They Are Exhausted/tired As A Result Of Working Too Hard
This goes hand-in-hand with the first reason. Usually, when people sleep for short periods, it is mostly because they are working or overworking themselves. And when you do this over an extended period, it takes its toll on the body and leads to general or extreme fatigue and/or tiredness. And the bodys first response to fatigue/tiredness is always to sleep. You feel so tired that you cant seem to help yourself but doze off. And where you doze off because of tiredness your body will ensure that you get the right dose of sleep before you can wake up. And usually, that right dose almost always means oversleeping so that you catch up on lost sleep time.
How Could Mental Health Problems Affect My Sleep
If you live with a mental health problem, this could affect your sleep in lots of ways. For example:
- Anxiety can cause racing or repetitive thoughts, and worries that keep you awake. You may also have panic attacks while you’re trying to sleep.
- Depression and seasonal affective disorder can make you sleep more, including staying in bed for longer or sleeping more often. Depression can also cause insomnia.
- If you’ve gone through trauma, this can cause flashbacks, nightmares or night terrors that disturb your sleep. You might feel unsafe or uncomfortable in bed or in the dark.
- Paranoia and psychosis may make it difficult to sleep. You may hear voices, or see things you find frightening or disturbing.
- Mania often causes feelings of energy and elation, so you might not feel tired or want to sleep. Racing thoughts can also keep you awake and cause insomnia.
- Psychiatric medication can cause side effects including insomnia, disturbed sleep, nightmares and oversleeping. Stopping psychiatric drugs can also cause sleep problems.
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Steps to take now
For many people, the relaxing social activities that can help buffer against stress and anxiety like seeing friends or going out to dinner are not yet reality, due to uneven vaccination rates. So what can we do now to help recharge?
Payne, of Johns Hopkins’ Women’s Mood Disorders Center, encourages people to keep in mind all of the usual things that help during stressful times: exercise, a healthy diet, going outdoors and limiting news consumption. And engage in relaxing activities often, like a hobby you love, listening to or watching something funny, or reading books you enjoy.
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Anxious Meditation Can Help You ‘relax Into The Uncertainty’ Of The Pandemic
The rise in symptoms of anxiety and depression, which include exhaustion, is a predictable response to the trauma of the pandemic, says Dr. Sandro Galea, dean of the School of Public Health at Boston University.
“The definition of a trauma is an event that threatens people’s sense of safety and stability,” which this pandemic is, he adds.
Nearly all of us are grieving the loss of life as we knew it, says Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins. “We’re just in a completely different world right now,” she says. “A lot of things are not going to go back to the way they were. And so that causes grief and is a normal reaction to a big change.”
You Dont Sleep As Well
But its not just a lack of sleep that causes tiredness. Oversleeping, which is also a common symptom of depression, can cause similar feelings of fatigue over a period of time.
These kinds of sleep irregularities are among the biggest causes of fatigue in those who experience depression.
Tips For Coping With Depression
In addition to talking to a provider about treatments for depression, there are several steps you can take on your own:
- Exercise: Low-intensity exercise, even walking 10 minutes a day, can lead to improvements in mood and physical health. For some people with mild to moderate depression, exercise can work as effectively as an antidepressant.
- Support: Experiencing depression can feel isolating and hopeless, so remember that youre not alone. Spend time with others, talk about what youre experiencing, and try not to isolate yourself.
- Be realistic: Even with effective treatment, symptoms of depression may improve gradually.
Having depression can increase thoughts of suicide. If you or someone you know is in crisis, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Even Small Tasks Can Feel Hard
When youre depressed everything takes extra effort. I have a hard time getting out of bed and taking a shower, so by the time I leave for work Im already exhausted. The most minor tasks require so much effort and most days it feels like all I can do is try to make it until the next time I can sleep again. Rachel B.
What would you add? Let us know in the comments below.
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What You Can Do To Stop Tiredness
Stopping tiredness is difficult because tiredness is your bodys way of promoting rest when it feels it needs a break. Drinking coffee is one way of doing this, but ideally, you dont want to do it because it can make your anxiety symptoms worse and make it harder to sleep restfully at night.
The following are some approved ways to address tiredness:
- Taking SHORT Naps: Long naps can be problematic for your sleep needs, but short naps of 20 minutes or less can help your body regain some much needed energy.
- Sleep Hygiene:The National Sleep Foundation recommends sleep hygiene tactics to make it easier to get rest, including avoiding any caffeinated food and drink near bedtime, exercising during the day to promote sleep quality, avoiding heavy and rich food before bed, and getting adequate exposure to natural light.
- Engage in Relaxation Strategies: Utilizing relaxation strategies can be valuable for reducing tiredness. Using practices like deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation can reduce stress during the day so that you are less drained overall.
