Listless? 12 tips against constant tiredness

Do you feel tired, exhausted and not rested all the time? Then try our 12 tips that can help you drive away your acute tiredness. We will also show you what else you should know about fatigue and sleep and what you can do then.

In this article you will learn

  • What fatigue actually means
  • How much sleep is recommended
  • What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • When to see a doctor
  • Which tips help with tiredness

The causes of constant fatigue 

Almost everyone gets tired at some point, be it after a stressful day or after a night that is too short. Many also feel listless and exhausted when they are sick, for example with a flu-like infection. Being tired is in itself just a signal from the body, quasi a protective mechanism , that it would like to rest or that it needs movement and fresh air.

But what happens when this tiredness no longer disappears? When you just feel exhausted and exhausted? What if it burdens you in everyday life? Because those who constantly feel tired also often suffer from a drop in performance, irritability and poor concentration. This is exactly what we want to take a closer look at now, because when you are tired and exhausted, it can be a symptom of many things.

When you’ve exhausted yourself, been mentally and physically active, it’s understandable when you get tired. If you have this feeling all the time and can’t get out of the yawning, you may just be lacking more sleep. But who actually needs how much sleep? The German Society for Sleep Research and Sleep Medicine (DGSM) speaks of seven to eight hours of sleepin a row, which most people need to feel relaxed. And this need for sleep does not change with age, only older people sleep differently. For example, you go to bed earlier and therefore wake up earlier. The DGSM summarizes these and other age-related changes .

Constant tiredness can lead to a decline in performance and poor concentration.

In medicine, when assessing how good sleep is, one often speaks of what is known as sleep efficiency. This calculates the percentage of sleep in the allotted time . Because hardly anyone falls asleep immediately when they lie down. The sleep efficiency is calculated by dividing the sleep duration by the bed time and taking the result times 100. A sleep efficiency of 90 percent or more is considered satisfactory, 85 percent and less is considered to be poor sleep. 

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But the individual need for sleep can differ from this. It is therefore advisable to observe yourself and document over a longer period of time how many hours per night you need to feel relaxed. And of course that doesn’t include snuggling up in bed at the weekend. Once you have determined your average length of sleep, you will roughly know when to go to bed in the evening so that you are reasonably fit the next day.

Only when you have got enough sleep and are still permanently tired should you consider other factors. Because fatigue in itself is a symptom that can indicate other problems. If it has been around for more than four weeks , you should speak to your family doctor about it, as this could be a sleep disorder. You should also see a doctor if you have symptoms that you cannot classify, such as blood in your stool or pain.

There are a number of reasons why you may feel tired all the time:

  • Physical causes: For example, lack of sleep, obesity, lack of fluid, hypothyroidism, hormonal balance, sleep apnea, vitamin deficiency
  • Diseases: such as anemia, sleep apnea
  • Mental causes: such as stress, burnout, mental illness
  • Environment and lifestyle: For example fatty food, malnutrition, working conditions, toxins, side effects of drugs
Fatty foods and malnutrition can be the cause of constant fatigue.

Only when there are no other factors and sleep or rest breaks no longer recharge your own battery does this indicate exhaustion as an independent disease. If such chronic fatigue is present, it is called chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or fatigue syndrome in medicine . The following factors can be indicators of this disease:

  • Complaints for more than six months
  • No recovery from sleep
  • Exhaustion affects everyday life
  • Following light exposure you feel cut off
  • You also have accompanying physical and psychological complaints , such as headaches, body aches, gastrointestinal problems

Unfortunately, CFS is difficult to diagnose because the causes of tiredness and fatigue are so diverse. CFS can only be considered when all of this can be ruled out through a detailed anamnesis. Therefore, you should see your family doctor if you suffer from fatigue for a long time.

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12 tips against constant tiredness

Being tired is annoying, it restricts you in your everyday life and it simply costs a lot of energy, time and nerves. The good thing is, you can actively do something so that you don’t feel tired all the time. We are now giving you 12 different tips that you can try:

  • Sufficient sleep:  As we have already mentioned, every person has a different need for sleep. Test for yourself whether 30 minutes or 1 hour more sleep will lead to a change.
  • Stress relief and relaxation exercises
  • Power napping: A good afternoon nap can already drive  away tiredness. See if taking a quick nap will help you feel rested. The afternoon and a duration of 20 minutes are best suited for this. If you sleep longer, your body goes into pause mode too much. This means it will take a while after you wake up to be fit again.
  • Sleep hygiene:  This term includes behaviors that help you get a good night’s sleep, such as going to bed at the same time every night, avoiding alcohol before bed, and making your sleeping environment comfortable. It is also important that you are not disturbed in your deep sleep phase. Disturbances can be, for example, a glowing alarm clock or an annoying noise.
  • Drink enough during the day: especially water or tea, no alcohol.
Make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Water or tea are particularly suitable.


  • Vitamin-rich diet
  • Regular exercise
  • Sunlight:  Daylight controls our day-night rhythm and is therefore essential for us to regulate our waking and sleeping times.
  • Fresh air: Sometimes the only thing missing is oxygen, then it helps to open a window.
  • Do not go to bed with a full stomach:  Therefore, it is better if you prefer light meals for dinner. Because your body processes the food and that can affect your sleep.
  • Room temperature:  There is a recommendation to keep the temperature in the bedroom at around 17 to 19 degrees for a good night’s sleep. Just give it a try. If it gets too chilly for you, you can try to work your way up to your ideal bedroom temperature.
  • Bed:  What kind of mattress do you sleep on? Which blanket and which pillow do you use? Did you just choose it or did you take the time to find your ideal equipment? There are many specialist shops that can give you all-round advice on which material is ideal for you and your sleeping habits – side sleepers, stomach sleepers and the like.
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If you notice that none of these things are going to help you, you should consider taking advantage of medical offers , because sometimes you can’t do it without medical help. You can find the first support offers at your family doctor, in health centers and from psychotherapists.

We have already written that tiredness is a common side effect of an illness . If you suffer from a digestive disorder, this can also deprive you of sleep. A gastrointestinal disease or irritable stomach syndrome can manifest itself as pain in the lower half of the body in the abdominal area, diarrhea, constipation and flatulence. If you want to find out more about these topics, you can, for example, our postIrritable bowel syndrome: when will I be affected and what will help me? or read the topic Why healthy sleep is particularly important with irritable bowel syndrome .

Without a drive through the day? When to see a doctor

Fatigue is a protective mechanism of the body , but if it lasts too long and cannot be driven away by anything, it has a negative impact on everyday life. Therefore, it is good to deal with a good night’s sleep and also to try out a few tips from us. Because if acute tiredness can be brought under control, that is an absolute gain in quality of life.

But if you have been tired for several weeks and don’t know what the cause is, you should contact your family doctor . It is not good if you struggle with it longer than necessary, better to contact the medical institutions that can help you. 

If you would like to read even more about the topic of healthy sleep, our topics Home Remedies for Sleep Disorders , Sleep Disorders Due to Stress and  Why a Good Sleep Rhythm is Important for Our Digestive System will be of interest to you. Or maybe our 20 tips for a healthy sleep will help you .

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