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November 10, 2006

The Question for the Day

Man, why the hell am I so tired?

No, really. I want to know. I can't figure it out myself. Probably because I'm so damn tired.

Any insight you have into this phenomenon will be appreciated.

Posted by john at November 10, 2006 05:11 PM

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Christian | November 10, 2006 05:29 PM

It's a political hangover John. I think we all have one, and things will seem much perkier next week when we all focus our attention back to Britany's split with Kevin, and other assorted drivel.

Me? I'm going to gome home tonight, drink a nice little glass of Jim Beam and watch "The Warriors" on DVD. Yes, it's a gulity pleasure (haven't seen it since 1979) - but seeing guys dressed up in baseball oufits with mime facepaint smash each other with bats (like a Senate race), will somehow feel cleansing - I I just know it.

Chang, who loves Democracy | November 10, 2006 05:33 PM

too much yankee you wankee?

not enough maple syrup?

Ron Hogan | November 10, 2006 05:42 PM

Be careful, Christian -- after viewing the Warriors, you'll never be able to watch that Apocalypto trailer without saying to yourself, "Can....you...dig it?" at the moment you know what I'm talking about if you've seen the trailer.

Scott Mactavish | November 10, 2006 05:43 PM

Those that work internally (mentally), i.e. writers, artists, etc. tend to burn intellectual energy at a proportional rate to those that burn physical energy, i.e. house-painters, roofers, etc.

And thus, a similar rate of fatigue sets in.

This, of course, is my own personal hypothesis and if you throw the bullsh*t flag, I'll take my fifteen-yard penalty like a man.

BTW, Happy V-Day to my brother and sister Vets.

John H | November 10, 2006 05:44 PM

Well, curse Sir Walter Raleigh - he was such a stupid git...

John H | November 10, 2006 05:47 PM

And right back at you, Scott...

Chang, who loves Democracy | November 10, 2006 05:48 PM

Triple word to the Vets in the hizzouse!

Thank you!

amber | November 10, 2006 05:54 PM

If you figure out why, let me know, because I'm in the same boat.

Gabriel Malor | November 10, 2006 05:57 PM

I agree with Christian. Who didn't wake up Wednesday morning and say "Thank God it's over"? I've been wanting a nap ever since...

me | November 10, 2006 06:08 PM

ask yer doctor. I did, and the answer was: gosh, your thyroid is slacking. Eat these thyroid pills.

codrus | November 10, 2006 06:09 PM

Space parasites. They took advantage of Mercury crossing the sun, and our political distractions to land in force. Soon they will come for us all!

Cassie | November 10, 2006 06:12 PM

I think it's from hauling around that copy of The Last Colony. I think you should let me have it to save your strength.

It might also be keeping secrets about the Unspeakable Project. Let it out, John. It's killing you, the stress.

Steve Buchheit | November 10, 2006 06:12 PM

John H, I wonder if I should get up and fix myself a drink?

Getting older, Sclazi, it's the symptom. Just can't do that whole traffic thing with mucho caffeine and then expect to be hunky-dorey the next day. Age, catches up with ya at some point. Next stop, unable to eat a whole pizza by yourself, and then not able to eat spicey pizza an hour before bed.

Abidemi | November 10, 2006 06:13 PM

Actual parasites.

Eddie | November 10, 2006 06:21 PM

If you're not tired by Friday you're not working hard enough.

Dan | November 10, 2006 06:22 PM

I don't know about you, but here it's the weather. We've had this cold, wet, gray thing goin' on, and it's just sucking the life out of me.

Then again, in your case, it's probably the result of plugging around teh internets in the wee, small hours.

Adam Rakunas | November 10, 2006 06:35 PM

Well, good God man, but didn't you whip up another Schadenfreude Pie? The preparation alone is taxing, what with all of the cackling and gloating and such. And then the energy it takes to digest a single slice, to internalize the deep meaning of human existence, to absorb those feelings of joy that bump up against the indigestion of conscience...

