Senior Home Care Blog - Western Cook & Eastern DuPage Counties

Simple Changes for Fighting Fatigue

By Mary L. Doepke, RN

Heart disease, diabetes and depression are all things that can cause a person to feel sleepy and lethargic during the day. But fighting fatigue can often be a matter of a simple lifestyle change.

Before heading to the doctor for a sleep study or a battery of tests, consider whether any of these lifestyle habits might be contributing to your frequent need to snooze.

And speaking of naps 

An afternoon snooze might be just what you need to beat that mid-day slump. Doctors at Mayo Clinic suggest fighting fatigue can be as simple as a 10- to 30-minute nap around 2 or 3 p.m. It gives many people the boost they need to get through the rest of the day.

Sleeping longer, later, or more often could prevent you from sleeping come bedtime.

Sugar’s Not So Sweet 

Fighting fatigue with sugar starts a battle that you won't win.

Sugar gives you an immediate surge of energy, followed by a dip in blood sugar that makes you feel lethargic and sleepy. Opt instead for meals and snacks that offer protein and complex carbs, such as an apple with peanut butter or a handful of nuts and a slice of cheese. They will offer long-lasting energy without the post-snack slump.


Our bodies are made mostly of water. That includes our blood, which is vital to making everything else work as it should. When we don’t have enough water in our system, our bodies can experience a drop in blood volume. Our hearts have to work harder to push that reduced volume of blood to all of the places where it is needed – our muscles, our brains, other organs and our skin.

The solution is quite clear. Drink more water. Start with a big glass just after you get out of bed and continue to feed your body with water throughout the day.

If getting up during the night is a problem, stop your water intake a couple of hours before bedtime.

Lack of exercise

Most of us have experienced the phenomenon of being tired from doing nothing at all.

It’s true that a body in motion stays in motion, and a body that sits is likely to stay that way. Give your body natural energy by getting it moving. Take a walk around the block. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Better yet, adopt an exercise routine.

We’ve even come up with a way to work exercise into your TV schedule. Check it out HERE.

Sweet dreams

Obviously, lack of sleep is a major cause of feeling sleepy during the day.

What you do and what you eat before bed can have a big impact on how you sleep. Check out these previous blogs to learn more about how to get to sleep and stay that way.