Fatigue and Brain Injury. Why it feels different to just being tired

Today I have an addiction to coffee. It came as a result from years where I battled with my brain to be more alert as before my Brain Injury. It would lose my focus to feel drained the moment I would wake each morning. That is if I was lucky enough to get enough or any sleep.

Coffee, or caffeine, was and still is my medicine. It is however, only part of what can be done to reduce the fatigue brought on by brain injury.

Brain Injury recovery took several years for me and there is no defined timeframe for anyone. We shouldn’t focus on a timeframe, but instead find natural remedies to assist. Minimal information I learnt in hospital prepared me for the ongoing impact to my cognition, to leave me socially separate without understanding.

Tiredness sounds simple.

I am tired.

I have a coffee.

I’m buzzed and get work done as usual.

NO! The fatigue is a feeling more complicated than this simple assumption from outsiders or the Brain Injured in the beginning.

Coffee does help but the tiredness is like a constant speed in a car.

Humans enter each day slowly and race up to slow down again after releasing and using energy.



100 km/h

Down to 80km/h when coffee wears off and that is our day before sleep at a 10-40km/h.

With Brain Injury it’s the enveloping tiredness that makes things difficult.

There’s a constant underlying issue and it can be compounded due to how our sleep patterns alter from the injury.

Without a good night rest beforehand, the day begins like an impossibility to cope with and without a remedy but having the sleep that did not occur.

We may rise in the morning and stay at a 20km/h all day, or even plummet further and coffee simply gives the rush to attempt normality. Just to get to that initial 60km/h, if that is ever reached. Tiredness is complicated and relies on several factors caused by the injury.

There is no additional push and the other issues, particularly in a workplace, related to handling abusive coworkers or general mental challenges can tire you even further.

This is where you need understanding and support.

I hope this article may assist in some regard, but I know that in several workplaces this will be a perfect reason to underline your inadequacies. In that case, be careful what you share with other employees. Try to find assistance where possible with management.

I suggest taking this issue up with a doctor. I believe magnesium and chamomile tea assist in improving sleeping patterns, but at times the lack of sleep may become too much to handle.

Coffee is a wonder drug, but you cannot rely on coffee alone to wake you up. I relied on it a lot, but I know that if you have coffee too late in the day then it will impact your sleep and actually worsen your continuous fatigue.

AVOID, I repeat AVOID sugar or other chemical filled energy drinks as they will plummet your immune system and impact on sleep later as your body becomes less healthy.

I found this article which may point you in the right direction https://www.headway.org.uk/about-brain-injury/individuals/brain-injury-and-me/top-tips-for-a-good-nights-sleep/

Published by Paul - Brain Injured and Traveller in one.

The World is an amazing place filled with adventure, awe and excitement. As a child I dreamt that I would see every country, every crevice of the globe. And now? Now I continue to fulfil that dream...I would like to share that journey with you in some small part...

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