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Quiz: Myths and Facts About Fatigue

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What's good for your fatigue?

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What's good for your fatigue?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Regular, moderate aerobic activity, like walking, is a great way to perk up and ease your fatigue. Caffeine might give you quick energy, but isn't a great solution. It can keep you awake at night, which can make you sleepier during the day. That's also why, in general, it's better to avoid naps. When you nap, you may not be tired enough at bedtime to get a full, good night's sleep.

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Getting only 6 hours of sleep a night? Even if you toss and turn, you should stay in bed for 8 hours.

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Getting only 6 hours of sleep a night? Even if you toss and turn, you should stay in bed for 8 hours.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It's much better to get 6 solid hours of sleep than to spend more time in bed being restless. If you wake up and it's still very early, try reading with a dim light and go back to bed if you get sleepy. But don't sleep late to make up for it. That will throw off your sleep schedule.

You've taken off work a lot because you feel so tired. You should:

You've taken off work a lot because you feel so tired. You should:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

It’s tempting to stay home and hide under the covers, but it can feel better to get out and into your normal routines. That said, you may need to ask for some help at work when you feel particularly bad. You could talk to your boss about flexible hours or telecommuting as a way to tackle your symptoms while staying active and productive. If you continue to feel tired, discuss it with your doctor.

You’re tired all the time and have no energy, but you still can't sleep at night. It would NOT help to:

You’re tired all the time and have no energy, but you still can't sleep at night. It would NOT help to:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Many people who have problems with fatigue have problems sleeping at night. To help get a good night's sleep:

  • Use the bedroom only for sleep and sex
  • Have a calming bedtime routine
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and comfortable
  • Don’t exercise within 4 hours of bedtime
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and heavy meals close to bedtime
  • Go to bed and wake up the same time every day

Fatigue isn’t always caused by lack of sleep. It might be triggered by:

Fatigue isn’t always caused by lack of sleep. It might be triggered by:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Maybe you didn't sleep well last night, but there can be other reasons for your tiredness. Fatigue can be caused by a whole range of conditions, including depression, mononucleosis, anemia, thyroid problems, liver disease, and rheumatoid arthritis. If there’s no clear cause for your problem, your doctor may want to do some tests to get to the root of your symptoms.

You feel as if you never have the energy to get everything done. You should:

You feel as if you never have the energy to get everything done. You should:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

When you're exhausted, you might not have the energy to get much done. So prioritize -- and get your most important chores or tasks finished first. That way if you don't get to everything, it's OK. You won't feel stressed or overwhelmed, and the critical tasks will already be finished.

You're supposed to go out with friends tonight, but you are absolutely exhausted. You should:

You're supposed to go out with friends tonight, but you are absolutely exhausted. You should:

  • Your Answer:
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If you have a chronic illness that makes you tired a lot, tell your friends and family about it. They can support you when you're really at your lowest -- and help out if you need it. They'll understand if you don't feel up to being social. You certainly shouldn't force yourself to go out if your body is telling you that you shouldn't.

Just being at home makes you tired. Maybe this will help:

Just being at home makes you tired. Maybe this will help:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

When you have small bursts of energy, you may want to simplify your house to make things more organized. Go from room to room -- when you feel well -- so that things you use often are in easy reach. When items you use often are easy to find, you spend less energy. Start with rooms you use the most -- like the kitchen and bathroom.

Sugar is an easy way to help fight fatigue.

Sugar is an easy way to help fight fatigue.

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  • Correct Answer:

What you eat can have a big effect on how you feel and how much energy you have. Sugar might give you a quick burst of energy, but when it wears off, you'll be tired all over again. Caffeine, alcohol, and junk food also can contribute to general fatigue. The best diet is a well-rounded and healthy one.

You're often overwhelmed by everything you have to do, but to beat the fatigue you need to power through.

You're often overwhelmed by everything you have to do, but to beat the fatigue you need to power through.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

No way. Learning to say "no" is really important when you're fighting fatigue. Only commit to the activities that are most important and most enjoyable. Reset your priorities. It’s OK to bring store-bought cookies to the school bake sale, and it's fine to skip the after-work gathering if the payoff is feeling better in the long run.

Feeling tired? You might be able to blame this in your kitchen:

Feeling tired? You might be able to blame this in your kitchen:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Spicy foods -- especially if you eat them near bedtime -- can hurt your sleep because of indigestion and heartburn. Fiber-rich foods, like many fruits and vegetables, help your body absorb sugar. Fiber evens out energy highs and lows, which may keep you from getting too tired. It's also important to drink plenty of water. If you get dehydrated, your body doesn’t work well and you can feel tired.

You tackle chores -- like cleaning the house or raking the yard -- but end up exhausted. This can help ease your pain:

You tackle chores -- like cleaning the house or raking the yard -- but end up exhausted. This can help ease your pain:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Breaking down tasks into smaller chunks can make them easier to get done and less tiring for you. Just give yourself 15 or 20 minutes to work on something -- whether it's a cleaning chore or writing out Christmas cards -- and then relax. You’ll  be less likely to overdo it.

You sometimes forget what you're supposed to be doing. You should:

You sometimes forget what you're supposed to be doing. You should:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

When you're overly tired and fatigued, it's normal to be a little forgetful. Try using calendars, lists, or sticky notes -- whatever tools will help you remember what you have to do. 


You may want to mention any worries about your forgetfulness the next time you visit your health care provider. If you feel that it's happening more often than it used to, tell your doctor.

Your prescription medications are making you tired. You should:

Your prescription medications are making you tired. You should:

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Some medications can make you drowsy, and that can contribute to your overall sense of fatigue during the day. Don’t stop taking any medication without talking to your health care provider first. There's a chance that you could switch to a different medicine without the same side effects.

Which change in your diet probably won't fight fatigue?

Which change in your diet probably won't fight fatigue?

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

Making some changes to your diet may help you feel more energetic. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids -- like some seafood, nuts, and dark, leafy green vegetables -- help fight fatigue. Foods that are full of vitamin B -- such as eggs, lean meats, and dairy products -- can also help restore energy. And it’s important to start the day with a breakfast that has protein and carbs (like an egg and whole-grain toast) to get the energy you need to kick-start your day. Alcohol, though, usually makes people drowsy.

When you're suddenly very tired, it can be a sign of dehydration.

When you're suddenly very tired, it can be a sign of dehydration.

  • Your Answer:
  • Correct Answer:

When you don't drink enough water, your body doesn't work like it should. You can get tired and lose energy. That's why it's important to stay hydrated -- so try to skip sodas and coffee and drink water instead.

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Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Great job! You know the secrets to fighting fatigue.

Pretty good. You know a lot about fighting fatigue.

Yawn. You could brush up on your fatigue knowledge.

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