Also, you went to Columbus. 'Nuff said.

Angela | November 10, 2006 06:39 PM

I don't know, but if you figure it out, I would sure appreciate hearing about it. I wake up every morning exhausted and it doesn't get much better even after the caffeine/sugar rush. Dr. advice is good, but I went and they said, "Nah, you're just fine." Not incredibly helpful, that.

James Goodman | November 10, 2006 06:42 PM

How's your blood sugar? If it's low, that would definately cause unwarranted fatigue.

clvrmnky | November 10, 2006 06:52 PM

... because you caught that bug that was going around which seems to have the following symptoms:

- Have one or two days of feeling ill enough to actually take time off
- weeks of dragging your ass as you can't quite shake it, but you are not 100% and wander around tired. all. the. time.

codrus | November 10, 2006 07:16 PM

Replying specifically to Angela here.

If you are consistently waking up exhausted, go to a sleep specialist and have a sleep study done. There's lots of things that could be, including sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome. Sleep apnea (which I suffer) is also a potential risk for heart problems later on in life, so it is worth figuring out if you've got a problem.

PSA finished. :)

handdrummer | November 10, 2006 07:33 PM

Agree most emphatically with Codrus. Especially if it never seems to be any better. Especially if you have a history of weight problems. Sleep apnea is quite literally a killer. Not a silent one mind you. Most apnea sufferers snore like a buzzsaw. It's one of the warning signs.

a.a.johnston | November 10, 2006 07:59 PM

When in doubt, google it.


Lack of sleep, maybe?

JonathanMoeller | November 10, 2006 08:14 PM

All that damn Coke Zero.

Tophus Carbuncle | November 10, 2006 08:41 PM

You have cancer herpes brought on by an acute case of GRID exacerbated by your cronic Lyme's distemper. Smoking burbon soaked crack-weed is the only known treatment. Avoid anti-bacterial Windex and the Ditty-bops until you have been through two full treatments and you have had no symptoms for more then four days. Exposure to this combination of known cancer herpes irritants can increase the severity of your symptoms (and may result in coma or death).

Jon Hansen | November 10, 2006 09:41 PM

Perhaps it's diabetes, which I only think of because a Scrubs rerun I saw earlier in the week said tiredness was a symptom, along with excessive urination.

To agree with the advice floated above: see your doctor.

Dave Sorgen | November 10, 2006 09:48 PM

Gotta be your body getting ready for hibernation. I remember (albeit vaguely) the winters in Ohio. Gray trees, gray sky, gray houses, gray people, etc.

You get the picture???


(writing from where it's dusty brown most of the time)

Nathan | November 10, 2006 11:25 PM

Of course you're tired. I'm tired.

It's getting dark at like 1:00 in the freaking afternoon.

Finland is a tired place. So's Ohio.

Anne KG Murphy | November 10, 2006 11:37 PM

I'm tired too. Just earlier today I commented to Janann, "I should quit this misery thing, it's too tiring."

Option b: are you drinking enough water? go drink some more. Good boy.
Now kiss your wife. Oh, wait, I didn't have to tell you to do that, did I?

Buck | November 10, 2006 11:47 PM

Christian- I recently saw something that "The Warriors" is based upon "7 Against Thebes." And Ron, when I saw the "Apocalypto" trailer, the "Warriors" reference is exactly the thought that came into my head. Isn't the plot of "Apocalypto" essentially "1 against Chichicastenango," anyway?
And where did Mazel Tov Mel get the word "Apocalypto," considering that the word is "Apocalipsis" in Spanish and something that probably meant "Beware White Skinned Strangers riding Really Large Dogs" in Maya.

As to the sleepiness: I think, medical reasons aside, it may be a combination of many of the above, especially the seasonal circadian rhythms changing and the psychic sigh of relief that we as a nation stepped away from mandating an increasingly fascistic government.

