Why Do I Get Body Shakes When Tired?

Some people may wonder why their body shakes when tired. This phenomenon could be due to a number of reasons. From tired muscles, to cold temperatures, it may be just a sign that it’s time to go to bed. However, there could be a medical reason for this happening. Your doctor is the best place to go if this is a new or unusual symptom. This article will help explain some of the causes, when you should contact your doctor, and tips to ease this symptom.

Why Does Your Body Shake When Tired?

Your body shakes when tired due to muscle fatigue. You may notice twitches in your muscles, chills, or full-on trembling. It is very common in bodybuilders or people who do a lot of physical activity while they’re awake.

While it may be concerning, shaky muscles isn’t really a bad thing. It just means your muscles are overtired and it’s time to rest. You may be overdoing things. This is your body’s response to muscle fatigue and a sign of stress. This happens because the muscle fibers work together during activity. When you overdo things, they begin to contract at different times and this leads to shaking.

Another cause of body shaking when you’re tired is anxiety. When you are stressed and panic, your body floods itself with chemicals to make you overactive. This makes you feel like you have “superhuman strength” for a while, at least. When anxiety goes away and those chemicals wear off, you have tired muscles that shake and quiver.

How to Relieve and Prevent It

If you notice your body shakes when tired, there are some things you can do to prevent this from happening. Your muscles need preparation, pacing, and a cool down after increased activity. Try these things to help relieve this:

1. Eat a Light Pre-Workout Snack and Post-Workout Meal

Make sure you eat at least an hour before you exercise or perform heavy work. Try eating foods high in carbohydrates like stir-fried vegetables, cooked rice, fruits, or crackers/cheese. Try not to eat too close to increased activity or you may feel nauseous. Keep it an hour or two before.

After your workout, follow-up with a light meal and fluids to replenish your muscles with energy. Eat at least 3 grams of carbohydrates, along with at least 1 gram of protein. A tuna sandwich, piece of fruit, and milk is a good post-workout meal. You can also try broiled chicken, vegetables, and salad with a piece of fruit. Drink a glass of milk, nut milk, or other protein beverage to further give energy back to your muscles.

2. Hydrate Before, During and After Exercise

Remember, our bodies are made up of 70% water. Low levels of fluids can cause excess fatigue. Fill up with water prior to exercising to prevent dehydration. Muscles need electrolytes to help prevent fatigue. Sweating can cause rapid loss of electrolytes. Use a good quality electrolyte sports drink during activity, and follow with plenty of water. Tired muscles that are low on electrolytes may cause body shakes when tired.

3. Pace Your Activity

You may be tempted to just keep going, but your body will get less tired if you pace your activities. Do 5 to 20 minutes of intense work or exercise, then cool your body down with light activity. Then do another burst of activity, then light activity. This increases blood flow to the muscles and reduces fatigue, preventing shakiness.

4. Stretch Before You Exercise

Tired muscles that have not been stretched are subject to injury. This can lead to the muscles continuing to contract long after you finish increased activity or exercise. One of the main symptoms of muscle contractions is shakiness. Always stretch prior to exercise or increased activity. If shakiness occurs due to fatigue, try stretching after activity.

5. Get Some Rest

If your body shakes when tired, it is a clear sign that you need to get some rest. When you reach this point, your muscles are low on energy and it is time to take a well deserved break. Sit or lie down for 30 minutes to an hour during the day for a nap, or turn in early for the night.

When It’s Not Normal

There are times when your body may shake or tremble when you are tired, and it shouldn’t. If these things happen, you may need to get checked by your doctor. Abnormal shaking can include:

1. Low Blood Sugar

One of the symptoms of low blood sugar is shaking. This is because the glucose in your body is not high enough to nourish your muscles and they can begin to shake. This can lead to a medical emergency if not corrected. Drink a glass of orange juice or eat something high in carbs. If this doesn’t help, have someone drive you to the emergency room or call 9-1-1, especially if you are on medication for diabetes.

2. Caffeine Excess

Many people turn to caffeine when they feel tired. This is a quick fix, but can lead to too much caffeine in the blood which can cause shakiness. If you drink more than 2-3 cups of coffee in a short amount of time you may get the jitters. If this happens often, try switching to “half-calf,” and space your cups out.

3. Neurological Conditions

Neurological conditions like Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, ALS, etc. can all cause body shakes when tired, or even when you’re not tired. These conditions are progressive but treatable. If shaking persists, it may be time to let your doctor know.

4. Medication Side-Effects

Shaking can be a side-effect of a medication you’re taking. The medication may cause both drowsiness and excitement leading you to feel both shaky and tired all at the same time. If you experience shakiness and feel tired at the same time, you may need to report this to your doctor. You may need an adjustment or try a new medication.

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