TATT – Are you tired all the time?
How do you feel when you wake up? Are you refreshed and ready for the day? Or do you feel drained, like you’ve hardly slept.
GPs report that more patients are complaining of lack of energy. The syndrome even has its own name, TATT – which means tired all the time.
If you constantly feel lethargic it is important not to ignore it. TATT is common but there are steps you can take to help yourself. There are many different causes of fatigue, and a good place to start is a chat with your GP.
If you feel overwhelming exhaustion, which gets worse rather than better with activity, and does not improve with rest, you might be suffering from myalgic encephalopathy (ME) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). There is not a definitive cure for these conditions but there are treatments and self-help measures that can help to ease the symptoms.
A GP will test for other medical problems that can cause tiredness, such as anaemia, thyroid issues, food intolerances or diabetes.
Many cases of TATT are related to mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety. Traumatic life events, stress and money worries can also cause fatigue. Talking therapies can help in these cases, and your doctor may be able to refer you to a counselling service.
If a GP has ruled out more serious underlying causes but you still feel tired, there are lifestyle changes that will help. First make sure you’re getting enough good quality sleep. Make it a priority for a few weeks to see how much better you feel. The Royal College of Psychologists’ advice is to have both a regular bedtime and wake time, and avoid napping. If you struggle to drop off try a soak in a warm bath before you go to bed because this will make you feel calm, and the drop in body temperature when you exit the bath fools the body to start to prepare for sleep.
Reduce your stress levels by scheduling relaxation time into your day. This could be something as simple as listening to your favourite music or meeting friends for a chat.
A good diet also plays a role in increasing your energy levels. Try eating small snacks throughout the day, rather than one large meal in the evening. Avoid alcohol and drink more water. Cutting caffeine will also help but cut down gradually to minimise the risk of headaches.
Finally, a little light exercise is another proven way to fight fatigue. Even a quick 15-minute walk around the block will give boost your energy.
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