What are the Signs of Overfatigue?

Feeling constantly tired or feeling tired regardless of how much you sleep is known as fatigue. Fatigue can affect anybody and most people will experience fatigue at some or the other point in their life. Although fatigue can be described as tiredness, it is a different feeling from just being tired or sleepy. Everyone feels sleepy or tired at some point during the day, and they usually feel better after a couple of nights of good sleep or even simply after a nap. However, a state of being over fatigued or overtired indicates that your body is suffering from a state of chronic fatigue. Over-fatigue can be physical, mental, or even a combination of both. But what are the signs of over fatigue and how can you tell that your body is now overtired? Let’s take a look.

What are the Signs of Overfatigue?

What Does It Mean To Be Overfatigued or Overtired?

There are several things that a state of being overfatigued or overtired might signify. It could be as simple as the fact that you have not gotten sufficient sleep in the last 24-hour period or if you have not been sleeping properly over consecutive days for a certain length of time.

In children, infants, or toddlers, overfatigue can be a result of late bedtime, unrestful sleep, or even skipped naps.

However, regardless of what is the underlying cause of your overfatigue or overtiredness, it will nevertheless cause many unwanted symptoms and also have an effect on your overall health and well-being. This is why getting the right amount of sleep every night, as appropriate for your age, is essential to ward off fatigue. Getting sufficient sleep each night will also help you avoid sleep deprivation, a common cause of overtiredness. In fact, a lack of sleep is so common in adults that every one in five adults fails to get sufficient sleep on a regular basis.

You may or may not experience over fatigue after just a single day of not getting sufficient sleep, but over a period of time if you start to miss out of enough sleep regularly, then you are likely to experience chronic overtiredness. This type of overtiredness that is brought on by weeks, days, or years of sleep deprivation is known as sleep debt.

If you are frequently overfatigued or overly tired, then it will affect your ability to function properly and interact with others in many ways. Here are certain signs and symptoms of overfatigue or overtiredness that you should watch out for and take corrective actions in order to provide some rest to your overly tired body.

Emotional Signs

Exhaustion, either due to an extended period of sleeplessness or due to extreme physical exertion, has an impact on your ability to interact and communicate with others. You are likely to experience memory loss, irritability, depression, and difficulty speaking. Depression can also further your insomnia, causing a vicious cycle of further exhaustion and other exhaustion-related problems.

Cognitive Signs

When your body is deprived of adequate rest and becomes overfatigued, then the effect is also felt on your mind. When you are overtired, your mind starts to have difficulty in functioning normally. You may experience blurred vision, dizziness, and even mild hallucinations. These cognitive problems are likely to affect your spatial perceptions and also restrict you from carrying on tasks that require you to have some normal level of eye-hand coordination or dexterity.

Physical Effects That Can Be Observed

When you become overfatigue or overtired, the systems of your body start to act in an unnatural and unusual way. This can cause tremors and nausea, further complicating the difficulties you are already facing with the cognitive effects of overtiredness. If you continue to experience long-term fatigue, then there is also a possibility of drastic weight loss or weight gain.

Unseen Effects of Being Overly Tired

There are many health conditions that are directly related to chronic fatigue. The two most common medical conditions that can be caused by chronic fatigue are heart disease and hypertension or high blood pressure. These are very serious conditions and you must seek medical advice immediately if you feel that your fatigue and exhaustion could be contributing to such chronic conditions.

Some Of The Other Signs That Indicate You Are Overfatigue or Overtired Include:

  • Chronic sleepiness
  • Chronic tiredness
  • Frequent headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Sore or aching muscles
  • Slowed reflexes and responses
  • Muscle weakness
  • Impaired judgment
  • Impaired decision-making
  • Moodiness, especially irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Impaired hand-to-eye coordination
  • Blurry vision
  • A decrease in immune system function
  • Hallucinations
  • Short term memory problems
  • Poor concentration
  • Low motivation levels
  • Reduced ability to pay attention to any present situation

The symptoms of overtiredness or overfatigue will eventually start affecting your performance across a wide range of activities, from your daily office work to driving a car, every aspect of your life will be affected. Consider this, lack of sleep is known to be the most common cause of traffic accidents and injuries every year.

Apart from overtiredness, sleep debt can also cause other symptoms and complications, such as:

  • Memory loss
  • Chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and stroke
  • Weight gain and obesity

Preventing Overfatigue

In adults, preventing overtiredness begins with developing a healthy sleeping schedule that will allow you to get a full night’s rest every day without fail. Some tips you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to ensure that you get sufficient sleep at night are as follows:

  • Avoid consuming caffeine at a minimum of six hours before bedtime.
  • Try to go to sleep at the same time every night, if possible.
  • Also try to get the same amount of sleep each night, if possible.
  • Avoid any physically strenuous activities or even exercising at least three hours before bedtime.
  • Make sure you create a bedtime routine that does not include any screen time.

If you are suffering from sleep debt, then try to catch up on it by adding some extra time to your sleeping time. However, don’t increase the sleep time too much as then it would make it difficult for you to again fall asleep the next night.

In children, infants, and toddlers, it is important to ensure that they have a regular sleep schedule. You can prevent overtiredness in children by following the tips below:

  • Make sure to provide a healthy sleeping environment for your child and ensure that it is not overstimulating.
  • Develop a consistent schedule for sleeping, especially for young children and babies. For toddlers and infants, they should be having good quality naps as part of their daily sleep requirements.
  • Look for signs of tiredness in your child. These typically include eye rubbing and yawning. This will give you an idea about their sleep schedule.
  • It is best to put your child to bed early in the evening, by around 7 or 8 p.m.
  • Provide half an hour before bedtime to your child to allow him/her to calm down. This time should not include any screens.


If you believe that you are suffering from overtiredness, then you should discuss the same with your doctor who will help you understand the cause of your fatigue. Over-fatigue can lead to many difficulties in your day-to-day functioning, in your cognitive functioning, and also cause physical problems over a period of time. You can avoid becoming over fatigued by incorporating good sleeping habits and following a healthy lifestyle. Getting sufficient sleep on a regular basis is one of the easiest ways to avoid chronic overtiredness.

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 16, 2019

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