Finally, the most important change to make is to prioritize reducing your anxiety. Tiredness is much easier to prevent than it is to stop. Thats why you need to take steps to start controlling your anxiety better. The less intense your anxiety is, the less tired you should feel.
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The Emotional Reasons That Depression Makes You Tired
There are also emotional reasons that depression makes you tired.
Feelings of unworthiness and self-blame can keep you feeling unmotivated.
Depression is a mood disorder that causes extreme emotional states, many of which make you feel too tired to participate in your life as usual.
Just like depression puts your body into high-alert, it also puts your emotions into panic mode.
You may experience emotions from self-blame and self-loathing which make it harder for you to feel confident about performing tasks or interacting with others.
Or, you may experience apathy and hopelessness which convince you that it’s not worth trying to train for that marathon, find a new partner, or get that promotion you really want.
The onset of such strong, negative emotional states can wear down your body and make you feel persistently tired.
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You Have To Pretend To Be Ok All The Time
The mask. No matter what you are doing, where you are, who youre with or how youre feeling, the mask is always there. Wearing it is exhausting, like if you were forced to wear a 10-ton weight on your shoulders all the time. But the fear of how people would react if you didnt wear it thats like a 200-ton weight. So you wear the mask, even though its exhausting. Joleen Q.
I try to not show my mental illness, so I overcompensate by pretending to be super outgoing and happy. The show is exhausting, but must go on. I try to keep everything inside so I dont burden anyone else. Rebecca B.
Its exhausting to have to pretend youre OK all the time. Harley D.
Set An Achievable Exercise And Mindfulness Goal Each Day
Taking on a goal that is too complex or requires too many steps can feel overwhelming, especially when you are feeling tired. To help with small steps, Magavi recommends scheduling an achievable exercise and mindfulness goal for each day. Thats because scheduling in advance and creating routines transform healthy behaviors into positive habits.
This could be as simple as a mindful walk on a busy day that only takes 15 to 20 minutes. But make sure it is something you will enjoy doing. Its important to individualize the activity to avoid overexertion or demoralization, Magavi said.
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Youre Lacking In Vitamin D
If youve got a job that keeps you indoors most of the day, chances are you may be part of the 42 percent of Americans with a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is created by your body when sunlight hits the skin and is found in fatty fishes like salmon and tuna, eggs, and mushrooms.
Most people associate low vitamin D with wintertime and seasonal depression, but it can hit at any time of year. A thorough review of studies analyzing depression and vitamin D concluded that lower vitamin D levels were found in people with depression compared to controls.
Scientists also found that when depressed individuals received vitamin D supplementation for one year, they had significant improvements in symptoms of depression compared with depressed people taking a placebo. The area of the brain associated with depression is also a site of vitamin D receptors, posing one possible explanation for the link between the two.
You Are Not Getting As Much Sleep As You Used To
Your sleeping patterns may be disrupted by depression in some way. According to research, insomnia affects about 80% of persons with depression.
Tiredness is caused by more than just a lack of sleep. A frequent sign of depression, oversleeping can lead to comparable sensations of depression exhaustion over time.
Sleep disturbances like these are one of the leading causes of weariness in people who are depressed.
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Difficulty Experiencing Joy Or Connection
When were depressed, it can take all of the enjoyment out of the things we love and make it more difficult for us to connect to those closest to us. We may begin to lose interest in hobbies, friendships, schoolwork, social activities, sex or life in general. When this happens, we may find ourselves feeling isolated from friends, family members or others who care about us.
Manage Depression Without Medicine
- Dont self-isolate. Disclose your depression to a trusted loved one.
- Dont be afraid to let others help when they can.
- Your mood may improve slowly, not instantly.
- Hold off on big decisions, like marriage or divorce, or starting a new job until feeling better. Talk to people who know you well and allow their objectivity to help your situation.
- Continue to learn about depression.
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How Are Depression And Sleep Related
Depression and sleep are closely connected. Almost all people with depression experience sleep issues. In fact, doctors may hesitate to diagnose depression in the absence of complaints about sleep.
Depression and sleep issues have a bidirectional relationship. This means that poor sleep can contribute to the development of depression and that having depression makes a person more likely to develop sleep issues. This complex relationship can make it challenging to know which came first, sleep issues or depression.
Sleep issues associated with depression include insomnia, hypersomnia, and obstructive sleep apnea. Insomnia is the most common and is estimated to occur in about 75% of adult patients with depression. It is believed that about 20% of people with depression have obstructive sleep apnea and about 15% have hypersomnia. Many people with depression may go back and forth between insomnia and hypersomnia during a single period of depression.
