Anxiety tiredness: how to cope with emotional fatigue

October 27, 2020 3 mins read
Anxiety tiredness: how to cope with emotional fatigue

Have you ever had a panic attack and felt drained and exhausted afterwards? This is anxiety tiredness, and it’s more common than you think.

In this article, we will explore how feeling anxious can cause extreme tiredness, as well as what you can do to manage it.

Can anxiety cause extreme tiredness?

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious can be met by extreme tiredness. While some people only experience extreme tiredness after having a panic attack, others feel fatigued throughout the day, which is one of the signs of having anxiety or generalised anxiety disorder (GAD).

Fatigue can also be a coping mechanism the body uses to deal with severe stress. If your life circumstances are too stressful, you may want to escape your current reality by sleeping. Many people take to the bed in stressful times.

You can also wake up from anxiety in the middle of the night, which can make you feel tired and exhausted the next day.

When you are anxious, your adrenaline and cortisol levels rise. But when they drop again, extreme tiredness can set in. This dip in adrenaline is sometimes referred to as adrenal fatigue.

How to overcome fatigue caused by anxiety

So, what can you do to reduce extreme tiredness caused by being anxious?

  • Take a nap to help you feel more relaxed and energised.
  • Go for an energising and relaxing walk or bike ride. Movement, sunlight and breathing exercises can help relieve anxiety and boost your energy.
  • Make time to relax. You need to rest to feel your best – and lessen your fatigue.
  • Consume enough salt. Not having enough salt in your system can make you feel more anxious.
  • Get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. A lack of sleep can cause extreme tiredness, which can become worse if you are anxious.
  • Try to identify and reduce things that are making you anxious. If loud noises in public places make you anxious, you can get noise-cancelling headphones. If driving at night makes you anxious, consider a taxi or Uber.
  • Get enough sunlight, exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet low in sugary, fried, and processed food. Sugar causes blood sugar spikes, which then drop and trigger the production of cortisol and adrenaline when they rise again. This can cause anxiety as a result.
  • Reduce your consumption of caffeine from sources like coffee, energy drinks, and even chocolate. Caffeine can spike your cortisol levels and make you feel anxious and jittery.
  • If you can, see a therapist or counsellor to help you deal with the underlying causes of your anxiety.

Feeling overfatigued and sleeping excessively can also be a sign of depression. For many people, depression and anxiety go hand-in-hand.

Mental health challenges can affect your life in many ways, including your energy levels. If you can reduce your anxiety through lifestyle changes like exercising and improving your diet and possibly seeking professional help, you can reduce the extreme tiredness it can cause and replenish the energy you need.