What is Insomnia?
Insomnia is a type of sleep disorder. Individuals with insomnia find it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or both. People with insomnia often don’t feel refreshed when they wake up from sleeping, either. This can lead to fatigue and other symptoms.
What is Fatigue?
Fatigue is a term used to describe an overall feeling of tiredness or lack of energy. It isn’t the same as simply feeling drowsy or sleepy. When you’re fatigued, you have no motivation and no energy. Being sleepy may be a symptom of fatigue, but it’s not the same thing.
Fatigue is a common symptom of many medical conditions that range in severity from mild to serious. It’s also a natural result of some lifestyle choices, such as lack of exercise or poor diet.
Short-term insomnia may be caused by stress, an upsetting or traumatic event, or changes to your sleep habits.
Chronic insomnia lasts for at least three months and is usually secondary to another problem or a combination of problems, including:
- medical conditions which make it harder to sleep, such as arthritis or back pain
- psychological issues, such as anxiety or depression
- substance use
There are many potential causes of fatigue. They can be divided into three general categories:
- lifestyle factors
- physical health conditions
- mental health issues
If you’re experiencing fatigue, your activities and other lifestyle choices may be the root cause. For example, fatigue can result from:
- physical exertion
- lack of physical activity
- lack of sleep
- being overweight or obese
- periods of emotional stress
- taking certain medications, such as antidepressants or sedatives
- using alcohol on a regular basis
- using illicit drugs, such as cocaine
- consuming too much caffeine
- not eating a nutritious diet
Physical health conditions
Many medical conditions can also cause fatigue. Examples include:
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- infections, such as cold and flu
- Addison’s disease, a disorder that can affect your hormone levels
- hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid
- hyperthyroidism, or overactive thyroid
- sleep disorders, such as insomnia
- eating disorders, such as anorexia
- autoimmune disorders
- congestive heart failure
- kidney disease
- liver disease
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Mental health issues
Mental health conditions can also lead to fatigue. For example, fatigue is a common symptom of anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder.