Feeling Tired after a Stroke
After a stroke almost everyone complains of feeling tired at some point. This feeling can be
overwhelming. It is not something that you can fight through. Most often, you will need more
rest during the day. For most people, the feeling goes away after a few months.
ξ You may have less energy than before. Your stroke and its effects can alter your
sleeping habits, eating habits, and your activity level. There can also be side effects of
your medicines that may decrease your energy.
ξ You may have as much energy as before, but it is being used in a different way. Due
to your stroke, many things like dressing, talking, or walking take a lot more effort.
Changes in thinking and memory take effort. This takes energy.
ξ You may notice emotional changes. Coping with frustration, anxiety, anger, and
sadness can be draining. Depressed feelings are common after a stroke. Loss of energy,
interest, or enthusiasm occurs with a depressed mood. After a stroke, many people have
depression which can be treated. Talk to your doctor if you believe you are depressed or
if your fatigue continues past three months.
To increase your energy
ξ Tell your doctor how you feel. Make sure you have a recent physical. Other reasons for
felling tired should be ruled out. Your doctor can check to see if your fatigue could be a
side effect of your medicines.
ξ Look at your progress, not at what’s left to be done. Celebrate your successes!
ξ Try naps or schedule rest times throughout the day. Rest as long as you need to feel
ξ Learn to relax. Sometimes the harder you try to do something, the harder it is to do. You
become tense, anxious, and frustrated. All this takes more energy. If you can relax, you
will waste less energy.
ξ Each day do something you enjoy. A positive outlook and having other good things
going on helps to boost energy levels.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright 10/2015. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6304