Fatigue is a common symptom in teenagers. These youngsters also complain of being tired, exhausted or sleepy all the time. Fatigue caused by disease usually gets worse as the day wears on. Fatigue from stress is not relieved by sleep and, in fact, it's often described as worse in the morning. Although fatigue rarely has a medical cause, your teenager needs a physical checkup and a test for anemia. If that's normal, consider the following:
- First: Be sure he gets enough sleep. Late night TV or reading can make anyone fatigued in the morning. Teenagers usually need 9 hours of sleep to function well the following day.
- Second: Be sure he doesn't miss any school. Getting behind in school work can make anyone feel discouraged and tired.
- Third: Make sure your teen exercises for at least 30 minutes a day. Walking the dog is fine. Lack of exercise can lead to a sense of weakness. To encourage activities, limit TV to 1 or 2 hours a day.
- Fourth: If your teenager is despondent or depressed about something, arrange for psychological counseling.
By the way, you probably wonder why infectious mononucleosis wasn't mentioned. Numerous research studies have not found a link between chronic fatigue and mono infections. While mono can cause 3 or 4 weeks of fatigue in some teenagers, when fatigue is prolonged, we need to look elsewhere
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.