Learn the reasons why you wake up tired, as discussed by experts.
Here are their insights:
Table of Contents
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Thyroid disorders
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Coeliac disease
- Urine infection
- Kidney problems
- Liver problems
- Other underlying illness
- Post viral fatigue
- Poor sleep
- Poor sleep hygiene habits
- Sleep inertia
- Lack of exercise
- Increased cortisol levels
- Your dietary habits may actually be the culprit
- Dehydration can be another cause behind not getting enough sleep
- Look at your caffeine intake
- Interrupted sleep cycle
- Frequent snoozing
- The quality over quantity
- Eat the best you can
- Inadequate production of melatonin
- Depression and stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Most of the time, waking up tired is a result of improper sleep hygiene
- Sleep inertia is also a cause of feeling tired in the morning
- Your cortisol is out of balance
- Sleep apnea
- Underactive thyroid
- Sleep inertia is a common cause
- Poor lifestyle habits or sleeping conditions
- Not getting enough sleep
- Poor sleep quality
- Waking up tired is a telltale sign of inadequate sleep quality
- You’re probably dehydrated
- Caffeine (or alcohol) is the culprit
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Extensive use of electronic devices, especially if used right before bedtime
- Going to sleep with electronic devices
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can certain medications make me feel tired in the morning?
- What can I do if I’m still feeling tired even after making lifestyle changes?
- Should I go back to sleep if I wake up tired?
- How do I know if I slept well?
- What should I do if I think I have a sleep disorder?
- Can chronic pain cause fatigue in the morning?
Dr. David Beatty, MRCGP, MBBS
Retired General Medical Practitioner | Strong Home Gym
This is a fairly common complaint seen in General Practice, and tiredness is the only symptom without much else in the patient’s story to indicate what the cause is.
Here are twelve causes to think about:
In a young person, this is associated with drinking lots of fluid, passing lots of urine, and weight loss. In the middle-aged and elderly there may only be fatigue or no symptoms at all.
Iron deficiency anemia
Most commonly due to blood loss in women with heavy periods. Can be due to blood loss from the bowel, which isn’t always obvious. May be due to inadequate iron in the diet (eg vegetarians) or due to malabsorption of iron from the bowel (eg with inflammatory bowel disease).
An under-active thyroid can cause fatigue, weight gain, and constipation. An overactive thyroid can cause fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, and palpitations.
Vitamin B12 deficiency
An inadequate diet can cause this. It also occurs in Pernicious Anaemia when the stomach doesn’t make enough intrinsic factors. Intrinsic factor binds with B12 to allow its absorption to lower down in the bowel. Malabsorption states can also cause this.
In this condition Gluten (present in bread, pasta, and other food) causes damage to the lining of the bowel resulting in malabsorption of nutrients including iron and B12. Not everyone will have the typical symptoms of bloating, bulky stools, bowel disturbance, and weight loss.
Typical symptoms would be stinging as you pass water, smelly or cloudy urine, blood in the water, and increased frequency. However, there may be no symptoms, especially in children, pregnant women, or older men.
Kidneys may be damaged by medical conditions and kidney function often deteriorates with age. Numerous drugs can impair kidney function (eg. anti-inflammatory drugs) and some can affect sodium and potassium levels (eg diuretics-“water tablets” and some blood pressure tablets.)
Common causes of mildly abnormal liver tests are alcohol excess and fatty liver. Fatty liver is usually associated with being overweight. There are numerous other causes of liver function abnormality.
Other underlying illness
The CRP and ESR blood tests are called “inflammatory markers”. When there is active inflammation these can be markedly raised. This generally shows that something is wrong but doesn’t tell us exactly what it is, so other investigations may be needed.
It’s very common to be left feeling tired for a short while after a viral infection. However, in some cases, this can last months or years and be profound. Glandular fever is one virus notorious for this but many others can be responsible. COVID is another that can do this.
There are various sleep disorders. One that warrants specific consideration is Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. In this condition, the patient is usually accompanied by their partner. The partner gives the story that the patient snores heavily and that their breathing pattern is very erratic at night.
Often, there are long pauses in the breathing so that the partner thinks the person has stopped breathing completely. The patient is often tired during the day and keeps falling asleep.
Last but not least. Maybe the most common cause of non-specific fatigue. Depression and/or Anxiety cause poor sleep and it’s easy to get into a vicious circle when you’re too tired to do the things you need to do to address your problems. Not everyone knows they are depressed and many will deny it.
There are questionnaires to assess depression (PHQ) and anxiety (GAD), which are available online, which give a measure of severity. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is common during the winter months.
What you can do:
The urine can be tested using Urine Multitest Strips. These can be bought in chemists or online and test for several parameters which may indicate infection, blood in the urine, sugar (for diabetes), and liver problems. Doctors will generally have these to use when needed. Blood tests, arranged through your doctor, will test points 1 to 5 and 7 to 10 above.
The Epworth Scale questionnaire is available online to help diagnose Obstructive Sleep Apnea. You could make a recording of your time asleep to assess your snoring and the duration of breathing pauses when asleep.
For stress, it is useful to be physically active and get outside to walk, run or cycle. Eat well and maintain a healthy life style. Alcohol is a depressant and not the answer to the problem. Doing the PHQ and GAD questionnaires will grade the severity of the problem.
If your problems are in the mild to moderate category you may benefit from discussion with friends or family. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy courses can be done on-line.
The more severe your problem the more appropriate it is to seek professional help through your doctor who may consider tablet treatment or further referral. The seasonal affective disorder is helped by exposure to sunlight or lightbox treatment.
Dr. Chun Tang, MRCGP/DFFP
General Practitioner, Pall Mall Medical
It’s common for people to occasionally wake up and still feel tired, and this is often no cause for concern. However, if you frequently wake up feeling tired and fatigued then this could be indicative of an underlying health condition or bad sleep habits. This can be caused by:
Poor sleep hygiene habits
When we discuss sleep hygiene, we’re referring to the practices and habits that are key to a good night sleep. A healthy sleep pattern leads to increased alertness in the daytime.
These habits include:
- A lack of regular sleep routines (e.g. regular bedtimes/wake-up times).
- Sleeping environments that are too hot, loud, or bright.
- Screen use within 2 hours before bedtime.
- Daytime naps exceeding half an hour.
- Uncomfortable mattress and/or pillows.
Poor sleep hygiene leads to a poor quality of sleep. As a result, you can awaken feeling tired because your body is not fully rested.
We experience sleep inertia as a result of cognitive and sensory-motor impairments that happen when we awake. This usually occurs after a deep sleep. As a result, parts of your brain are not awake yet. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion and fatigue when you wake up in the morning.
Common symptoms of sleep inertia include:
- Difficulty concentrating.
- Poor decision-making.
Lack of exercise
It has been proven that people who get regular exercise have a better night’s sleep. Exercise affects your body temperature, anxiety and depression, and your brain’s alertness. All of these are factors that can impact your ability to sleep. If you get a better night’s sleep, you’re less likely to awaken to feelings of fatigue.
However, exercising too close to your bedtime can actually damage your sleep because your body is too alert to rest. This can lead to poor sleep, and feeling tired when you wake up.
Diplomate, American Board of Sleep Medicine | Fellow, American Academy of Sleep Medicine | Advisory Board Member, True REST Float Spa
Increased cortisol levels
Cortisol is that fight or flight hormone, so when stuff starts going bad, that cortisol spikes so you can run really fast to get out of there – that’s the flight mechanism. You can’t have high cortisol before bed in order to fall asleep.
Studies have shown that floating helps reduce cortisol by allowing the body to relax, which in turn lowers blood pressure and balances hormones. Plus, cortisol isn’t the only hormone float therapy can positively affect; your serotonin and melatonin levels are affected, too.
Serotonin actually gets activated when you become relaxed—it’s called the comfort hormone because it makes you feel comfortable. Many people don’t know but serotonin is a precursor to melatonin.
Melatonin is the key that starts the engine for sleep; floating increases the serotonin levels in your brain which help with the production of melatonin. So not only are you reducing cortisol levels, but you’re increasing serotonin which stimulates the production of melatonin – all to ensure a proper night’s sleep.
We’re discovering that those with insomnia and other people who have trouble sleeping, their cortisol levels are kind of wonky and their levels are elevated at night.
Though besides the effects float therapy can have on your body, there are other elements that contribute to a good night’s sleep. Those who take a hot bath before bed allow their core body temperature to rise before the subsequent drop that allows you to fall asleep. This has been mimicked in float therapy by having the water in the pod match body temperature.
To go along with that, Dr. Breus also believes that sensory deprivation is key in strengthening circadian rhythm as it helps control levels of hormones that disrupt sleep and circadian rhythms—the 24-hour biorhythms that regulate our sleep-wake cycles.
Lowering the stimulus of what’s going on is certainly going to have an effect of what’s going on across the board on all of the functions going well. There is also some science to suggest the science of the circadian rhythm being influenced by that level of deprivation. So, I’ve had some people tell me that they go into a float tank and it helps them with their jetlag. Because it helps re-center them from a circadian perspective.
You’re probably wondering how float therapy works and more importantly, how does it help with sleep?
If you’re unfamiliar with floatation therapy, also known as Reduced Environmental Stimulation Therapy, it’s an all-natural, holistic approach to total body health and wellness.
The goal of float therapy is to help individuals maintain and manage a wide array of symptoms that affect both the physical and mental health of the body. Therefore, it’s a great complementary treatment to other treatment programs dealing with the likes of anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, and much more.
The science behind it is simply floating in a float pod for at least 60 minutes in a specialized mixture of water and 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts. This environment promotes two different things—the first is the buoyancy of the water. That specialized mixture of water and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) helps the body float atop the water.
This alleviates the body of gravity, therefore taking weight off the joints and muscles that often deal with pain, inflammation, or chronic pain such as arthritis. You’re essentially giving the body an opportunity to alleviate itself from gravity and by extension, any tension, and pain.
The second thing that float therapy promotes is a stimuli-free environment. The external distractions of the world are a large reason why we deal with anxiety, stress, depression, and other mental health issues. It’s difficult to tune it all out completely, but in a float pod, you’re able to shut away the outside world, cutting off your senses, focusing inward, and alleviating the mind from its daily stressors.
Sabina Khan, Ph.D.
Research Scientist | Clinical Professor | Writer
Getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep but still waking up feeling more groggy and lethargic than you did going to bed? Or perhaps you find yourself consistently waking up in the middle of the night?
Your dietary habits may actually be the culprit
One reason you are waking up tired is because your body was going through some digesting while you were in bed. Pepperoni pizza and wine for example can be to blame for acid-reflux or heartburn.
Consuming alcohol before bed can place your body through a “rebound effect” according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. It can take up to 5 hours for alcohol to leave your system and will take some time for your body to adjust and this time can increase with age.
A glass of wine may sound relaxing at the end of a long day but you may not go through a good REM sleep cycle once you settle down to sleep causing you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Dehydration can be another cause behind not getting enough sleep
Dehydration can lead to muscle cramping when you sleep, and late-night drinking can cause dehydration so it is vital to get enough water during the day. This can also prevent frequent bouts to the restroom at night caused by drinking too late in the day, before bed.
Look at your caffeine intake
What if you are just having trouble falling asleep? I urge you to look at your caffeine intake. Coffee and tea for one, but also snacks- chocolate or apples have high levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can alert your nervous system to wake up and fight fatigue leading you rolling in bed struggling to fall asleep altogether.
Aside from herbal teas, what are some of the best foods to eat before bed to promote sleep?
- Up your dark green intake during dinner. Kale and spinach are packed with calcium which helps your body produce sleep-inducing melatonin. Eating dark leafy greens raw is optimal as sauteing these greens may reduce the food’s vitamin C intake.
- Sweet potatoes contain B6 which boosts melatonin and mood, helping to prepare you to sleep. It can help you feel relaxed, sleepy and is also packed with fiber to keep you full through the night.
- Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines contain omega-3-fatty acids and vitamin D, nutrients vital for the regulation of serotonin which helps regulate sleep.
- A study in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition found individuals who consumed two kiwi fruits an hour before bedtime every night for four weeks fell asleep 35% faster than those who did not.
- Low sugar cereal with skim milk is a great snack before bed as the amino acid tryptophan in milk serves as the precursor for serotonin.
- Bananas are an excellent source of potassium and magnesium. Bananas also contain tryptophan, the precursor to sleep-regulating hormones serotonin and melatonin we briefly mentioned earlier.
Registered Nutritional Therapist | NLP & TimeLine Therapy Practitioner
Here are few things to consider:
Interrupted sleep cycle
People often count the hours of sleep. What is often forgotten is that we go through the sleep cycles, different phases of sleep, each of which takes around 90min. If our alarm wakes us up at some point during a sleep cycle we can feel drowsy and tired.
Minimum of 5 cycles is needed which is equivalent to 7.5 hours of sleep.
The way to try to prevent this is to work out the bedtime backward, meaning to establish what time we want to wake up (e.g. 6 am). How many cycles we want (minimum 5 cycles = 7.5hrs of sleep). Our bedtime would then be 22:30.
We all love to snooze but is this beneficial? Most of the time it is not. Snoozing can also make us feel drowsy and adds to our sluggish start of the day. This is especially true if we fall asleep again and wake up 30min or more into another sleep cycle. I totally get that we don’t want to just jump out of the bed, and I am no different. It’s cosy and warm.
One way to balance this is to create a “before I get up” routine.
My morning routine starts in the evening. I bring my flask with hot water, my mug with green tea in it with me upstairs. When I wake up, I sit up in the bed, make my cup of tea, meditate and/or read a chapter of a book. Or sometimes I just simply sit there enjoying my cup of tea and silence of the world.
The quality over quantity
We are taught that we have to sleep a minimum of 7 hrs to feel refreshed. The duration of our sleep certainly matters but how about the quality of sleep? To go through all phases of the sleep cycle is necessary for our body to be able to recover and our brain to get a chance to clear the slate.
Let’s explore some tips on how we can improve it:
Be asleep by 23:00 and not awake before 4:30 am to allow our body to recover, repair, and for our brain to tie all knots to start the day fresh.
The body goes through a cycle its self and pays attention to different organs at different times. Being asleep within above mentioned hours we are giving the body a good chance to do its full body scan.
Establish an evening routine that allows you to wind down and let your body know you are getting ready for sleep.
Start the process a minimum of 1hr before your bed time. Switch off any LED lights. Light candles or use dim lights. Avoid any screen time and especially anything stimulating. Reading, conversation ,making love, taking a bath, meditate or journal are all lovely ways to end your day instead.
Taking time off is often underestimated and it can have a massive impact on our quality of sleep and life in general.
This can be taking a couple of consequent days off once in two months, making most of the relaxing time during the weekend, or taking time off in the evenings. Or even all of the above.
Going for a 30min walk during the day, in daylight, support our serotonin (“happy” hormone) production which leads to melatonin production (“sleeping” hormone).
Schedule your time off so you have something to look forward to. Plan what you want to do on your day off so you don’t end up doing too much or end up feeling you have wasted it. Allow the body to reconnect with its circadian rhythm.
Related: Why and How to Wake up Early?
Eat the best you can
What we eat and when we eat has an impact on our glucose levels during the day and night. Heavy meals before bedtime mean that our body will be digesting instead of concentrating on the repair.
High carb/sugary meals during the day or before bedtime may cause a drop in the glucose levels in our blood, waking us up and compromising the quality of sleep by breaking the sleeping cycle mentioned above.
Replenish your body during the day with real food which comes from mother earth or is as close to its real form as possible. Choose your stimulants and the quality of them e.g. source your coffee well, choose green tea over coffee at least once a day.
Most of all, be kind to yourself. Listen to your body and oblige. The body is your friend. Treat it with love and respect.
President and CEO, Avive Life
Please find the reasons why you feel tired upon waking up:
Dehydration is one of the primary reasons for fatigue. Lack of water intake can make your feel tired in the morning so try to drink adequate water during the day and before sleeping to wake up feeling energized.
Inadequate production of melatonin
The use of laptops and mobile just prior to your bedtime or sleeping in a well-lit can inhibit melatonin production, making it different to get quality sleep. Hence, it is recommended to have a screen-free hour and sleep in the absence of light in your bedroom.
Depression and stress
The constant stress and worries can make it hard for your brain to relax and sleep peacefully. You may not get enough sleep or may see a nightmare while you keep stressing yourself at bedtime. This situation may make you feel groggy when it’s time to get up from bed in the morning.
No or less body movement affects our sleep cycle in innumerable ways. It does not let you get sound sleep, making you feel tired upon waking up. It is suggested to do a moderate workout, be it walking for 30 minutes or working out at the gym to get proper sleep so that you can get rid of morning fatigue.
Chris Airey, M.D.
Medical Director, Optimale
Most of the time, waking up tired is a result of improper sleep hygiene
Going to bed and waking up at a set time, avoiding blue-light emitting screens a couple of hours before bed, and avoiding caffeine in the afternoon are all steps you can take for better sleep. This will allow you to fall asleep faster, deeper, and wake up more rested.
Sleep inertia is also a cause of feeling tired in the morning
If you wake up in the middle of a deep sleep cycle, you are having to go from 0-100, instead of waking up during a lighter sleep phase gently. To combat this, try using a cycle-based alarm (using apps like SleepCycle or similar) or a lamp that simulates sunrise for a gentler, gradual wakeup.
It is less disorienting, and less likely to wake you up from deep sleep or REM.
NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer | Precision Nutrition – Certified Nutritional Counselor | Managing Editor, The Unwinder
Your cortisol is out of balance
Cortisol, commonly known as the “stress hormone,” can work wonders for you, helping you flee dangerous situations, increasing alertness, and shielding you from viruses and bacteria.
An overproduction of cortisol, however, interferes with the HPA axis and may cause it to be overly active. In turn, you may suffer from insomnia, fragmented slumber (such as waking up at 3am), and less sleep overall. What’s more, your body may produce more cortisol throughout the day to keep you awake, which may translate to struggling to fall asleep at night.
To return to optimal cortisol levels, it’s imperative to get your stress under control. Meditation, walks in nature, yoga, breathwork–all can calm your nervous system and stress response, and moderate cortisol.
Related: 17 Best Meditation Books
Exercise should be emphasized when one is trying to mitigate stress. Countless studies have shown that exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, reduces stress and counters depression.
How? Exercise naturally lowers the levels of stress hormones, including cortisol (as well as adrenaline). It also triggers the production of endorphins, which organically boosts mood. Further, the more one gets into shape, the more confident and resilient they feel–and this extends to their ability to take on stressful situations and bounce back from them quickly.
Registered Clinical Counselor, Well Beings Counseling
Waking up tired has a lot to do with your medical state, and Sleep Apnea is one medical condition responsible to make you feel tired when you wake up.
When you have Sleep Apnea, your throat narrows or sometimes completely shuts to interrupt your breathing. This results in a reduced level of oxygen in your blood, and you wake up tired and exhausted the next morning. Sleep Apnoea is also the reason people snore during sleep.
An underactive thyroid means your body has a deficiency of thyroid hormone, also known as thyroxine. This leads to a constant feeling of tiredness and fatigue, which is even worse when you wake up. Other effects may include gaining weight, aching muscles, and dry skin.
An underactive thyroid can be diagnosed through a blood test. Upon diagnosis, you may want to consult a health practitioner for possible remedies.
Health Expert | CEO, Dentaly
Waking up tired can be due to varying causes. Well, let me throw more light on the same.
Sleep inertia is a common cause
When you wake up from a deep sleep, your brain doesn’t instantly wake up. It’s slow to respond and gradually reaches the wakeful state. As a result, you feel groggy and sleepy. You’re not motivated to do anything because sleep inertia reduces your cognitive and motor skills, leading to fatigue and tiredness.
Poor lifestyle habits or sleeping conditions
If that’s not the case, you might want to have a look at your lifestyle habits. Excess caffeine intake and poor sleep hygiene can lead to insomnia. As a result, you get the constant urge to sleep in the morning hours.
Another possible reason is your mattress. Ideally, a medium-firm mattress is best for sleeping. Well, if your mattress is too soft, it can cause postural problems and induce body pain, leading to fatigue.
Sleep disorders, underlying health conditions, and poor sleep environment are other possible causes of morning tiredness. Well, if you’re not sure why you’re feeling tired, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor. They can screen your health and provide you with an effective solution.
Co-Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Nolah Mattress
Not getting enough sleep
The most common reason for waking up tired is not getting enough sleep. Most professionals have to wake up at the sound of their alarm clock. However, they can’t get a good sleep if they slept late or had an inconsistent sleep.
Stick to a fixed sleeping schedule to ensure you get your optimal sleeping time for your age group.
A fixed sleeping schedule increases your chances of getting sufficient sleep without any drastic changes to your routine.
