Sorting out the bills, figuring out what to have for dinner, calculating your budget for the week, and studying for exams are all responsibilities that can create an overactive brain. If you don’t take time to regroup and lessen some of the weight upon your shoulders – you could experience mental fatigue – a condition that takes place when the brain cells have finally had enough.
Table of Contents
- What is Mental Fatigue?
- Causes of Mental Fatigue
- The Symptoms of Mental Fatigue
- Negative Effects and Risk Factors of Mental Fatigue
- Home Remedies for Mental Fatigue
What is Mental Fatigue?
When it comes to fatigue, there are two types to consider: physical and mental. Just like the body, brain cells can become exhausted. Overload your mind with too much to deal with all at once and the outcome can create detrimental results. Depending on the severity of the condition, an individual may experience a decreased wakefulness, weakened attention span, and sleepiness .
Causes of Mental Fatigue
A combination of continuous mental effort, focused attention, deep emotion, and high levels of stress can cause an individual to encounter a bout of mental fatigue. If you spend long, strenuous hours at the college library for a week straight or work overtime at the job to meet a deadline – you’re probably gearing yourself up for mental overload. Fatigue can also evolve from under stimulation as well.
Not getting enough sleep? Suffering endless boredom when you return home after a long day at work? Recently experienced extensive traveling with jet lag? Competed in a weeklong chess tournament? All of these circumstances and the ones listed below are all causes of mental fatigue:
a) Chemical Responses:
Some people battling mental fatigue could be undergoing a chemical reaction, such as poisoning, as well as deficiencies that involve a lack of sufficient minerals or vitamins.
b) Massive Blood Loss:
Sustain an injury that causes you to lose a great deal of blood and you could suffer anemia, which frequently causes fatigue in patients.
c) Head Injury:
Mental fatigue is a common complaint of patients who are being treated for head injuries. While the level of fatigue typically decreases over time, it can become a rather persistent issue.
A temporary bout of mental fatigue can emerge when you are battling a minor illness, such as the common cold. However, if the symptoms of this condition linger for six months or more – this is a sign of chronic fatigue that is most likely caused by a different source.
e) Autoimmune Diseases:
Autoimmune diseases cause the immune system to attack itself, leaving a patient chronically fatigued. There are 80 different types of this sort of disease, including lupus, Grave’s disease (overactive thyroid), multiple sclerosis (MS), and rheumatoid arthritis.
There are a number of medications that can cause mental fatigue and drowsiness, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, lithium salts, and blood pressure prescriptions.
g) Sleep Deprivation:
Outside distractions can cause one to suffer mental fatigue. For example, many methods of interrogation or torture aim to weaken the mental strength of an individual in order to gain sought-after information.
When you have trouble falling asleep or do not receive a healthy amount of sleep hours, you face the increased risk of mental fatigue. If you struggle to fall asleep at night see our home remedies for insomnia.
i) Other Sicknesses:
The constant medicating and uncertain future associated with sickness can cause a patient to suffer a great deal of mental fatigue. Typical examples include cancer, arthritis, celiac disease, diabetes, fibromyalgia, heart disease, sexually transmitted diseases, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, and muscular dystrophy.
The stress that comes with having a baby definitely causes both mental and physical fatigue.
k) Late Work Nights:
Signs of mental fatigue are commonly seen in people who work late into the day. Their assignments become more complicated to complete; concentration levels plummet; and more mistakes are made. If you are a high school or college student, you are also at risk for suffering mental fatigue – which can hinder your ability to absorb information.
It is common for women approaching menopause or those who have undergone surgically induced menopause to experience depression and mental fatigue .
The Symptoms of Mental Fatigue
If you ignore an overloaded brain, mental fatigue can lead to burnout and create feelings of:
- emotional shutdown
- the sense of being trapped
Negative Effects and Risk Factors of Mental Fatigue
Mental fatigue can become dangerous, especially when your job calls for you to stay alert and focused. If you are expected to perform tasks that require constant concentration, then falling victim to mental fatigue can place you and others at a disadvantage while on the job. Some of the worst situations arise when you work at a factory (around serious machinery) or drive a vehicle or other mode of transportation as part of your career. Examples of jobs hindered by mental fatigue include:
a) Airline Pilots:
A stressed and overworked mind can cause airline pilots to mishandle their aircraft, which could lead to deadly crashes and inappropriate operating behavior.
b) Truck Drivers:
The mental fatigue that truck drivers experience while tackling the long stretches of road (especially during nighttime hours) can play a large part in driving fatalities on the highway.
Many doctors put in long shifts that can contribute to both mental and physical fatigue. When the brain is overworked, physicians face a higher risk of misdiagnosing a patient, writing an incorrect prescription, or experiencing a decreased capacity to deliver adequate medical care.
d) Customer Service:
The ability to serve a wide-range of consumers (especially irate individuals placing a complaint) is affected when a customer service representative is suffering mental fatigue.
Home Remedies for Mental Fatigue
To get your life back on track and say ‘goodbye’ to mental fatigue, consider the following home remedies that can help put your mind at ease:
a) Deep Breathing Exercises:
Achieve a better sleep when you embrace the power of fast, shallow breathing techniques. It is recommended to explore the benefits of ‘chest breathing,’ as you can successfully improve your respiratory system, lower stress levels, and relieve both physical and mental fatigue.
Allow your mind to rest with the help of aromatic essential oils that promote an enhanced mental wellbeing. Soothing scents to keep in mind include chamomile, lavender, and rose.
If you plan on extending a home workout (aerobics, treadmill, elliptical, etc), drink 3 to 4 swallows of a sports drink every ten minutes to not only enhance your overall performance, but to also delay the arrival of mental fatigue .
d) Dietary Changes:
Maintain a decent energy supply by making sure you receive an adequate and sufficient nutritional intake. Missing out on vital minerals and vitamins can lead to symptoms of fatigue. Don’t forget to stay hydrated; avoid fatty meals and snacks; and indulge in foods that offer B complex vitamins.
e) Consume Iron-Rich Foods:
Eat foods rich in iron (like raisins, liver, spinach, and apricots), as this will help the effective transport of oxygen throughout the tissues, organs, and muscles.
f) Sleep Changes:
If you are able to maintain a healthy sleep pattern, you can take advantage of the benefits that come with a relaxing sleep environment. Impose a set bedtime to get into a healthy routine. To send you off to dreamland quicker – make sure to turn off the television, keep sunlight out of the room, and invest in a comfortable pillow.
g) Essential Oils:
The application of essential oils has been known to jumpstart the nervous system and decrease mental fatigue. A few suggestions include scots pine oil, peppermint, rosemary, and eucalyptus. Try adding these selections to your bathwater or use as massage oil.
h) Citrus Oils:
Add lemon, grapefruit, lime, and orange citrus oils to a steam bath or vaporizer for inhalation as a way to ease a fatigued mind.
When looking for a short-term solution for your mental fatigue, consider products that contain caffeine – a known stimulant for the central nervous system. Tea and cola are effective choices for a quick fix. However, it is important not to overdo your caffeine intake or follow long-term use, as it can cause irritability, restlessness, and other undesirable side effects.
j) Rose Petals:
It is believed that rose petals possess the power to effectively reduce depression and mental fatigue. Prepare a relaxing concoction consisting of 20 to 30 rose petals added to a glass of water that has been boiled for 15 minutes. Allow the mixture to stand and cool before taking two to three times per day.
k) Water Therapy:
Use hydrotherapy to relieve discomfort and mental stress by harnessing the power of hot, cold, steamy, or icy water. Sink into a tub and melt away mental tension.