by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Overall health problems can affect CFS. The better a person's health, the easier it will be to manage CFS. Treatments that can help a person's health include:

A Healthful Diet

Eating a balanced diet can help improve how a person with CFS feels. It can increase energy and help with recovery. A lack of proper nutrition can lead to more tiredness and soreness. Some ways to improve nutrition are:

Eating regular meals—or small, frequent amounts through the day. Meals should be high in fiber, whole grains, and fruits, and vegetables. Drinking plenty of water is important too. Dehydration can make a person feel tired.

The doctor or dietitian can help with eating problems.

Alcohol can have a tiring effect on the body. Limiting or avoiding alcohol can be helpful.

Physical Activity

Physical activity is an important part of CFS treatment. It can help the body work better, so daily tasks are not as tiring. Workouts can vary, depending on energy levels. It helps to have a plan for low energy days and better days. It is also important to not push too hard.

Activities should be started slowly. Activity levels can be built up over a period of time. The doctor or a trainer can help.


There are many different types of counseling. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a one option. CBT helps a person examine their feelings and thought patterns. This can lead to better coping skills.

Some people find comfort in joining a support group. Family therapy can help families cope with their loved one's CFS.

Changing Sleep Habits

Small changes can help sleeping. This may include:

  • Going to bed and getting up at the same time every day
  • Setting up a relaxing routine before bed—such as reading, taking a bath, or listening to music
  • Not taking naps late in the day
  • Keeping the bedroom dark and cool
  • Not using electronic devices in the bedroom
  • Blocking out noise with earplugs or a fan that absorbs sounds
  • If awake for more than 20 minutes—getting up and reading until tired, then going back to bed

Not every method works for everyone. It will take time to adjust. It helps to try new things—and talk to the doctor if sleep problems last.

Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques can help to manage stress and pain. Common methods include:

These methods help a person find tension in the body. Releasing that tension can help quiet the mind.


Chronic fatigue syndrome. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Accessed April 13, 2022.

Chronic fatigue syndrome. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Accessed April 13, 2022.

Treatment of ME/CFS. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: Accessed April 13, 2022.

Revision Information