3 MIN READ | Mental Health

Tommy Williamson

Tiredness and Anxiety: How Are They Related?

Cite This
Tommy Williamson, (2021, January 21). Tiredness and Anxiety: How Are They Related?. Psychreg on Mental Health. https://www.psychreg.org/tiredness-anxiety/
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Anxiety and tiredness go hand-in-hand. This is because anxiety can either lower or increase your energy levels like crazy, leaving you drained. People with anxiety usually feel tired throughout the day, but there are those that only get tired after an anxiety attack.

Anxiety and its effects in our body

Anxiety is a feeling of dread, fear, and apprehension. It can be triggered by a stressful event or the way we overthink about a certain event. Sometimes, some people feel anxious even when there were no external triggers at all.

When you recognize a threat, your hypothalamus, adrenal, and pituitary glands, release a rush of hormones that will prepare you to freeze, flee, or fight. In response, you might be feeling any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Diarrhoea
  • Dizziness
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Muscle tension
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Quickened heart rate

With the torrent of emotions and the intensity of the symptoms above, you will certainly feel tired. You might feel drained, relieved, or even exhausted. 

Most of the time, having a goodnight’s sleep can take all the tiredness away. However, this is not always the answer. There are some cases that the feeling of anxiety doesn’t go away that easily.

Why anxiety makes you feel tired

Many factors can explain why your anxiety makes you feel tired. Some of them are the following:

Post-anxiety crash

This refers to the crash you feel after you ran out of adrenaline. It is also called adrenal fatigue. As mentioned, when we feel anxious, our body is in threat mode, which means it is ready to either freeze, flee, or fight. 

When this happens, your body is flooded with energy to help you respond to a threat. Afterwards, when the adrenaline runs its course, that’s when you experience a crash. You will then be left with a drained feeling.

Post muscle tension

Anxiety can cause you to feel intense muscle tension throughout the day. This leads to your brain feeling tired which eventually translates to the body.

Mental tiredness

Anxiety can be linked to an overactive brain and stressful thoughts. Your brain, like a muscle in your body, can also run out of strength. Thus, resulting in such a feeling.

Having distressing thoughts can also add up to your emotional load. This means you won’t just end up being mentally drained; you will also be emotionally drained. Hence, your body feels tired with all your stressful thoughts going around your brain.

Coping

Sometimes, being tired is a coping mechanism. Your body is using tiredness to prevent you from experiencing severe stress. Moreover, it may mean that the draining feeling motivates you to rest rather than expose yourself to more triggers.

Inappropriate naps

Do you enjoy naps during the day? Taking a nap can be great in overcoming fatigue and reducing anxiety. However, too much nap is not OK.

If you sleep too much during the day, you will most likely have a hard time sleeping at night. This may increase your anxiety. Furthermore, it is vital to take naps that only last less than 20 minutes. That way, you won’t experience any sleeping difficulties at night.

Sleep issues

A lot of people with anxiety and severe stress also have serious sleeping problems. This includes nocturnal waking, difficulty falling asleep, and reduced quality of sleep. All of these add up to an overall lack of sleep, which causes tiredness.

Depression

Anxiety can cause temporary or full depression, especially after you had an anxiety attack. Depression can cause a huge loss of energy. This makes your body feel so tired, resulting in difficulty with staying alert throughout the day.

How to counteract tiredness

Here are a few tips you can consider to revive you from feeling tired due to anxiety:

  • Consider revamping your sleep practices. A regular bedtime, a cosy sleeping space, relaxation, and limited naps can help you a lot.
  • Try to get regular exercise. Exercise can help reduce your anxiety and promotes restorative and healthy sleep.
  • Avoid crash-causing food from your diet. Foods that can give you sustained energy, like lean proteins, nuts, vegetables, seeds, fruits, and complex carbs, can help you alleviate the feeling of fatigue.
  • Talk to a therapist. Talking to a counsellor or a psychologist can help you with your anxiety. They can identify your anxiety triggers and develop remedies that can result in fewer attacks.
  • Consider medication. It is best to talk to your healthcare provider to know if you need any anti-anxiety medication. These medications don’t even have to be expensive. To save more on these medications, you can check out coupons by clicking here.

Takeaway

Anxiety releases a rush of hormones that can lead to tiredness. The crash may be temporary, but the draining feeling lasts. In order to combat exhaustion caused by anxiety, it is best to consider healthy eating, regular exercise, relaxation techniques, and good sleep practices. Moreover, your healthcare provider might prescribe you medication if you can’t naturally fight off the tiredness caused by anxiety.  


Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He has an ongoing interest in mental health and well-being.


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