Cognitive Fatigue

You know that feeling of everything is worn out. Like your body is aching and you feel emotionally drained. Then when you have so much to do and you feel like your brain is not working at all either. That is when you know you have cognitive fatigue. Cognitive fatigue is not just being sleepy but feeling mentally exhausted. When your brain is working, that is when you get closer and closer to cognitive fatigue. Even some of the basic tasks will seem daunting when you have cognitive fatigue. This day and age if you are not doing something productive every second, then you are basically a failure. But when you are running yourself into this cognitive fatigue it is not good for you, or for anything else you want to get done.

In this article (, you are working your brain so much that you are unable to ignore distractions. With that you are not able to focus on what is at hand, and you will not be able to get it done. Here are some examples of cognitive fatigue that are from (

  • You find it difficult to concentrate 
  • You’re forgetful 
  • You’re easily irritated Tasks that should be simple feel difficult 
  • You feel overwhelmed 
  • You’re struggling with sleep
  • You have physical symptoms of stress such as headaches, tension, and an increased heart rate 
  • You feel disconnected from the world, like you’re in a dream or in a fog 
  • You experience a ‘mental block’ – when you simply can’t do any thinking

If you are at this point of mental exhaustion. Then you need to find some ways to relieve that. Some examples to not get to the point of mental exhaustion is to take breaks, organize what needs to get done, and be realistic of what you are able to get done. Some of these and more can help make sure that you will not be too exhausted (so please use these!!!).

When having cognitive fatigue you can also have a hard time sleeping as well. In a WebMD article (, it gives lots of information about how sleep is very much important to everyone. If you get sleep then it can actually improve your memory. With sleep deprivation it is so much harder to stay alert and concentrate. Therefore you can not complete tasks that you are wanting to get done. Also while not getting the sleep you need, you will find that learning is very difficult.  

Cognitive fatigue is major, and in the end you need to relax. You can not push yourself too far. Do not expect too conquer the world in a day. Just take it one step at a time.



4 thoughts on “Cognitive Fatigue

  1. wharris2

    I found this blog post to be really insightful on cognitive fatigue. In my opinion I believe this is an issue that a lot of individuals are unaware of and this leads to a lot of unhealthy habits such as drinking excessive amounts of coffee, or relying on energy drinks. During the beginning of my time in college I found that I typically hit a wall of mental exhaustion around the sixth to seventh week of the semester and no matter what I did I couldn’t seem to relieve the fatigue. As I was able to mature, I started to realize the immense benefits of getting adequate sleep and this in turn helped with my cognitive fatigue. Overall, I agree that the most important thing to do in a situation where you feel cognitively fatigued is to relax and to try not to push yourself too much.

  2. kownbey

    This is a really great post, because I think we’ve all been through something like this as college students. At this point, especially during our online learning, I have definitely felt cognitive fatigue. I think what I might do now is take an hour or maybe 45 minutes out of my work day to just relax and do something I enjoy. I also go to bed at like 9 these days and getting sleep definitely helps me feel better about being able to get stuff done the next day! Thank you for the insight. Great post!

  3. carmennichols

    This post is definitely what I needed to read right now. I think many of us are experiencing cognitive fatigue in the midst of having to self-isolate and not have anything to do. Even though it would be smart to work on schoolwork or catch up on some indoor exercise, I think a lot of us are just stuck in bed binge-watching our favorite episodes and eating all the junk food in the house. It sucks but I am doing the exact same thing. It’s hard to have a lot of energy to do things when there’s really no pressure to do it anymore.
    I really appreciate your information and effort you put into your blog post. The symptoms of cognitive fatigue are pretty profound and can really affect your ability to do anything productive. I know lately I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with a lot of things like school and work and making sure I take all the classes I need in order to graduate. It can be a lot but you’re right, the best thing to do is to just relax and not push yourself too far. I really enjoyed reading your post, thanks for sharing!

  4. awaltrip

    I feel cognitive fatigue a lot, of some reason taking iron pills help; I honestly don’t know if it is really connected or not. However, it probably helps to get more restful sleep; so, if you feel this way for no reason then I suggest trying iron pills.

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