Signals that the battery is running low
Tell-tale signs of fatigue can be a drawn, tense look, a pale or greyish pallor, glazed eyes, irritability and, ironically, too much activity in that the person may become restless, more distracted or more talkative and make an increased number of mistakes.
During the day, for some much earlier, the person get signals that the battery is running low.
For example, they notice that they are tired, make more mistakes or loses concentration. Some people get headaches, others lose the overview or become irritated. These are signs that let you know that the bottom of the battery is in sight. It's time to take a rest so that the battery can charge again.
Pay attention to bodily signals:
Do you get headaches, do you feel dizzy or feel a tension in neck and shoulders?
Pay attention to the way you do things:
Is the pace going down or do you make more mistakes than usual?
Please take notice of negative feelings: Are you cranky, you have somewhere lost interest in something, or do you feel irritated?
Please take notice of negative thoughts:
For example do you think: "I can't take it anymore', "How long is this gonna last?'
'I feel inferior because I can not do it', 'It no longer interests me' ?
Do you notice anything yourself these signs, ask people who know you well, whether they have in mind when your energy runs out. Ask them what signals they notice. A person’s emotions can become raw when they are tired.
Many brain injured suffer from sleeping disorders as well.
Read these factsheets..thanks to synapse.org.au
See for example our page on CSAS.
Lack of sleep has a negative effect on our cognition, mood, energy levels and appetite. The average person needs eight hours of sleep a night or will suffer from decreased concentration, energy and many other problems. These effects are multiplied many times by a brain injury.
Unfortunately, brain injury can often lead to a sleep disorder. The American Academy of Neurology reports that as many as 40 to 65 percent of people with mild traumatic brain injury complain of insomnia.
This can be hard to detect because people with brain injuries can also have a fatigue disorder. Although some may have problems with getting too much sleep, the usual sleep disorder is trouble sleeping at night, particularly problems with timing of sleep, then feeling drowsy during the day.
After a brain injury many find it not only difficult to sleep, but they are very easily awakened, sometimes dozens of times a night. On top of this, they may find themselves unable to sleep at all around 3 am, despite being desperately tired. Sleep will usually be very light, so the smallest noise brings the person instantly awake. Research suggests a major cause is disruption to normal release of certain quantities of certain neurotransmitters in the brain during sleep which causes "sleep fragmentation" due to waking up so often.
There can be a variety of other causes disrupting sleep. Discomfort from headache, neck pain or back pain will always make it hard to get to sleep. Depression is a common feature after a brain injury and survivors may find they fall asleep easily but wake up several hours before dawn, unable to sleep again. Anxiety and inability to handle stress are other problems for many. Negative thoughts whirring through the mind will usually make it very hard to fall asleep.
References and further information