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Why Do We Get Mental Fatigue?

Mental fatigue can occur for several reasons. You might need to catch up on sleep, maybe you’ve had a stressful few months or perhaps your lifestyle could do with a few changes. Mental fatigue can also be the result of more serious issues such as a head injury or underlying health problem.

What is mental fatigue?

In short, mental fatigue can simply be described as “feeling mentally exhausted” - but there’s more to it than that. Experts define it as a psychobiological state that is the result of long durations of demanding cognitive activity. Other circumstances, such as traumatic brain injuries, can also result in mental fatigue.

What are the signs of mental fatigue?

Everyone feels mentally tired from time to time, and this is a symptom of short-term mental fatigue. If you’ve been experiencing mental and emotional exhaustion for a long time, it could be time to look at making some lifestyle changes or speaking with a specialist. More specific mental fatigue symptoms can include:

  • Decreased cognitive performance
  • Impaired decision making
  • Reduced motor skills
  • A decline in sport-related performance

How long does mental fatigue last?

Many factors can influence the timeline of mental fatigue. While one person might feel mentally and emotionally exhausted for a few days following a stressful week, another might experience it for months or years. Mental fatigue becomes problematic when individuals find themselves unable to recover from it or resolve it, as it can negatively impact careers, social schedules and more.

How can mental fatigue be overcome?

Plenty of approaches have been shown to support mental focus and energy. However, if you’re feeling mentally and physically exhausted and don’t know why, your first step should always be to consult your primary care physician. If your mental fatigue can be attributed to a heavy workload, sleepless nights or other lifestyle factors, try some of these approaches:

Studies have also suggested that the following approaches may be effective in alleviating more serious cases of mental fatigue:

  • Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • Light therapy

Are mental fatigue supplements an option?

In short, yes. But it’s important to research a supplement before taking it. Many supplements claim to be able to provide energy support, but not all of them are reliable. If you want more energy, start by giving your body the tools it needs to support you on a foundational level. Your body’s energy is made within your cells, and the effectiveness of this energy production is hugely reliant on an antioxidant called CoQ10. When your natural levels of CoQ10 start to decline as your body ages, you might want to turn to a supplement. The molecule MitoQ accumulates inside your cellular batteries hundreds of times more effectively than any other CoQ10 supplement – and is a great place to start if you’re looking for ways to support your body’s energy needs.

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