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Brain Injury: Managing Tiredness - Fighting Fatigue Following a Brain Injury

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What is Fatigue?

Fatigue is a feeling of exhaustion, tiredness or the lack of energy. You may experience fatigue as a common side effect after a brain injury. Applying different strategies can help you to cope with fatigue and minimise its disruption to your life, so that you can gradually resume your daily activities.

Types of Fatigue:

Helpful Tips

  1. Pace Yourself
    • Plan your daily schedule
    • Prioritise activities that are essential and meaningful
    • Break down activities into smaller tasks
    • Take regular 10-min breaks
  2. Maintain Good Sleep Hygiene
    • Go to sleep and wake up at the same time everyday
    • Minimise day-time naps. Naps should only be for 20 to 30 mins, and before 4pm
    • Avoid caffeine or alcohol after 3pm
    • Exercise regularly. Avoid exercising three hours prior to bedtime
    • Discuss the use of sleeping pills with your doctor first. Do not self-medicate (administer medication to yourself without medical supervision)
  3. Change Your Environment
    • Organise your environment
      • Keep your workspace clean
      • Place frequently used items in the same location
      • Use visual markers/labels/boxes to organise your workspace
      • Have a fixed workspace or desk
    • Reduce distractions
    • Use external aids (e.g. daily schedule, physical/electronic calendar, post-it notes or digital alarms)

Disclaimer: While everyone experiences fatigue differently, please consult your doctor if:

  • These tips do not yield positive changes
  • The fatigue interferes with your daily activities, work or school to a moderate degree
  • You develop low moods or suicidal thoughts/intentions

Signs and Symptoms of Fatigue

Low energy, restlessness
Unable to concentrate
Unable to complete tasks
Headache/giddiness when concentrating or after activities
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