We normally do not decide how much we get tired. We do not even realise when tiredness graduated to fatigue. Many are the times we are focussed on completion of the task at hand and beating deadlines, working to finish a delivery order before another one is placed, going out to look for the next client, marking the students’ scripts on time to submit results, getting the car fixed before the owner gets to your garage. These are some of the daily activities that we get involved in, and which leave us feeling tired.
We find ourselves striving to finish tasks and beat time in our daily activities, such that when we retire to bed, we feel unusually tired. This happens so often that we get used to it like a custom or trend and hardly do we question.
At times, we attribute the headaches, chest pains and faintness to the trend of work. When it gets tough on us, we call in sick so as to create some free time to rest from the 8 to 5 daily routine. Even then, it doesn’t get better. But again, we chest-thumb ourselves and brave the feeling of tiredness, hoping it ends on a free weekend. But it persists. We find ourselves asking, ‘Kwani, why I’m I this tired?’ because, how tired is tired?
The truth is: what you are suffering from is not the daily effect of hard work. what you are suffering from is a medical condition known as fatigue.
What is Fatigue
Fatigue is a medical condition defined by general tiredness, demotivation and lack of energy. There are a number of contributing factors that lead to both mental and fatigue. They include:
First, lack of enough sleep. It is recommended that one sleeps for about 7 to 8 hours every night. This may not always be the case and therefore leading to disruption of sleep patterns and sleep deficit.
Secondly, consuming high quantities of caffeine can contribute to one feeling fatigued. Caffeine keeps the nerves alert and therefore, even when rest is most needed, one is not able to get it.
Another factor that leads to fatigue is lack of regular physical exercise. Many people, especially those working 8 to 5 jobs every week hardly get time for physical activity. This may result in rigidity in muscles and therefore an overwhelming feeling of tiredness.
Besides, lack of physical activity has been linked to many other lifestyle diseases.
Other causes of fatigue are insomnia which is a sleep disorder and anorexia an eating disorder.
Many times, it is difficult to tell between normal tiredness and fatigue. So what should one look out for? Symptoms of fatigue include:
- General weakness of the body
- Lack of motivation to carry out a task
- Experiencing difficulties in getting started on tasks and completing them
- Unexplained chest pains
- Persistent headaches that lead to migraines
- gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhoea and
- vision problems, such as blurriness.
When you experience some of the above symptoms, it is advisable that you find a doctor for treatment. Note that the treatment of fatigue depends on its cause, and therefore seeking medical attention is recommended.