Did you sleep well? Or are you feeling tired? But, what is tiredness exactly? How can we define it?
What is tiredness?
From a medical point of view it is not easy to define “tiredness”. Because, tiredness is very subjective, ever one is experiencing it in a different way. Tiredness is not necessarily related with a disease; it also may be a result from the personal lifestyle and the work environment. Tiredness describes a natural condition. Here, the body receives a signal that rest or break would be necessary or that certain nutrients are missing. The one who is suffering under sleep disturbances, who is having too few sleep or who is physically and mentally him- or herself knows the feeling of tiredness only too well. But, apart from tiredness other symptoms like for example fatigue, lethargy, diminished physical and mental power or exhaustion usually appear. Tiredness has many faces. Sometimes people only suffer under tiredness temporarily, some people are permanently tired and some people even suffer under chronical tiredness (chronical fatigue syndrome, CFS).
What prevents tiredness?
Sufficient, restful and above all healthy sleep prevents tiredness. But, how much sleep do we actually need? The sleep duration resp. the sleep need of every individual is different, it also changes over the course of lifetime. Adults need from seven to nine hours sleep, older people often only five hours for being rested. Infants and small children on the other hand need more sleep. From birth up to three years their sleep need is about 15 hours. In kindergarten age the sleep duration reduces to about 13 hours. Schoolchildren sleep between nine and eleven hours.
Causes of tiredness
There are many reasons for tiredness. The most common are:
- Lack of sleep
- Lack of nutrients, vitamins and mineral compounds, for example during a diet or with underweight
- Lack of exercise
- Too fat and too rich food
- Consumption of alcohol
- Toxins and pollutants in working- and living-rooms
- Dry air, poorly ventilated rooms
- Too few demands
- Stress and overexertion (burnout)
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