Sleep issues may contribute to the development of depression through changes in the function of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Sleep disruptions can affect the bodys stress system, disrupting circadian rhythms and increasing vulnerability for depression.
Fortunately, people who are treated for major depression often report improved quality of their sleep.
You Can Be In A Constant War With Your Thoughts
You spend the majority of your time fighting your own thoughts no matter what else youre doing. Malanya D.
Youre constantly fighting internal battles that feel like physical ones. Your mind races and it feels like youre running a marathon The fight is harder than any physical activity Ive ever done times 100, except you dont get the option to stop and catch your breath. Andi S.
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It Affects Your Quality Of Sleep
Bad sleeping patterns and bad sleep quality. We either oversleep or dont get enough sleep. I often find I force myself to stay awake until the point of gone as soon as I close my eyes to avoid having time for my mind to start overthinking. And even when I sleep plenty, I wake up exhausted. Im exhausted 24/7. Adeena A.
Total lack of a productive or restful sleep pattern. Adam P.
It takes me hours to fall asleep. Mind is always thinking and worrying. I wake up tired nearly every day. Danielle H.
Pandemic’s Emotional Hammer Hits Hard
This kind of mental fog is real and can have a few different causes. But at the root of it are the stress and trauma of the past year, say Cyrus and other mental health experts. It’s a normal reaction to a very abnormal year.
And while many people will likely continue to struggle with mental health symptoms in the long run, research on past mass traumas suggests that most people will recover once the coronavirus pandemic ends.
“We know that the majority of people tend to be resilient,” says Lynn Bufka, a psychologist with the American Psychological Association. “They may have struggled during the time of the challenges but generally come out OK on the other end.”
In the meantime, Bufka and other experts say that there are things we can do now to fight the mental fog and exhaustion.
How stress and sleep are linked
“Exhaustion can be a symptom of many things,” says Cyrus.
For one, it can be a symptom of stress.
“We know from other research that people will talk about fatigue as something that they experience when they’re feeling overstressed,” says Bufka.
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How Do You Assess The Symptoms Of Fatigue In Mdd
Dr. Fava: First, I want to confirm that the patient actually has a diagnosis of MDD. There may be some patients who complain of many symptoms of fatigue but do not have MDD, or there may be some patients with comorbid illnesses that include some depressive symptoms and fatigue, but are not truly MDD. Second, it is really important to differentiate between symptoms of fatigue that have been caused by the drugs we are using to treat the MDD in contrast to symptoms that are present as residual symptoms of MDD.
I begin my assessment by obtaining a careful, detailed history of all of the symptoms that existed prior to the initiation of treatment, followed by identifying any symptoms that have persisted despite treatment, and then I ask about any new symptoms that have emerged during treatment. Treatment-emergent symptoms may or may not be caused by the medications we are using, but it is important to differentiate whether these symptom are new or were preexisting to the treatment. Obviously, it is also important to explore whether the residual symptoms are more or less severe than they were before treatment commenced.
patients with residual fatigue are more likely to get depressed again despite continued prophylactic treatment. There is a much greater likelihood that patients with MDD who have residual symptoms like fatigue will also have work, school, and/or social difficulties.
Low On Energy It May Not Be Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Depression is a common cause of fatigue, so you might be wondering whether your fatigue is a result of depression. But just because you’re tired all the time doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re depressed.
The fact is there are many underlying conditions that could be responsible for feeling tired all the time. From mood disorders to issues affecting your physical health like chronic fatigue syndrome, the following psychiatric and medical conditions are some of the most common ailments associated with fatigue.
But first, it’s important to note that many of these conditions share symptoms similar to depression, so we’ll start there. By understanding the distinctions between depression and other factors that cause fatigue, you can seek out the right treatment and start to feel like your energetic self again.
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How Is Depression Treated
While depression can have dramatic effects on a persons sleep and overall quality of life, it can be treated. After working with a doctor or mental health provider to understand the type and severity of depression, treatment may include:
- Counseling: Depression can be treated effectively with several types of counseling, including cognitive-behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy . CBT for insomnia is a type of CBT that focuses on managing chronic insomnia.
- Medications: Antidepressants are an effective treatment for depression. These prescription medications usually take time before they begin to improve symptoms and patients may need to try several antidepressants before finding the right fit. A doctor or psychiatrist can discuss the appropriateness of these medications and recommend a specific type.
- Brain stimulation therapies: When medications and other approaches are not effective, some people with depression consider electroconvulsive therapy or other, more recent types of brain stimulation like repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation . These treatments can be effective but are only provided under the guidance of a trained professional.
Treatment often isnt limited to just one of these approaches in fact, combining medication and psychotherapy has shown higher rates of improvement than one approach alone.