Causes of Sickle Cell Fatigue

Sickle cell fatigue can happen because not enough oxygen reaches muscles and other tissues. The pain that comes with sickle cell can also make it hard to sleep.

Managing Fatigue

Here are some things that you can do to manage fatigue:

  • Moderate exercise
    Even though it can be hard to exercise when you’re fatigued, exercise can help you have energy during the day and sleep better at night. But be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program.
  • A healthy diet
    When you feel tired, it can be tempting to fall into unhealthy eating habits. Instead, try to choose nutrient-rich foods as often as you can.
  • Getting enough sleep
    When it’s time for bed, turn off the television. Make sure that your room is dark. Focus on your breathing, and try not to think about the events of the day or what’s coming tomorrow. It’s not easy! But just try. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, stay asleep, or wake up in the morning, talk to your healthcare provider. Some medicines can interfere with sleep, so talk with your healthcare provider about that too.

Fatigue Can Be Disruptive

It may be true that everyone is tired these days. People work too many hours, stay up too late and spend a lot of time online. But their tiredness is nothing like the fatigue you have with sickle cell. To help with fatigue, it is important to practice a good sleep routine, which means building healthy habits that support sleep. Some of these habits include:

  • Limiting naps to less than 30 minutes
  • Limiting caffeine to the morning
  • Having a bedtime routine that you follow every night
  • Making your bedroom pleasant, dark, and as free of distractions as possible