Let’s face it, as busy moms, we’ve all been there. That morning when the alarm goes off and it feels like we’ve only slept for like a millisecond, yet it’s time to wake up and hit the ground running. After we finish the mad dash of school drop-offs and errands, we find ourselves in the midst of another battle – a battle against overwhelming exhaustion.
You’re not alone. Unfortunately, being a drained mom is all too common. And you may be wondering…is this just tiredness, or is it something bigger?
Understanding the nuances between these two energy bullies can help you better manage your energy levels and regain some of that lost vitality. So grab a cup of tea, settle into your comfy chair, and let’s delve into the intricacies of fatigue vs. tiredness.
What It Is
First off, let’s talk about tiredness. Picture yourself after a long day of juggling work, kids, and household chores. You’re physically exhausted and can’t wait to hit the hay That, my friend, is tiredness.
Feeling tired, also known as sleepiness, is your body’s way of telling you it needs rest or sleep.
Symptoms are your body’s way of telling you that something is off and some aspect of your diet or lifestyle needs attention. Tiredness is one of those symptoms our body gives us.
It’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a normal, natural response to physical exertion or lack of sleep. Basically, it’s your body saying, “Hey, I need some time to recharge and repair!”
So what causes tiredness? The most likely culprit is a lack of quality sleep.
Usually, the cause of the lack of sleep is easy to spot – whether it’s a late-night Netflix binge, feeding your newborn baby in the middle of the night, staying up late to work, or a night with insomnia.
I mean, we’ve all been guilty of staying up way too late from time to time to get some “me time” while the kids are asleep, right?
It can also be from exerting more energy than normal on a particular day. Whether that’s from an intense workout, a busy day wrangling toddlers, or a longer day at work.
But here’s the thing, tiredness is not just about feeling sleepy and wanting to go to bed.
Along with feeling tired can come:
- Difficulty concentrating and focusing
- Minor irritability
- Feeling lethargic
- Low energy
- Heavy eyelids
- Poor posture
What To Do About It
The cure for tiredness? Sleep!
The great thing about tiredness is that it is a temporary, often a much less severe state of low energy.
Unlike fatigue, which we’ll get to in a sec, a good night’s sleep, a power nap, or even just taking a little time to relax can make all the difference to say goodbye to that tired feeling. Once you’ve caught some Z’s, you’re back on your feet, ready to conquer the world – or at least the laundry pile!
As with everything, I’m all about getting to the root cause of the issue. So, if lack of sleep is causing your daytime tiredness, it’s important to look at what’s causing your lack of sleep and correct that.
Do you need to go to bed earlier? Put things in place to help you get better sleep? Put your kids on a more consistent bedtime schedule (because when the kids sleep better, mama can sleep better!)?
Remember, it’s normal to feel tired occasionally. But if you’re constantly feeling tired, there might be something deeper going on and it might be time to make some changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Because if things keep going like they are and it turns into a chronic sleep deficiency – some more serious health problems are probably coming, and we definitely don’t want that!
What It Is
Now let’s talk about the other side of the coin – fatigue. Even though these terms are sometimes used interchangeably – fatigue is different than tiredness.
Unlike just feeling tired or drowsy, fatigue is a persistent feeling of exhaustion that doesn’t just go away after a good night’s sleep.
It can feel like you’re constantly wading through a pool of molasses. Maybe you’ve slept well, or perhaps you’ve even treated yourself to a cup of coffee in an *actual* coffee shop while your husband watches the kids, but you still feel weighed down and sluggish afterward.
This unshakeable, constant exhaustion is fatigue.
It’s an overwhelming lack of physical energy that can interfere with all of your many daily activities and responsibilities. It’s harder to just “push through” than being tired.
And unfortunately, that chronic physical fatigue often leads to a decrease in mental capacity, as well, making even small tasks seem like you’re climbing Mount Everest.
Here’s the real deal: Fatigue is ALWAYS a symptom of another issue.
