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  • Deanne Apostolou

Tired all the time? How to know when ‘tired’ is not normal

Updated: Jun 16, 2021

Fatigued woman sleeping on desk with laptop and glasses
Fatigue is different to tiredness and should be treated

The difference between tiredness and fatigue

It is normal for all of us to feel overtired, or even exhausted…sometimes. But, normally we know what has caused us to be that tired. And usually, we recover after a good rest.

Fatigue, on the other hand, is whole body tiredness that is not relieved by sleep. It’s a daily and persistent lack of energy and motivation. Often your muscles feel really heavy – like you’ve done a massive work-out.

Fatigue is a very common complaint in clinical practice. At my Newcastle herbalist clinic, 90% of my new patients complain about a lack of energy.

Being tired all the time can severely impact your psychological, emotional, and physical wellbeing, so it’s best not to dismiss it.

11 warning signs that your tiredness may not be normal

Take a look at the warning signs below. If you identify with some of these consistently, it might be time to get some help.

  1. You are dragging yourself out of bed every morning – and you still can’t ‘get it together’ more than half an hour later

  2. You fall asleep on the lounge after dinner every night

  3. You are grumpy/angry/frustrated/have no patience with those around you

  4. You are getting "Monday-itis" every day of the week

  5. You never seem to be able get on top of all the stuff you have to do

  6. You are wondering where your happy, carefree, self went?

  7. You just want to sleep all weekend so you can manage work on Monday

  8. You say no to social activities because you’re too tired

  9. When it’s more than just: “I had a big weekend”; I didn’t sleep well”; I’ve been really busy at work”

  10. You’re often finding it hard to concentrate

  11. When it constantly interferes with your quality of life

Causes of fatigue

Fatigue is very individual – what causes one person to feel fatigued may not cause another person’s fatigue. Fatigue can also be caused by a complex interplay of lifestyle, emotional and health factors.

However, there are some medical causes of fatigue which you and your health practitioner should consider.

7 possible medical reasons for fatigue

  1. Low iron

  2. Low blood oxygen

  3. Hormonal imbalances (including those caused by perimenopause and menopause)

  4. Disease conditions eg heart conditions, diabetes, autoimmune conditions

  5. Depression

  6. Medication side effects

  7. Chronic pain

Other reasons for fatigue

  • Poor nutrition

  • Poor food absorption

  • Ongoing lack of sleep

  • Poor quality sleep - restlessness, overactive mind, too much stimulation before bed

  • Stress

  • Exercise – too much or too little; wrong time of day

  • Boredom – listless, restless, no motivation, not burning up enough energy

How a qualified herbalist or naturopath can help you with fatigue

A qualified natural health practitioner can help you to identify the possible underlying causes of your fatigue. This may need to be in conjunction with your doctor.

They will also develop an individualised treatment plan for you. The plan can include dietary or lifestyle changes, and herbal medicines and supplements.

There are many different herbal medicines that can assist with fatigue depending on the cause. There are herbs for sleep, herbs for digestion, herbs for better food absorption, herbs full of nutrients, herbs for energy, herbs for stress, herbs for detox – herbs, herbs, herbs!

Your herbalist will help find the combination that is right for you.

It is important you see a properly qualified herbalist or naturopath as they will:

  • Recommend good quality and effective herbs and supplements

  • Prescribe the correct doses of herbal medicine and supplements

  • Ensure that your treatment will not interfere with any medications you are taking.

  • Monitor your treatment and change your treatment protocol as needed.

If necessary, your herbalist or naturopath will recommend you also see your doctor to get specific blood tests.

Are you tired of being tired?

If tiredness is affecting your daily life, and you’re sick of it - it is time to take some action! See your herbalist, naturopath, or other health practitioner.

You can make an appointment for one of my holistic health reviews. I will help you make the changes your body needs to get some energy back. And don’t worry…. we’ll take it one step at a time… at your pace.

To book, or if you have any questions at all, please call me on 0412 270 033 or email Or you can book online. I’d love to help you feel your best.


Note: This content is provided for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical/health advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, please consult a suitably qualified healthcare professional.

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