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What is the physiological difference between the tiredness that comes from too little sleep and the tiredness that comes from exertion?

Olivia Thompson Olivia Thompson Jan 21, 2018 · 1 min read
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Everyone has experienced the feeling of being tired, whether it’s from a long day of work or from not getting enough sleep. While the feeling may be similar, the physiological differences between the two types of tiredness are significant.

Tiredness from lack of sleep is caused by a lack of restorative sleep, which is necessary for the body to function properly. When you sleep, your body enters different stages of sleep, each serving a specific function. During the deep sleep stage, your body produces hormones that repair tissues and strengthen the immune system. When you don’t get enough restorative sleep, these essential processes are inhibited, which leads to feelings of lethargy, reduced cognitive function, and weakened immune response.

Exertion-based tiredness, on the other hand, is caused by physical activity. When you exercise or engage in strenuous physical activity, the body’s energy stores are depleted, and muscle fibers are damaged. The body responds to this strain by releasing hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which can cause feelings of fatigue and soreness.

While the symptoms of both types of tiredness may be similar, the causes and effects on the body are different. Lack of sleep can lead to long-term health problems such as weight gain, heart disease, and diabetes, while exertion-based tiredness is a natural and necessary part of exercise and physical activity.

It’s important to note that both types of tiredness can affect your mental and physical performance. Lack of sleep can lead to decreased cognitive function, impaired memory, and reduced attention span, while exertion-based fatigue can cause decreased reaction time and decreased muscle coordination. It’s essential to listen to your body and give it the rest it needs, whether it’s through quality sleep or recovery after physical activity.

In conclusion, while tiredness may feel the same, the physiological differences between the two types of tiredness are significant. Lack of sleep leads to a lack of restorative processes necessary for the body to function properly, while exertion-based tiredness is a natural part of physical activity that can lead to improved physical and mental health when balanced with adequate rest and recovery.

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Olivia Thompson
Written by Olivia Thompson
Making a difference, one step at a time.