here is to preserve the best quality sleep for night time and minimize day time sleep as much as possible. Seven to nine hours sleep is ideal. More than this, however, makes it harder to wake up and leads to brain fogginess. It can be harder for those who are naturally night owls to obtain this, however that is why a healthy routine – of waking up on time in the mornings – is so vital.




A balanced diet is essential, one which includes fruit and vegetables, enough protein and complex carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes and rice) to boost energy levels. Losing weight (if one needs to) is also advisable for combating tiredness, without compromising a rich intake of healthy foods. Those lacking in essential vitamins and minerals may benefit from taking a multi – vitamin.

Don’t be hard on yourself and think positive

There is no better foundation on which to start combating tiredness than that of a positive, forward looking mindset. Being stressed or anxious only keeps a person awake and prevents a good night’s sleep, even if the atmosphere is made to be extremely calming and relaxed. Therefore one should try to banish any worries and doubts that will wear energy levels down instead of rejuvenating them.

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About Judith Brown

I did an MA in English literature at Kings College London where I wrote a dissertation on representations of characters with learning difficulties. I am very imaginative and write on a range of topics. I like to read, listen to music and draw.

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