Poor sleep quality
One of the most surprising reasons for waking up tired is terrible sleep quality. Your bedroom’s condition—such as humidity, temperature, and light intensities—plays a significant role in your sleep quality. Bedding quality, as well as physical conditions like sickness, also influence your sleep quality.
Make sure to set-up a comfortable sleep-conducive environment to maximize your chances of getting good quality sleep.
If it helps, you can play soothing binaural beats or nature sound in the background. This audio blocks out noise, especially binaural beats, and reduces the chances of waking up in the middle of the night because of unwanted sounds.
Certified Sleep Science Coach, Amerisleep
Waking up tired is a telltale sign of inadequate sleep quality
The problem is with the longstanding notion of labeling sleep as a mere “shut-eye exercise” instead of a restorative body process — morning grogginess is the result of failing to achieve a certain level of “sleep deepness” that supposedly revitalized the mind and refresh the body’s systems.
This could be caused by irregularities in sleep cycles or poor bedtime habits such as revenge bedtime procrastination, large meals, caffeine, alcohol, exposure to electronic devices.
Low quality sleep could also be caused by a poor sleeping environment consisting of substandard mattresses and beddings, uncomfortable temperature, and too much light or noise.
To ensure restorative sleep is achieved, it’s crucial not to force yourself — sleep must be allowed to naturally come to you or it will not come at all. By making some simple changes to your lifestyle or schedule, you can obtain deep sleep that is required to wake up refreshed.
- First, establish a bedtime routine that involves low-impact physical activity and brain stimulation like reading a book. This will serve as the body’s queue into inducing sleep.
- Next, make sure to go to bed at the same time every day. This will reinforce the body’s Circadian rhythm, thereby, helping regulate your sleep cycles.
- Lastly, make sure to put away your electronic devices for at least 10-20 minutes to allow yourself to drift off.
Founder and CEO, Seek United
You’re probably dehydrated
Your body works better when hydrated. Your brain and heart are composed of 73% water, your lungs 83%, your muscle and kidneys 79%, your skin 64%, and your bones 31%. When you don’t get enough water, it makes all of your bodily systems have to work harder.
The running joke in our house is if you’re tired, you’re sore, or you’re just in a bad mood, you’re probably just dehydrated. It’s funny because of how often it’s true. You drink a glass or two of water and you start to feel sharper, your headache goes away, you’re less likely to overeat, and you can focus better.
Most of us simply aren’t getting enough water. Make a point to set a glass of water by your bed at night, and drink the whole thing when you wake up. Not only will you feel less groggy, but you’ll also be giving all of your other systems a boost.
Caffeine (or alcohol) is the culprit
Caffeine and alcohol disrupt your sleep cycle. Even think if you think they don’t. Even if you think you’re a unique case. If you can fall asleep immediately after having your sixth cup of coffee (or soda) for the day, that’s actually a better sign that you’re sleep-deprived rather than your ability to defy decades of research.
You probably won’t remember waking up and falling back to sleep repeatedly, but it’s happening. Those little micro-disturbances can leave you feeling unrested even if you’ve been in bed for seven or more hours.
Your best bet is to replace your afternoon coffee with a non-caffeinated tea, your soda with a can of sparkling water. Have your drink(s) with dinner, and replace night-caps with herbal tea, or you guessed it, water.
Community Manager, MyPerfectResume
During a daily call with my team, many of my colleagues mentioned feeling more tired now that we work from home than when we worked from the office. We discussed how before the pandemic started, we all had different activities that kept us active, and since we started working from home, we exchanged those activities for evenings in front of our TVs.
Our lifestyles have become more sedentary, and our routines include a lot of sitting around and not doing much or any physical exercise.
We also have inconsistent sleeping schedules because of our flexible working hours. It’s easy to push ourselves to watch one more episode of our favorite show, sleep in a bit more, and make up the time by working until later the next day. These two bad habits are affecting our sleep and causing us to wake up tired and feel tired throughout the day.
A fix to this problem is to push ourselves to be more active.
Whether we work out from home or take more walks, being more active will help us feel less tired. It’s also important to set up and stick to a work schedule as it will push us to be more strict and consistent with our sleep hours.
Knowing you have to start work at a specific time in the morning will force you to sleep early enough to wake up feeling rested, and before you know it, you’ll have a consistent sleep schedule.
