Your job, caring for children or aging parents, and other things can lead to mental exhaustion.

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You’re Angry or Impatient:

Mental fatigue can put you in a bad mood. You may be short-tempered or irritated, snapping at people more often. It’s harder to control your emotions when you’re mentally tapped out.

You Can’t Get Work Done:

Everyone’s productivity goes up and down. But mental exhaustion can make it really hard to concentrate. It also saps your motivation. You might get distracted easily or start to miss deadlines. Even small tasks may seem overwhelming.

You Zone Out:

This can look like mind wandering or drowsiness. It makes it hard to pay close attention to what you’re doing, and you may not react to things very fast. That can be dangerous in certain situations, such as driving. Mental fatigue is linked to car wrecks.

You Don’t Sleep Well:

You might think it’d be easier to snooze when your brain is tired. But that’s not always the case. Research shows people who have jobs with a high “cognitive workload” report more symptoms of insomnia than those who don’t have mentally exhausting work. A lack of shut-eye can make mental fatigue worse. Tell your doctor if you can’t sleep or get really tired during the day. Treatment can help.

You’re Depressed:

You may not have any energy or feel like you’re moving in slow motion. Some people say they feel numb. That can make it hard to finish things at work or do daily activities. Tell your doctor if you have really low feelings or a sense of hopelessness for longer than 2 weeks. That can be a sign your depression is more serious.

Your Eating Habits Change:

Mental fatigue can affect your appetite in different ways. You may snack more than normal and not pay attention to what you eat. Stress can also make you crave sugary, salty, or fatty foods. Or you may not be hungry at all.

You Make More Mistakes:

It’s impossible for your work to be perfect all the time. But mental fatigue lessens your ability to catch and fix your mistakes quickly or at all. That can cause serious problems in certain jobs such as ones where you use machines.

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