Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Self-help tips to fight mild fatigue

3-minute read

Many cases of unexplained mild tiredness or fatigue are usually not due to any serious underlying conditions and can be self managed. Mild fatigue is usually short lived and is easily overcome by some simple remedies. Common causes include not getting enough sleep, a poor diet and other lifestyle factors.

Always consult a health professional if the fatigue is more than mild, lasts for a long time and you have other symptoms such as:

Use these self-help tips to restore your energy levels for mild fatigue.

Eat a little more often

A good way to keep up your energy through the day is to eat regular meals and healthy snacks every 3 to 4 hours, rather than a large meal less often.

Get exercise

You might feel too tired to exercise, but regular exercise will make you feel less tired in the long run and you'll have more energy. Even a single 15-minute walk can give you an energy boost, and the benefits increase with more frequent physical activity.

Start with a small amount of exercise. Build up your physical activity gradually over weeks and months until you reach the recommended goal of 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, such as cycling or fast walking, every week.

Lose weight

If your body is carrying excess weight, it can be exhausting. It also puts extra strain on your heart, which can make you tired. Lose weight and you'll feel much more energetic. Apart from eating healthily, the best way to lose weight is to be more active and do more exercise.

Get enough sleep

It sounds obvious, but two-thirds of us suffer from sleep problems, and many people don't get the sleep they need to stay alert through the day. Some recommendations on getting a good night's sleep include: go to bed and get up in the morning at the same time every day, avoid naps through the day, and have a warm bath or shower before bed.

Reduce stress

Stress uses up a lot of energy. Try to introduce relaxing activities into your day. This could be working out at the gym, or a gentler option such as listening to music, reading or spending time with friends. Whatever relaxes you will improve your energy.

Talk about it

There's some evidence that talking therapies such as counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might help to fight fatigue. See your doctor for a referral for talking treatment.

Cut out caffeine

Anyone feeling tired should cut out caffeine. The best way to do this is to gradually stop having all caffeine drinks (and that includes coffee and tea and cola drinks) over a 3-week period. Try to stay off caffeine completely for a month to see if you feel less tired without it.

You may find that stopping caffeine gives you headaches. If this happens, cut down more slowly on the amount of caffeine that you drink.

Drink less alcohol

Although a few glasses of wine in the evening helps you fall asleep, you sleep less deeply after drinking alcohol. The next day you'll be tired even if you sleep a full 8 hours.

Cut down on alcohol before bedtime. You'll get a better night's rest and have more energy. The recommendation is that men and women should not regularly drink more than 2 standard drinks a day.

The Australian standard drink contains 10g of alcohol (equivalent to 12.5mL of pure alcohol). A 285ml glass of full strength beer is around 1.1 standard drinks and 100ml of wine is 1 standard drink.

Drink more water

Sometimes you feel tired simply because you're mildly dehydrated. A glass of water will help do the trick, especially after exercise.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: October 2018

Recommended links

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Fatigue and arthritis Arthritis Australia

Fatigue is a feeling of both physical and mental tiredness

Read more on Arthritis Australia website

Tiredness - Cancer Treatment Side Effects | YCS

Feeling tired and not having your usual get up and go is the most common side effect of chemotherapy.

Read more on CanTeen website

Kids' Health - Topics - Sleep - are you getting enough?

After we have been working, thinking, playing and doing all sorts of exercise during the day, we start to feel tired

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Shiftwork

How can shiftwork affect my sleep? Generally, the body is programmed to sleep best overnight and to be most alert during the day and early evening. If you work night shift, it might not be easy to sleep enough or to sleep well during the day. If you start work very early in the morning, it might be hard to sleep in t

Read more on Sleep Health Foundation website

Chronic fatigue syndrome - myDr.com.au

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) also calledmyalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or ME/CFS is a complex condition. Itcauses extreme fatigue, sleep problems, pain and other symptoms

Read more on myDr website

Take control and live well with a musculoskeletal condition

Information and tips to help you understand your condition, make informed decisions and live well with a musculoskeletal condition. Find out more.

Read more on Musculoskeletal Australia website

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Sleep

Are people with CFS just tired?People with CFS are more than just tired. They suffer from an intense fatigue and exhaustion that wont go away. Physical or mental activity can make their CFS symptoms worse. To recover, the person must rest for longer than usual. People with CFS have less energy to do everyday

Read more on Sleep Health Foundation website

Fatigue | National Centre for Farmer Health

Fatigue can lead to serious risks for farmers. Fatigue can have both physical and mental causes and can be described as a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness. Its not the same as feeling drowsy, or tired after a busy day. Its more a feeling of pushing yourself through the day, every day. Read more...

Read more on National Centre for Farmer Health website

Sleep deprivation - Better Health Channel

A fatigued person is accident prone and more likely to make mistakes and bad decisions.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

How does my drinking affect my sleep and energy levels? - Hello Sunday Morning

It is common for our Daybreak members to report feeling fatigued and low in energy. Here are some tips on how to get a better nights sleep.

Read more on Hello Sunday Morning website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo