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Fatigue is a common phenomenon, but not a simple one. It is described as a sensation of direct loss of energy when there is no proven pathology.


Fatigue is a common phenomenon, but not a simple one. It is described as a sensation of direct loss of energy when there is no proven pathology.

1 - Forms of fatigue and its manifestations

  • Passing fatigue: this is due to a sustained physical effort. For example, the fatigue felt after a long hike or from going to bed too late.
  • Mental fatigue: this often follows significant concentration or memorisation activities, even situations of daily family or professional stress. It can interfere with simple fatigue and lead to a feeling of mental and moral weariness.
  • Emotional fatigue: this results from emotions and emotional problems that are difficult to process such as emotional shock or grief.
  • Chronic fatigue: this is felt every day and it is hard to make it go away, even with rest. It often results from a combination of negative factors: stress of everyday life, overwork, sleep disturbances and loss of fitness over the day. It is a state to be taken seriously; do not hesitate to talk to your pharmacist for personalised advice or to your doctor.

The signs of fatigue can vary but usually include:

  • intellectual disorders: difficulty concentrating, impaired memory and attention
  • character disorders: irritability, anxiety, sadness, pessimism, lack of motivation
  • muscle disorders: muscle pain, cramps
  • digestive disorders: diarrhoea, constipation.

2 - Solutions for avoiding fatigue

Numerous tips and solutions exist for avoiding fatigue; taking dietary supplements can help but three other key areas are diet, exercise and sleep.

The five rules to follow in terms of diet to avoid fatigue:

  • Time should be taken for meals and they should be centred on foods rich in vitamin C (fruits and vegetables) and magnesium (cereals, dried fruits, soy).
  • Foods rich in calcium and magnesium are soothing and promote good quality sleep.
  • Starchy foods such as pasta or rice should be consumed in moderation, especially in the evening: in large quantities, they delay the arrival of sleep.
  • Alcohol (always drink responsibly) is a false friend: it seems to facilitate the onset of sleep in some but it finally reduces recuperation faculties.
  • ​Ideally the final meal of the day should be eaten before 9 pm and finished with an herbal tea (lime, verbena, chamomile, valerian, etc.)

Exercise and moments of relaxation to release tension

To release tension, it is ideal to regularly practice a suitable physical or sports activity. However, do not exercise too late in the day as sports activities cause the secretion of hormones that help maintain a state of alertness.

It may be useful to set aside daily periods of relaxation by engaging in activities such as listening to soothing music, meditating or even having a nap. In fact, about a quarter hour of sleep is needed for rest, but three minutes is enough for relaxation. Learning relaxation behavioural techniques from specialists can help.

The bedroom; a room to be converted for restorative sleep

  • A room dedicated to sleep: The bedroom is a place for sleep, not a multi-activity room. Avoid television in this room; similarly, the office should not be in the bedroom etc.
  • Quality bedding: difficult to have dream nights on a misshapen mattress. Ideally, you should think about changing your mattress every 10 years.

A varied and balanced diet, a sports activity or meditation, a peaceful and suitably converted room and respect for regular sleep schedules promotes a restorative sleep cycle, thus avoiding the sensation of fatigue. 

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