What Should I Do About Excessive Fatigue?

“Worried in Colorado” asks: I have been sleeping for 15 hours a day lately. My husband tries to wake me up, and I barely want to get out of bed. I know I shouldn’t be sleeping so much, but I just don’t seem to have the energy to do anything. What should I do?

Well, “Worried in Colorado”, first of all, you should definitely go see a physician. There are a lot of things that could be going on here, and your physician will have a much better idea about all of your symptoms, your medical history, your family history, etc.

That being said, for other visitors to our website, if you are sleeping this much, there may be a number of things going on. Sleeping too much can be a symptom of thyroid issues, diabetes, low iron, etc. It can also simply be a symptom of depression, particularly seasonal depression.

While you should always go see your physician if you are sleeping over 9 to 10 hours a night, if you find yourself in a general state of lethargy, there are always some things that you can do to give yourself more energy overall.

Be sure you are getting enough exercise. Are you getting 30 minutes of exercise two to three times per week? If not, you don’t necessarily need to join a gym. It could be as simple as going for a short walk on your lunch break or taking five minutes to go for a walk every few hours. Being more active will help you to get more restful sleep and it will increase your overall energy level.

Stay away from stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. It may seem counterproductive to decrease your caffeine intake when you are feeling sleepy but a dependence on stimulants such as caffeine and nicotine can ultimately make you more tired in the long run.

Put your alarm clock or your cell phone on the opposite side of the room. If you force yourself to get out of bed and walk over to the other side of the room in the morning, chances are you will not want to stay in bed all day.

Eat nutritious and nourishing foods. Stay away from junk food with a lot of sugar. You want to eat foods that are high in protein that will give you energy throughout the day.

Don’t do anything in your bed except for sleep. If you are lounging around in bed all day watching Netflix or reading, you will probably be discouraged from getting out of bed. Your bed should be for sleeping and nothing more.

Once again, we cannot stress enough the importance of seeking out care from your doctor. However, it’s important to keep all of these lifestyle changes in mind when you are trying to combat excessive sleepiness.