Martin Langeland | November 10, 2006 11:51 PM

You write SF.
By definition you are on the cutting edge...
(where the bleeding occurs).
Therefore you have the newest, trendiest malady.
You have... (trumpet flourish):

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Only recently was thais anointed as an official disease by the Center for Disease Control.

Try writing a pillow book and see if it puts you to sleep.

-- ml

Nick Stump | November 11, 2006 12:52 AM

First of all, with Scott M, I wish Happy Birthday to all my fellow vets. God bless every one of you.

John, I'm exhausted too. For me, I'm suffering some election hangover. I've been working for someone trying to get elected since this time last year and it ends so abruptly. Also he onset of dark days. I know I'm greatly affected by the lack of light, but that's not a big revelation to anyone. It's how I deal with it is what counts.

If my work is going good, I can get into a good winter mode. Long nights--early dark, fireplace, soupbeans and cornbread. I tend to keep a lot of lights on in the house.

If I'm struggling with work--a whole different world. I tend to hibernate and it's not a good thing for me. I prefer option one--a nice productive winter. I'm looking forward to one anyway. We'll see.


Joe Crow | November 11, 2006 01:44 AM

Vampire bees, man. They'll really mess up your day.

Wickedpinto | November 11, 2006 03:12 AM

Lack of sleep does me in, so does when I sleep long hours only do to alcoholic coma.

At this time of year? For me, it's sinus' going crazy. All that snot turning solid, or liquid in a very short period of time, plays havoc on my sleep, and restfulness.

Martyn Taylor | November 11, 2006 04:01 AM

Tired? Getting up in the night and producing only a trickle? Constantly thirsty (why else would you drink Coke Zero?) You're getting old, Father John.

On the other hand, could be the onset of diabetes (inevitable consequence of Schadenfrude Pie)

On the third hand, it could be a lot of other things you've already researched, including change of the season.

Get yourself checked. The health of too many of us depends on you to have you falling by the wayside.

Sue | November 11, 2006 08:07 AM

How's your iron level? I was told not long ago that I have iron deficiency and the iron sulfate tablets I'm taking now have helped. I don't feel perky, thank God, but I do have more energy. Thyroid's also a good one to check.

Dean | November 11, 2006 08:32 AM

I've been tired as hell, too, having little naps in the evening (not by choice) and being too whacked to think by late afternoon.

I tried to remember whether this happens to me every year. I know that I get a seasonal burst of energy every September, for example. I know that January and February are flat spots. Viewed from the vantage point of December 26th, they are the Saskatchewan (or the North Dakota) of my year, flat, featureless, and cold.

I think November may be like that, a period between the glories of late summer/early fall and Christmas, a period where the dark and the cold close in. I'm trying to remember, but I'm just too tired.

In my case, I know this means I need to get back to regular exercise. I think I'm about ten years older than you are, and since my early thirties the positive effects of gym attendance have increased every year.

calnj | November 11, 2006 09:23 AM

Those short drives with the long bouts of parking in the middle always do me in. Then the time change, which affects me more as I get older, and election hangover... It's no wonder you're run down.

Do they still make Geritol? heh

rayyy | November 11, 2006 09:52 AM

Why so tired?

Perhaps the effect of the last six years?

... and thinking about the colossal cleanup ahead?

flaring | November 11, 2006 10:01 AM

Pernicious anemia. B-12 shots are darn-near miraculous.

Nathan | November 11, 2006 10:09 AM

I'll second flaring. Go to a good accupuncturist; get whatever needles they want to give you, plus the B-12 shot. You'll feel amazing.

Jeff VanderMeer | November 11, 2006 10:09 AM

Not enough exercise? I get sluggish if I don't exercise for a couple of days. I also had to cut out diet coke because it seemed to be screwing up my appetite. I don't eat anything with sugar in it, except trace amounts, too. Sugar seemed to fatigue me the most.


