How To Recognise The 6 Types Of Tired

Some days you may still feel tired even if you’ve had a solid 8 hours sleep the night before. And the reason for this is because there is more than one type of tired. In this article we’re going to explore the 6 different types of tired and pinpoint some of the key indicators, so that we can then understand how to help ourselves feel better.


When you’re tired in a way that makes you feel drained of energy, you might initially think that this is a form of physical tiredness. However, this is not the case. When our energy reserves become depleted it has a direct knock-on effect on our mental state. Motivation levels start to drop, you may feel hopeless, and as if you are unable to solve any issues you have. And often when we feel like this, we can isolate ourselves and pull back from socialising with others. Which is fine for a while, after all everyone needs their space sometimes, but if you continue to feel drained and increasingly find yourself withdrawing it’s time to look at the reasons why you could be feeling like this.


Feeling exhausted is a physical form of tiredness. We’re low on energy and no amount of sleep seems to be helping with it. It can feel as though we are utterly wiped out, as though there is no more fuel in the tank. We just want to sit and do nothing, but the problem is this type of tired makes you slightly on edge and a bit twitchy. You want to relax, your body is telling you it needs to, but your mind won’t let you. Physical symptoms of exhaustion include dizziness, headaches, nausea, joint or muscle pain, and heart palpitations.


This form of tired is connected to your emotions; when you feel exhausted to your very soul. Although you have enough energy to be able to do all the physical things you need to do in your day, the desire to do so is seriously lacking. You feel bored, lack motivation, and you struggle to find purpose or meaning. Often this can result in people feeling detached from the rest of the world, as though no one else could possibly understand what you’re feeling. With this level of tiredness, although you may not necessarily struggle to sleep at night, it can feel as though no matter how much sleep you get you still feel tired.


You know when you feel on edge, like there isn’t enough time in the day, but you’ve still got a million and one things to do, and people are relying on you, but my goodness you feel tired. That’s what it’s like to feel frazzled tired. You’re worn out and feeling mentally drained, overwhelmed by everything, and unable to switch off. And because you can’t switch off, trying to fall asleep at bedtime is quite literally a nightmare. When you feel frazzled your body is running on nervous energy caused by a surge of adrenaline in the body. This is the body’s response to try and help you deal with a situation, but of course all that adrenaline running through you is hardly conducive to sleep. It can help to write things down and set more realistic aims for the day.  Some things need to be done, sure, but others can wait, and if they can’t wait then they can certainly be delegated.

Burnt Out

You will likely have passed through all of the other types of tired before reaching this stage. And out of all of the different types of tired, this is by far the worst. You will struggle to concentrate on anything and you’ll lack focus and drive. Not only is this extreme mental tiredness, but physically you have nothing left in you either. And as a consequence, you will feel irritable and emotional. Others will see the change in you and wonder what’s up, but you’ll be so overwhelmed and consumed by the negative drain that this type of tired inflicts that you will be oblivious to these changes. This is absolute breaking point. You’ve got nothing left to give, not that you’d have the energy to give anything even if you wanted to. This form of tiredness builds up over time, so it’s really important to recognise some of the symptoms of the other types of tired in order to avoid burn out entirely. If you have already reached this stage however, you should seek help, either from friends or family members helping take on some of your responsibilities and sharing the load, or professional therapy to help you overcome any mental health problems that may have developed.


Sometimes you just really need a good night’s sleep and when you’re feeling sleepy i.e. yawning, nodding off on the sofa, struggling to keep your eyes open etc. it’s time to listen to your body and give it what it needs. This is a good form of tired. The one that is most natural to us. All we need to do is pay attention to the signs and then act accordingly. It’s that simple. When we ignore these signs, that’s when the other types of tired can occur, and as you can see, they bring a whole variety of other issues with them!

We all feel tired from time to time. However, when tiredness becomes more than you simply needing an early night, it’s time to firstly work out what kind of tired you’re feeling and once you’ve done that to take some time to rest in the best way possible.

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