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Why are Autistic People So Tired?

Why are Autistic People So Tired? Exploring Fatigue in Autism

If you or a loved one are on the autism spectrum, you may have noticed that fatigue is a common issue. Autistic fatigue, also known as fatigue in autism, refers to persistent tiredness that can impact daily life. It’s important to understand the causes of exhaustion in autism so that you can better manage it.

Autistic individuals often experience sensory overwhelm, which can be exhausting. Additionally, sleep problems are common in autism and can lead to fatigue during the day. This article will explore the various factors that contribute to fatigue in autism and provide strategies for managing tiredness in everyday life.

So, why are autistic people so tired? Let’s delve into the details and find out.

Understanding the Causes of Fatigue in Autism

Autistic individuals often experience persistent tiredness, which can be attributed to a variety of factors. Sleep problems are commonly reported in autism, with many individuals struggling to fall or stay asleep. This can lead to disrupted sleep patterns and result in fatigue during the daytime.

Sensory overwhelm is another factor that can contribute to fatigue in autism. Autistic individuals may experience heightened sensitivity to certain stimuli, such as loud noises or bright lights, which can be exhausting and draining.

Managing tiredness in everyday life can be a challenge for those on the autism spectrum. It’s important to establish healthy sleep habits, such as sticking to a regular sleep schedule and creating a calming bedtime routine. Avoiding over-stimulation during the day, by taking breaks or using noise-cancelling headphones, can also help to conserve energy and reduce fatigue.

Sleep Problems in Autism Sensory Overwhelm and Fatigue Managing Tiredness in Autism
Difficulty falling or staying asleep Heightened sensitivity to stimuli Establishing healthy sleep habits
Disrupted sleep patterns Exhaustion from over-stimulation Avoiding over-stimulation during the day

Chronic Fatigue and Autism

Many autistic individuals experience chronic fatigue, which is persistent tiredness that does not go away with rest. This level of fatigue is not the same as feeling tired after a busy day or missing a good night’s sleep, but rather a constant feeling of exhaustion that can limit daily activities.

The reasons why autistic individuals are more prone to chronic fatigue are complex and not yet fully understood. However, it is believed that the energy levels of many people with autism are affected by the condition itself.

Autistic people may find it more difficult to manage their energy levels and maintain consistent levels of activity throughout the day. This can be due to the sensory and cognitive overload that many autistic individuals experience, as well as the challenges in adapting to new environments and social situations.

Chronic fatigue in autism may also be linked to chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), which is a condition characterized by severe, long-term tiredness, as well as other symptoms such as muscle pain and difficulty concentrating. Some studies have suggested that autistic individuals may be more at risk of developing CFS than non-autistic individuals, although more research is needed to fully understand this relationship.

Managing chronic fatigue in autism can be challenging, but there are some strategies that can help. These include:

Strategy Description
Structured routines Creating a predictable daily routine can help manage energy levels and reduce stress
Sensory regulation Using sensory tools such as weighted blankets or noise-cancelling headphones can help regulate energy levels
Rest breaks Taking regular breaks throughout the day to rest and recharge can prevent over-exertion
Exercise Regular gentle exercise, such as yoga or swimming, can help boost energy levels and improve overall health

If you are experiencing chronic fatigue as an autistic individual, it is important to seek support and advice from healthcare professionals. They can help identify possible underlying causes and recommend suitable management strategies.


As we have explored throughout this article, fatigue is a common issue for many autistic individuals. Understanding the causes of fatigue in autism, such as sleep problems and sensory overwhelm, is crucial for managing tiredness in everyday life.

For those experiencing chronic fatigue, it may be helpful to seek support from healthcare professionals and explore potential links with conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

Remember that coping with fatigue in autism is a journey and may require a combination of strategies. Taking breaks when needed, practicing good sleep hygiene, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can all help to manage tiredness.

Overall, prioritising self-care and seeking support when needed is key to coping with fatigue and promoting well-being in autism.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of fatigue in autism. We hope the information provided has been helpful in understanding and managing tiredness in autism.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do autistic people often feel tired?

Autistic individuals may experience persistent tiredness due to a variety of factors, including sleep problems, sensory overwhelm, and the potential presence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

What are the causes of fatigue in autism?

Fatigue in autism can be caused by sleep problems, such as difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep. Additionally, sensory overwhelm, which is common in autism, can lead to fatigue. Some autistic individuals may also experience chronic fatigue syndrome, a condition characterized by extreme tiredness that lasts for months or longer.

How can fatigue be managed in autism?

Managing fatigue in autism involves addressing sleep issues, implementing sensory regulation strategies, and developing coping mechanisms for dealing with chronic fatigue. Creating a consistent bedtime routine, creating a sensory-friendly environment, and seeking support from healthcare professionals can all be helpful in managing tiredness.

Can chronic fatigue syndrome be associated with autism?

There is a potential relationship between autism and chronic fatigue syndrome, as both conditions involve fatigue as a symptom. However, further research is needed to fully understand the connection between the two.

What should autistic individuals do to cope with fatigue?

Autistic individuals can cope with fatigue by prioritizing self-care, ensuring they get enough rest, seeking support from healthcare professionals, and implementing strategies to manage sensory overwhelm. It’s important to develop a personalized approach that works best for each individual’s specific needs.

Where can I find further support in coping with fatigue in autism?

There are various resources available for individuals seeking support in coping with fatigue in autism. This can include support groups, online communities, and healthcare professionals specializing in autism and fatigue management. It’s important to reach out and seek the assistance that best suits your individual needs.

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