Mental tiredness, which is commonly considered as mental fatigue or brain fatigue is a common occurrence in some medical ailments. While certain medical conditions make you more prone to mental tiredness, some natural causes too can lead to mental exhaustion. Knowing the causes of mental tiredness can help in managing the condition, getting the right treatment and taking appropriate measures when your brain is tired, is important.
What Can Causes Mental Tiredness?
Mental tiredness or brain fatigue is basically caused due to a variety of factors. To overcome the problem of mental tiredness, it is necessary to determine its underlying causes and get treatment for the same.
Some of the common causes of mental tiredness include:
- Lack of Sleep – Human brain demands good amount of rest and sound sleep to recuperate or promote natural healing. If your sleep is interrupted or if you have a sleeping disorder, you are likely to experience mental tiredness in the morning upon waking. Lack of sleep is one of the commonest cause of mental tiredness.
- Neurological Disorders – Some neurological ailments can cause mental tiredness as side effects of the condition. Some of these neurological ailments include multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus and fibromyalgia.
- Stress – Excessive stress is harmful and it can impact your health in a variety of ways causing mental tiredness. Stress is believed to be one of the commonest causes of mental tiredness. With excessive stress from work, life and other issues you can easily have mental tiredness.
- Menopause – When women go through the period of menopause, they may experience extreme stress and mental fatigue due to fluctuation of hormones in body.
- Diabetes – Glucose is the prime source of energy for brain and hence when the glucose level fluctuates in the blood it may cause mental tiredness. So, people with diabetes are likely to experience mental tiredness more frequently compared to normal people.
- Nutritional Deficiencies – Your brain functions properly when the supply of vitamin B12, magnesium and amino acid is regulated in the body. When these elements are missing or when the body is dehydrated, it may lead to mental tiredness. Thus, deficiency of vitamin B12 or other vitamins and minerals can cause mental tiredness.
- Side Effects of Medications – Certain drugs used to treat conditions like pain, high blood pressure and allergy can cause mental tiredness. Special precautions need to be taken when taking over-the-counter drugs or medications and is best to follow medical advice to avoid any undesirable side effects of medicine.
Symptoms of Mental Tiredness
There are a variety of symptoms that can help you to understand that you are suffering from mental tiredness. However, symptoms may vary from person to person.
Some of the common symptoms of mental tiredness include:
- Depression & anxiety.
- Difficulty in concentrating at work.
- Less interest in the work you do regularly.
- Poor performance at any physical work.
- Lack of decision and confusion.
- Affected job performance.
- Difficulty in recalling things and short-term memory issues.
- Lack of motivation and feeling of hopelessness.
- Sleeplessness or difficulty falling asleep in the middle of the night.
- Increased irritability with people around you at work, at home etc.
What to do When You are Mentally Tired?
The ways to resolve the problem of mental tiredness depends on the cause of the problem. If you are mentally tired due to the commonly experienced medical problems, they need to be diagnosed and treatment for the same should be initiated. If the mental tiredness is due to certain medications, they need to be stopped, adjusted, replaced or other treatment options may have to be considered. Nutritional deficiencies can be managed with appropriate supplementation and taking a nutritious diet as advised.
Apart from this, there are many things you can do when your brain is tried. Some of these include:
Eat Right – Make healthier food choices and avoid processed, refined foods. Choose whole grain and low fat products, while taking sugar and salt in moderation. Take fresh fruits, dry fruits and vegetables and drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages.
Exercise Regularly – Regular exercises can help to beat stress, which is often the cause of mental tiredness. Walking, cycling, swimming, dancing or similar activities can release stress relieving hormones, which can help to overcome mental tiredness.
Follow a Healthy Lifestyle – Plan a healthy lifestyle, which balances physical activity and rest. Follow a healthy diet and exercise plan and take a good night’s sleep. Avoid making sudden changes during weekends; keep the healthy spirit going on.
Practice Meditation – Stress management techniques and meditation can help fight mental tiredness. Practicing breathing exercises and pranayama can help you feel relaxed and improve your overall performance, thus providing relief when you are mentally tired.
Relax – Avoid stressing yourself with work; take breaks and find ways to relax when you are mentally tired. Go out on weekends for short vacations and rejuvenate yourself. Go for a head massage or a body massage, if that helps you to relax. You can consider going for a swim or spending some time with nature.
Pursue Your Hobbies – Hobbies are not only a great getaway from mental tiredness, but they can improve your mental capacity too. Do what you enjoy doing to keep your mind relaxed. It could be anything like painting, singing, and gardening; watching movies or playing with your pets.
Manage your Time – Proper time management and prioritizing of work can ease out your tasks and avoid last minute stress. Start early, prepare in advance and begin to manage your time to avoid stress, which can cause mental tiredness.