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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

3 Facts About Fatigue

Sleep is important. You might be surprised to know the following fatigue-related stats:
  • sleep apnea can lead to heart failure or stroke;  
  • fatigue contributed to the Exxon Valdez and space shuttle Challenger disasters;
  • and more than 33% of all traffic accidents are attributed to motorists' fatigue.
One of the universal facts of our humanity is that we need ample amounts of rest. Studies into the science of sleep have found that both the body and mind repair themselves during our nightly eight-hour respites, and that those repairs are necessary for our mental and physical function.

The reason for it is obvious, without enough sleep we can't operate at our best and every aspect of our life can suffer. We’ve all experienced it in one way or another. When we're tired we can exhibit several of the following traits:
  • Mindless eating or overeating;
  • Poor judgment;
  • Muddy thinking;
  • Enhanced irritability;
  • More complaining about inconsequential things;  
  • Re-engagement of past addictions (e.g. alcohol, gambling, sex...etc.);  
  • Higher susceptibility to negative influences;
  • As well as a myriad of other sub-optimal behaviors.
Have you exhibited any of those traits when you were tired? Or have you witnessed other such traits exhibited in your loved ones who might be fatigued? I’ll take that as a collective “yes.”
Here are three facts that each of us needs to keep in mind as we strive for balance between our required rest versus awake cycles:
1. Problems seem larger when you're tired – an issue that might appear challenging yet "doable" when you're fully rested is easily misperceived as an insurmountable obstacle when the fatigue factor is in effect. Rather than give up on a project or relationship, it’s better to sleep on it and tackle the situation with the fresh perspective of a new day.

2. The darkness seems darker with the fatigue factor – being tired disproportionally affects our mood, which makes us more prone to fits of melancholy and anxiety. While clinical depression sometimes needs to be treated with pharmaceuticals, a consistent pattern of restful sleep can also work wonders.
3. Fatigue can hurt relationships – I don’t know about you, but when I’m tired I tend to replay in my mind past hurts and negative situations that are not necessarily healthy. Additionally, fatigue tends to make me angrier regarding small offenses or mistakes made by others. Unfortunately these components make a formula in my life that you might relate to:

anger + fatigue = hurtful remarks

It’s important to do all that we can to ensure we get ample rest every day. Despite the physical and mental aspects of fatigue addressed thus far, there is a spiritual component to the fatigue factor as well. The Bible tells us that the enemy of humanity conspires to keep us tired as we read in Daniel 7:25,

 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of times.”

So a sense of “tiredness” seems to be more than just in your head and body – it could have a spiritual component as well. We don't often consider the spiritual aspect of sleep, but that doesn't make it any less relevant or possible. However, there are scriptural remedies for sleep, that if we meditate and mull over, may have a positive effect on that critical area of our lives.

Psalms 4:8, “I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord , make me dwell in safety.”

Psalms 127:2, “In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves.“

Proverbs 3:24 “…when you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.”

Heck, even God rested on the seventh day after creation – that’s a good model to follow.

Read my full HubPages article and take a sleep survey at:
3 Facts About Fatigue


  1. Such good points, and oh - so true! It also makes me ask questions in my own life. I know sleep cannot solve everything - but I do have to wonder if getting more quality (or just more at all some nights) sleep would help in ways I don't realize. Thanks again for a simple, yet thought provoking message on fatigue - something I am all too familiar with.

  2. I can relate to the fatigue factor. I have a special needs daughter who is almost seven and still cannot sleep through the night. The Lord blesses me with the strenght I need to make it through each day.

  3. @Laura, I think all of us can relate to the fatigue factor. It seems that everyone I know is forced to function on less "ZZZZ-time."

  4. @Cari, your daughter is lucky to have you in her life and I pray that God continues to meet your needs and "quicken your mortal body."