Can tiredness and fatigue make tics worse?

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Please note: Articles on lived experiences can be a trigger for those with tics, OCD and anxiety disorders. Articles are intended to show we aren’t alone, and that help can improve quality of life.

Tiredness can make tics worse. Tics can be made worse indirectly due to stress from fatigue and increased caffeine consumption.

You know that feeling after a great night sleep? No? 

That’s understandable.

Tourette and tic disorders can make sleep very difficultAccording to this PubMed article, sleep disorders have been reported in 80% of Tourette’s syndrome patients.

With tics, tiredness is a part of life.


Fatigue can lead to many issues, such as sore or aching muscles, moodiness and irritability.

Tics can be triggered by sore muscles and aching joints, this can increase discomfort leading to increased tics.

Irritability often leads to an increase in tics, with sensory issues documented by many people within the Tourette and tic disorder community.

The same can be said for anger and stress levels.

It seems that the symptoms of tiredness can trigger tics, creating a vicious cycle of tiredness > tic increase > tiredness. 


Compensating with caffeine and sugar

Many of us grab a strong coffee or sugary snack to give us a boost. Studies show that both caffeine and sugar can increase tics.

Although not directly caused by tiredness, the (often impaired) decisions we make to compensate for low energy levels can increase tic severity and frequency.

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DISCLAIMER: Articles contain lived experiences, but cannot be used to diagnose. Medical advice can only come from trained professionals. 

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Dealing with Disorder was created by a sufferer, struggling to find information to help manage the conditions.