Mental Fatigue: What to Do When Your Brain Is Too Tired to Think Straight
Your brain is fuelled with the same food as your muscles. What you eat has an enormous impact on your cognitive functioning.
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It is the feeling that your brain just won't function properly. People will describe it as brain fog. You can't concentrate, and simple tasks take too long. You find that the things you could do in a short time in the morning now take forever.
Mental fatigue can be acute or chronic. Acute fatigue can be relieved after a short period of rest. If allowed to continue, it can become chronic fatigue and eventually lead to burnout.
Contributing factors to mental fatigue are poor nutrition, lack of sleep, hormonal imbalances, or cognitive overload. Cognitive overload can take the following forms:
The quality of life decreases when we don't get enough sleep. To improve your quality of sleep:
Your body has natural ebbs and flows in energy throughout the day. Those are your ultradian rhythms. They are driven by your hormone levels, metabolic processes, and cardiovascular functioning and affect your energy, mood, and cognitive functioning. They are unique to you.
These rhythms take the form of 90-minute peaks of energy followed by a 20-minute dip that repeats throughout the day. As the day progresses, the peaks get lower and lower. Plan your day to work with your ultradian rhythms. Take a week to note your energy levels throughout the day. Notice when your energy levels are highest and lowest.
Your energy levels will naturally decrease throughout the day, but you can recharge your batteries by taking breaks.
It is helpful to have a work shutdown ritual - a consistent series of tasks that tell your brain that it can stop thinking about work for the day:
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Lack of sleep can result in you feeling lethargic, grumpy and tired. If you often feel this way, you may want to consider whether you’re getting enough sleep.
Try and aim for around 7 hour...
Feelings of stress can mean that you struggle to concentrate, experience racing thoughts, difficulty switching off and tiredness.
Strategies to improve your energy levels include taking some time for yourself to relax, reading or going for a walk.
One study found that sedentary people with persistent, unexplained fatigue decreased their tiredness by around 65% just by regularly participating in low-intensity cycling.
Get up and move your body like brisk walking or cycling to boost your energy levels.
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Is a naturally occurring hormone controlled by light exposure that helps regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
Your brain secretes more melatonin when it’s dark, making you sleepy, and less when it’s light, making you more alert.
However, many aspects of modern life can alter your body’s production of melatonin and shift your circadian rhythm
During the day:
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...while working from home: