Women are more likely to experience fatigue than men for a variety of reasons, ranging from stress and anxiety to underlying health conditions or even sleeping with a restless bedfellow.
In many cases, feeling fatigued may simply be a sign of poor sleep, but in some cases, it could point to an underlying issue.
To know how well you’re sleeping, Oura Ring equips you with a variety of detailed metrics about your sleep, delivered in the form of a daily Sleep Score. With personalized insights, Oura also provides you with actionable advice on steps you can take to improve your sleep through lifestyle changes and new habits.*
Without the aid of a sleep tracking device, it can be tricky to pinpoint the exact causes of your fatigue. Below are six questions that can help you determine what could be at the root of your tiredness.
Note that if you’ve been experiencing chronic fatigue for some time, be sure to speak with your healthcare practitioner.
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1. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being very poor and 5 being great), how well do you feel like you slept for the last two weeks?
If you answered 1 or 2, you might be sleeping poorly.
It might be time to revisit your sleep hygiene. A few simple tweaks to your lifestyle habits and sleeping environment can help you get a better night’s sleep.
- Create a bedtime routine.
- Reduce or cut out caffeine and other stimulants, sugar, and alcohol.
- Practice stress reduction techniques such as yoga or meditation.
- Avoid blue light for an hour before bed.
- Eat your last meal at least two hours before bed.
Oura members can track their sleep data to determine what behaviors or habits might be affecting their sleep using Tags and Trends.
READ MORE: 5 Ways to Upgrade Your Sleep Hygiene
2. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not stressed, and 5 being extremely stressed), how stressed have you felt in the last two weeks?
If you answered 3, 4, or 5, mental stress could be causing your fatigue.
Excessive stress is a major cause of fatigue — it can disrupt your sleep and increase your risk of developing insomnia.
Ways to manage your stress include:
- Delegating any tasks that you can
- Practicing breathing exercises to relieve stress
- Talking to a therapist
- Reading a book
In the Oura App, Oura members have access to several resources for stress management, including:
- The Explore Tab, which contains guided breathing exercises and meditations that can help them relax and manage stress.
- Oura Ring features that can help detect stress.
RELATED: How Stress Affects Your Sleep
3. How many hours of moderate-intensity physical activity have you gotten in the last 2 weeks?
a. 8 hours or more
If you answered d or e, you might not get enough movement during the day.
Studies show that regular physical activity reduces feelings of fatigue by up to 65%.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in the US, the average person should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, including cardio and strength-based exercises.
Oura members can keep track of their movement using the Automatic Activity Detection (AAD) function, which reports all detected physical activity and monitors the time, duration, type, and intensity level.
RELATED: Your Oura Activity Score
4. On a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being not tired and 5 being extremely tired), how tired do you generally find yourself before or during your period?
If you answered 3, 4 or 5, you could be feeling fatigued during the pre-menstrual or menstrual phase of your cycle.
Fatigue and low energy are common symptoms of menstruation. Additionally, people who have heavy periods may experience anemia, which can contribute to fatigue.
Ways to alleviate menstrual fatigue include:
- Staying hydrated throughout your cycle, particularly the premenstrual and menstrual phases.
- Reducing your sugar intake.
- Exercising regularly throughout your cycle.
- Planning your work and social activities according to your menstrual phase.
Oura members can use the Period Prediction feature to anticipate and prepare for their menstrual cycles and take steps to mitigate period fatigue.
Oura data can also help you understand variations in your menstrual cycle and how lifestyle factors — such as a poor diet — may affect it.
RELATED: Tired During Your Period? 5 Potential Reasons Why
5. Have you experienced drastic changes in your diet in the last two weeks?
If yes, poor dietary choices might be causing you to feel tired.
Food is a major source of energy and “fuel” for your body and mind. People with poor dietary routines may lack sufficient nutrition, which can lead to fatigue. Extreme weight loss or gain associated with diet can also cause tiredness.
Replacing simple carbs and sugary sweets with more plant-based protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables can help you maintain optimal energy levels throughout the day without crashing.
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6. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms lately? Please count all that apply to you:
If you selected 5 or more symptoms that you’re experiencing, you might be experiencing an issue with your thyroid.
Thyroid problems are more common in women than men — and fatigue is one of their main symptoms. Seek medical advice if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms linked to thyroid issues.
One Oura member discovered her thyroid issue thanks to her Oura Ring, and others have used it to manage their thyroid issues. Oura metrics such as HRV, Readiness Score, resting heart rate, and body temperature can all help in detecting a thyroid issue.
LEARN MORE: Male and Female Sleep Patterns: How Do They Differ, and Why?
*The Oura Ring is not a medical device and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, monitor, or prevent medical conditions/illnesses.