Are you tired, really tired, or really, really, really tired? Residents of Anamosa and elsewhere might be surprised that there is a difference in levels of exhaustion, whether someone is receiving palliative care or other types of care.
Employees at Above and Beyond Home Health Care work with all types of patients, and many of them have varying amounts of fatigue, depending on the day and any health condition they may be dealing with.
The staff is happy to provide guidance on what types of fatigue they can be experiencing, along with some different ways to help them feel less tired.
They’re also happy to share different resources for fatigue for those who want to know more, everything from talking to their local health provider or a specialist in pain, fatigue or sleep disorders.
But first some definitions:
Feeling tired is more of a temporary feeling that’s pretty much similar with either a need for sleep or a sleepy feeling after waking up recently. Standard prolonged sleep is good for your health, but prior to entering sleep, someone may yawn, nod their head, be sensitive to light and sound and start to have a compulsion to close their eyes.
Inside the body, your brain may be putting out a chemical called adenosine. This builds up over time – it may be low when we wake up and then may increase throughout the day. Various factors may add to this level to make you more tired, such as strenuous physical activity, a big meal, medical conditions, hot temperatures or general endurance.
Even rhythmic activities like certain predictable music, movie or TV shows or even a simple book can all contribute to general tiredness.
Feeling fatigued is more like being really tired. You’ll have sleepy symptoms but can also throw in general muscle aches and pains. Your energy might be at a lower level than it is regularly. Your reasoning may also not be as strong as it usually is but it may be a temporary condition that can go away if you get some quality rest.
But if fatigue continues more than a couple of days, it can lead to poor coordination or a weakened immune system, and general restlessness.
An example of this could be a student staying up all night to study the night before a test, or for an adult professional to work longer hours than usual completing a project. Either one may be able to push themselves a little harder for a temporary basis, but too long could cause
Feeling fatigued can be a sensation of being tired mentally and physically, and can sometimes be felt by people with serious chronic medical conditions like multiple sclerosis.
There is also a condition called chronic fatigue syndrome where the feeling of fatigue becomes a regular state of being. This can include a lack of coordination with a high level of alertness and anxiety. It also is something where there isn’t a direct medical cause.
Where fatigue might leave someone feeling briefly worn out, the feeling of exhaustion goes even further – think really, really, really tired, including not just mental or physical but emotionally and even spiritually drained.
Chronic fatigue also doesn’t always go away with laying down for a nap, going to bed a little earlier or sleeping in a little longer. Though these practices can sometimes reduce stress, the feelings of exhaustion can mean that your brain keeps going even if you’re trying to relax.
This can be frustrating, confusing and lead to other health condition due that can occur with a lack of sleep.
In some cases, however, taking time to rest can help temporarily, even if it doesn’t involve sleeping.
A health provider may be able to discuss the sources of exhaustion and discuss possible solutions.
This month is actually a perfect time to learn more about these different physical and mental conditions if a senior in your life is experiencing some of these conditions.
Not only is it National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month, but National Sleep Awareness Month. Both of them are designed to provide more information about two somewhat similar problems that affect health and lifestyle.
Chronic fatigue, for instance, can lead to higher levels of alertness but also pain like ongoing headaches. These problems sleeping can cause confusion, poor reflexes, and a decreased immune system.
It may not matter which condition came first, but a chronic lack of sleep can cause chronic fatigue problems, and chronic pain can lead to a chronic lack of sleep. Both conditions can also cause confusion or forgetfulness.
A health care provider or perhaps a specialist in either or both of these areas can help break this cycle by figuring out ways to reduce the fatigue or improve quality of sleep.
While feeling tired is often a fact of life for seniors, health care officials should be alerted if they start to show other symptoms such as not being able to rest well or experiencing pain with sleep.