Fatigue is a sign of a slow metabolism. Something is preventing the powerhouses in your cells, the mitochondria, from creating energy as efficiently and quickly as they should be.
Something is slowing metabolism down, and it can’t keep up with all the demands of life.
This could be due to a variety of reasons like nutrient deficiencies, high stress, slow thyroid function, liver congestion, exposure to toxins, poor digestion, or even mold. Perhaps your diet isn’t providing you with the right fuel, or your exercise routine is too intense.
Whatever the cause, fatigue is like your body waving a flag and saying, “Something isn’t quite right here, and we need to find out what.”
Read more on the causes of fatigue here and see if you can spot which one may be triggering your exhaustion.
Unfortunately, fatigue is often more than just extreme sleepiness. It’s often felt in your whole body. Along with the fatigue you’ve got going on, you might have:
- Weak muscles
- Shortness of breath
- Slow reflexes and responses
- Moodiness (like turning into Momzilla)
- Low tolerance to stress
- Impaired decision-making and judgment
- Reduced immune system function
- Cold hands and feet
- Constipation and other digestive problems
- Hair loss
- Dry skin
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s your body’s way of saying, “OK, I really need some attention. Please help me out here!”
What To Do About It
If you suspect that it’s fatigue that you’re struggling with, it’s time to take action.
I remember all too well when I had daily fatigue, no matter how many hours of sleep I got the night before. It was constant! I wish I had known at the time what to do to heal my body, rather than just seeking quick fixes that gave me a temporary boost of energy.
As hard as it is and as much as you may hear that “it’s your hormones,” “it’s all in your genes,” or “it’s probably just that you’re getting older” – fatigue can be turned around. Having fatigue now doesn’t mean you’re doomed to exhaustion for life.
Some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle may be just what it takes to get restore your energy and vitality.
- First off, make sure you’re fueling your body with a balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates – real food ones – fruits & veggies of all the colors of the rainbow.
- Secondly, pay attention to your sleep. Aim for a solid 7-9 hours each night and create a calming bedtime routine to tell your body it’s time to rest.
- Thirdly, consider your stress levels. In this fast-paced, world, it’s easy to forget that our bodies need downtime. Make it a point to squeeze relaxation and self-care into your schedule. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity, even – no, especially! – for moms.
But you know what? There’s more to it than just these three lifestyle changes.
And I get it. It can be so overwhelming to put all the pieces together by yourself. But don’t worry – I’ve got you.
As a health coach, I’ve created a step-by-step program called the Fatigue to Freedom System. It’s designed to guide tired moms like you, back to vitality. This program delves deep into the root causes of fatigue and provides personalized strategies to overcome it.
It’s a holistic plan incorporating diet, exercise, stress management, and more aspects necessary to restore your metabolism and mitochondria function in your body’s cells.
And I don’t just give the information and leave you to implement it alone. I’ll be there to support and guide you every step of the way. You’ll not only have the tools to beat fatigue but also to maintain your energy levels in the long run.
So, what’s the difference in fatigue vs. tiredness?
Now, let’s put it together – what is fatigue vs. tiredness?
Remember, while both drain you of energy, they are not the same.
Tiredness is a normal response to physical exertion or lack of sleep. It’s temporary, and a good night’s rest typically alleviates this feeling.
On the other hand, fatigue is a chronic state of tiredness that doesn’t improve with one good night of rest. It is often a symptom of something bigger going on (possibly many, many sleepless nights that are adding up and causing thyroid and adrenal problems) and requires a more holistic approach to tackle it.
So after reading about the difference in fatigue vs. tiredness, which do you think you’re struggling with? Feel free to comment below and let us know!
Whichever it is, I just want you to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. And I’m here to help you reach it, if you’d like some help.
If you’re tired of being tired (make that – fatigued!), why not book a free call with me? You can book a free call with me here to find out more about the program, what working with me would look like, and whether or not it’s the right fit for you.
Remember, it’s not just about surviving motherhood; it’s about thriving in it. So, let’s kick fatigue to the curb and bring back the energetic mom you truly are!