Scott Mactavish | November 11, 2006 10:41 AM

Ebola fever.

You know, from that monkey bite you got last Thursday.

Hey wait..that was me.

Man, I need a nap, and why are my ears bleeding?

Bill Schafer | November 11, 2006 10:42 AM

You'll sleep better once you've turned in THE SAGAN DIARY, trust me.


Fred Kiesche | November 11, 2006 11:46 AM

A change of pace or scenery needed, maybe?

And in the meantime, I'm depressed. Jack Williamson died, and I'm depressed. Too many of the people who shaped my literary interest are leaving.

Mer Haskell | November 11, 2006 12:06 PM

Weren't you sick recently, as in, within the last month? I was. And I'm still tired.

Frickin' viruses. Viri. Virii.

(Why didn't I take Latin?)

Harry Connolly | November 11, 2006 12:16 PM

If you think you're sleeping a lot (or too much) go to a doctor.

dave | November 11, 2006 01:19 PM

Late night bachelor party followed by getting up early to retrieve and return the stolen leg of one of the guests?

Oh, wait, that's why I'm so tired. This "best man" gig is serious rough.

Anonymous | November 11, 2006 02:21 PM


Thena | November 11, 2006 02:41 PM

Well, if you'd lay off the crack pipe and quit molesting Unpronounceable Cat for awhile, you might regain some of your stamina.

John H | November 11, 2006 07:45 PM

He's 37 - he's not old!

(I didn't know you were called Dennis - Well, you didn't bother to find out, did ya'?)

Jude | November 11, 2006 08:02 PM

I'd blame it on the bacon, but then I've been a vegetarian for over 30 years, so what do I know?

Cameron | November 12, 2006 02:36 AM

I don't know why your so tired but, but I know what will cure it. Go to your bedroom, lock the door, and sleep for three days straight. That'll fix you right up. You'll feel good as new. It's an old family reemedy. Works for everything, actially. fatigue, hangovers, food poisoning gunshot wounds, falling off buildings, platypus stings, Jaguar attacks, well you get the picture

take care


Brian Skinn | November 12, 2006 04:38 PM

People will probably think I'm nuts when I say this, but what's your blood type? If it's type A, and you tend to be fatigued a lot, consider pulling all wheat and wheat-derived products from your diet for a couple of weeks (which is even harder than it sounds). I was having such a hard time waking up this summer (along with digestive symptoms that we'll leave unmentioned), and pulling wheat out of my diet made a remarkable difference (on both counts). In theory, it all has to do with the historical origins of the different blood types - agricultural vs. hunter-gatherer vs. etc. - and Type A's tolerate wheat very badly.

If you're a different type... well, then I got nuthin'.

Jackie M. | November 13, 2006 01:18 PM

Vitamin B12 uptake problems!

Faith | November 16, 2006 03:12 PM

I have to add to the comments that were specifically directed to Angela, who wakes up tired every day (I already commented at her blog). But this comment is for ANYONE who feels to be tired all the time and it doesn't get better no matter how much sleep you get: talk to a doctor and get tested (via a sleep study) for sleep apnea (in the UK 'sleep apnoea').

I second everything that both Codrus and Handdrummer said. But you can have sleep apnea WITHOUT any of the risk factors (being overweight, being male, being middle-aged). It's more prevalent in middle-aged men who are carrying a few extra pounds, but (through the sleep apnea support group that my husband and I are part of) I know skinny guys who have had sleep apnea since they were young, and many women who have it.

It is a killer, because the lowered blood oxygen levels that result put stress on the cardiovascular system. If you have sleep apnea, you can avoid cardiovascular damage (and being tired all the time) by getting treated. If you're always tired, talk to your doctor and mention sleep apnea. And if he or she pooh-poohs the idea because 'you don't fit the profile,' think about finding another doctor because many people who 'don't fit the profile' have it.

OK, I will get off my soapbox now and return to being the lurker that I usually am.

~~ Faith

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