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Marek Struszczyk

Co-Founder ManagerUp

Last modified: July 18th, 2023

Do you feel as if your sleep has not been adequate enough to help you stay fresh throughout the day? Are work fatigue and tiredness affecting your productivity during the daytime?

If yes, you are not alone. According to a poll conducted by the YouGov, about 45 percent of the Americans have reported feeling fatigued or tired up to three times a week even after sleeping for 7 to 8 hours. This trend is alarming!

If you are not experiencing the benefits of sleep and suffering from work fatigue, you might be suffering from a disorder that must be identified. Here is a list of diseases that can cause work fatigue in executives and other working professionals.

Work fatigue can be the result of an underlying disorder that must be identified in order to feel energetic and improve your productivity at the workplace. CLICK TO TWEET

Executive Summary:

work fatigue

1. Diabetes

Yes, diabetes! You might be thinking how diabetes can cause work fatigue. After all, this disease occurs due to the high blood sugar levels and so, this excess sugar should be able to serve as fuel to help you feel energetic.

Isn’t it?  You are right, but only partially. Diabetes presents itself with high blood sugar levels. However, it doesn’t improve your energy levels, but actually decreases it. According to a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, high blood glucose levels cause due to diabetes can trigger inflammation in the blood vessels. As a result, immune cells such as monocytes enter the brain resulting in work fatigue.

High blood sugar can also make the blood sticky, thus preventing it from flowing easily through the capillaries. As a result, these capillaries do not bring enough oxygen to the cells making you feel tired.

Additionally, mental stress caused while trying to cope with diabetes could wear out your mind and cause stress. This can affect your sleep due to which you wake up feeling unrefreshed.

Also, keeping diabetes in control can be more difficult for busy executives due to their irregular meal times, thanks to the changing schedules of their meetings and client interactions.

As a result, you might develop severe fatigue and tiredness along with the common symptoms of diabetes such as increased thirst, a frequent urge to pass urine and delayed wound healing.

Controlling diabetes by using your antidiabetic medications regularly, following a healthy diet, and exercising regularly are advised to reduce your blood sugar levels and avoid work fatigue.


2. Sleep Apnea

If you usually wake up feeling as if you haven’t slept at all, you might be suffering from sleep apnea. According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, sleep apnea is commonly associated with work fatigue and daytime sleepiness.

Executives are more prone to develop sleep apnea due to their higher risk of associated disorders such as obesity. Obesity is common in managers due to their sedentary habits or lack of physical activities.

Sleep apnea can affect the quality of your sleep by causing frequent disruptions in the sleep. Frequent awakening can prevent you from entering the deep restorative stage of sleep thus negating the benefits of sound sleep.

Use of CPAP devices or simple recommendations such as changing your sleeping position to sides can help you to minimize the symptoms of this disease.  This will help you to sleep well and avoid work fatigue.

3. Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism, a condition caused due to an underactive thyroid gland, is another common cause of work fatigue in working professionals.

Your body needs certain hormones including thyroid hormones for the production of energy. A drop in the levels of these hormones, as what occurs in hypothyroidism, can result in lower energy levels. This can make you feel weak and exhausted even after sleeping well or eating a wholesome meal. You may also develop other symptoms of hypothyroidism such as weight gain, hair loss, constipation, brittle nails, and dry skin.

You can check your thyroid hormone levels for the diagnosis of this disease. Regular use of thyroid medications can restore the balance of hormones in your body and minimize work fatigue. It will help to restore the balance of hormones in your body and allow you to meet your professional commitments with ease.

4. Depression

Depression and work fatigue have an unfortunate connection. Depression is not a stranger to executives. Constant work pressure, higher expectations from superiors, strict deadlines to meet, and job insecurity can cause severe stress in managers and make them prone to depression.

It can make you feel less interested in doing any task, and even affect your focus and concentration at work. Some other symptoms of depression include lack of interest in daily activities, loss of appetite, and explained weight loss. Depression can also cause insomnia, thus worsening fatigue and weakness during the daytime.

Practicing effective stress-relieving techniques such as yoga and meditation can help you to control stress and depression. This will also allow you to work with a positive attitude and help you feel energetic.

There are other techniques that you can use to regain control so that you can get back to your work as quickly as possible.


5. Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia is one of the lesser known causes of work fatigue in managers. Fibromyalgia is characterized by pain and tenderness in multiple points along with stiffness. These symptoms make it obvious why a person with fibromyalgia could suffer from work fatigue.

Fibromyalgia can cause severe restriction of movements and even prevent you from sleeping well due to the pain and discomfort in the joints. These symptoms can make you feel tired all the time.

These symptoms are worse in executives as they have to sit at one place for prolonged hours without much physical movements. This can worsen the stiffness in the joints.

You can use the pain-relieving medications and practice aerobic exercises like walking or cycling to obtain relief from the symptoms of this disease and avoid work fatigue.


Ignoring the root cause of work fatigue can not just lead to a delay in the diagnosis of the underlying disorder, but also worsen your career prospects. If you want to stay fully dedicated towards attaining your professional aspirations, you must avoid work fatigue. This will help you carry out your duties and responsibilities to the best of your abilities and take your career several notches higher. However, this journey can begin only if you make an effort to find why you are experiencing tiredness at the workplace.

If you agree with this, please leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.


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