Are you “fatigued” or just really tired?

Are you “fatigued” or just really tired?

Fatigue vs. tiredness. Many people use the terms interchangeably. And, in fact, there is an overlap between them. However, fatigue and sleepiness are really two different conditions while tiredness is used in a more generalized manner to describe being fatigued or sleepy.

So, if you’re wondering, “am I fatigued”, then it helps to be able to distinguish between the two because a failure to recognize the difference can lead to taking the wrong approach to treat your problem.

Tiredness or sleepiness is generally caused by a lack of sleep and can result in excessive daytime sleepiness. The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults between the ages of 18-64 get around 7-9 hours of sleep per night.

The definition of fatigue is an overwhelming and sustained sense of full body exhaustion with a decreased capacity for physical as well as mental work at the usual level. In general, people who suffer from fatigue suffer from a of lack motivation and energy and can exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety
  • A gradual decrease in their stamina
  • Sleep difficulties/unrefreshing sleep
  • Increased sensitivity to light
  • Social withdrawal
  • Unexplained muscle pain/headaches
  • Memory issues

There is a difference

If you’re experiencing any symptoms of fatigue, you need to determine whether it truly is fatigue vs being tired.

While sleepiness can also be a symptom of a medical issue such as anemia or diabetes, many people resolve this issue by making some lifestyle changes like avoiding caffeine and alcohol a few hours before bedtime, avoiding the use of technology at bedtime, and trying to reduce stress levels.

If your symptoms are more than just being sleepy during the day, the problems causing your fatigue could include vitamin deficiencies, medications, infections, chronic sleep disorders, psychiatric issues such as depression, and even more serious health problems.

One common cause of fatigue that most people don’t think about is dehydration. Fatigue happens to be one of the first signs that you’re dehydrated. Even losing as little as 1-2% of your total body water percentage is enough to causes the symptoms of fatigue.

In addition to making sure that you’re getting the RDA of important vitamins and minerals such as B12, magnesium, iron, as well as omega-3 fatty acids to boost your energy levels, you need to make sure that you’re drinking enough water to stay sufficiently hydrated throughout the day.

Simple solutions for a complex problem

Being fatigued is about more than sleep — it’s about recognizing that your body may need more water.

Some important ways to improve your body water percentage include:

  • Drink more water
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lower your salt and sugar intake
  • Include foods and herbs in your diet that naturally reduce water retention

Being able to measure your body water percentage is really helpful when it comes to maintaining a healthy balance between how much water you take in vs your output in order to overcome fatigue.

The Ivy Health Labs body analysis scale uses high precision sensors to provide you with accurate measurements of your total body water percentage as well as seven other pieces of date about your body composition.