According to Dr. Yaryura-Tobias, the brain tires in a similar way to muscle tissue. When a muscle is fatigued, it gives you a signal (e.g., pain, cramps) which is due to lack of oxygen to the muscle. In order to recover you must rest. The same with the brain. It gives you signals when it is fatigued. These include:

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Inability to put thoughts together
  • Irritability to minor things
  • A sense of being jumpy or nervous
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
  • Moving from lows to highs as the brain cannot control itself effectively
  • Lack of coordination in the brain will result in lack of coordination in thought processes, mood, and intellectual capacity.

(Editors of Prevention Magazine. How to Boost Your Brain Power to Enrich Your Life. PA:Rodale Press, Inc., pp 17-18)

One way to help combat mental fatigue is the simple technique of switching to activities that use different parts of the brain. If you have been doing tasks that utilize left-brain function, switch to a task that utilizes right-brain function. (Restak, Richard, MD. Mozart’s Brain and the Fighter Pilot. NY: Harmony Books, 2001, pp 90-92)

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