Outreach Manager, Zety
Extensive use of electronic devices, especially if used right before bedtime
You see, electronic devices stimulate the mind and keep us awake. The light from these devices can alter our melatonin levels – the hormone responsible for controlling sleep cycles.
Even if you feel like you get 6-8 hours of sleep, your sleep cycle might be disturbed enough to give you that feeling of tiredness in the morning.
If you want to wake up more refreshed and well-rested, we recommend that you do not use electronic devices, like smartphones and laptops, at bedtime. Instead, grab a book and read a few pages before falling asleep.
HR Manager, ResumeLab
Going to sleep with electronic devices
Netflix, Reddit, YouTube, etc. we’re all probably guilty of it to a certain extent. Dozing off to sleep while trying to catch up on our favorite TV show or latest news is the bane of our collective existence these days.
There is a lot of bad news involved with that seemingly innocuous habit. For one, blue screen light can disrupt your natural melatonin product which regulates your sleeping cycle. Secondly, it makes your eyes all the more tired and “bleedy” not to mention cause damage to your retina.
Moreover, the constant overstimulation carried into the night can constantly wake you up during the night with each new notification literally ruing your much-needed sleeping cycles. The toll can be quite heavy the next morning, as you wake up grouchy, unrested, and frustrated.
Here are some suggestions on how to address this issue:
- Make use of the screen-time / digital wellbeing apps to limit yourself. Let your phone become your ally in this worthy endeavor.
- Set reminders (ideally 20-30 minutes) before your desired bedtime to remind you to put the phone away. You can also go the extra mile and implement app time limits to further motivate you to stick to the schedule.
- Likewise, use the Do Not Disturb / Night Mode app to turn off all notifications for the duration of your sleep cycle.
- Ultimately, many roads lead to Rome, but the investment is sure worth the payoff, as this key change alone can help you wake up rejuvenated and much more alert.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can certain medications make me feel tired in the morning?
Yes, some medications can cause drowsiness or fatigue as a side effect. If you’re taking medication and are experiencing morning fatigue, talk to your healthcare provider to find out if the medicine may be causing your symptoms. They may be able to adjust the dosage or switch you to a different medication.
What can I do if I’m still feeling tired even after making lifestyle changes?
If you are trying to make healthy lifestyle choices but are still experiencing fatigue despite your best efforts, it may be an indication of something more serious. Talking to a healthcare professional to determine the cause and properly address the problem is important.
Common medical causes of fatigue may include sleep apnea, autoimmune diseases such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, low iron (anemia), and chronic infections such as Lyme disease or mononucleosis. Testing for these conditions and seeking treatment from a healthcare provider can help reduce feelings of exhaustion throughout the day.
Should I go back to sleep if I wake up tired?
Whether going back to sleep is the solution depends on how much you’ve rested, your sleep quality, and your overall health. Sleeping more after a full night may not help and can make you groggy.
Instead, aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep every night and maintain a regular sleep schedule. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and large meals before bed. If you still feel tired, talk to your doctor as it could be a sign of an underlying health condition.
How do I know if I slept well?
Are you tired of feeling exhausted even after a seemingly good night’s sleep? It can be frustrating to feel like you’re doing everything right but still not getting the rest you need. To know if you’re sleeping well, here are a few things to look out for:
You fall asleep quickly: If you can fall asleep within 15-20 minutes of going to bed, it’s a good sign that your body is ready for sleep and you’re not struggling to get the rest you need.
Sleeping through the night: If you can sleep through the night without waking up frequently, you’re more likely to get a deep, restful sleep that will leave you feeling refreshed and energized the next morning.
Feeling rested: Do you feel awake and alert when you wake up? Or do you have difficulty getting out of bed and feel groggy throughout the day? If you feel refreshed when you wake up, that’s a good sign that you slept well.
You don’t need a nap: If you manage to get through the day without needing a nap, that’s another sign that you’re getting enough sleep at night.
Having dreams: Dreams are a sign that your brain is getting the important REM sleep it needs to function properly.
What should I do if I think I have a sleep disorder?
If you suspect that you have a sleep disorder, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider. They may recommend that you undergo a sleep study to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. Treatment options for sleep disorders range from lifestyle changes to medication or surgery, depending on the severity and nature of the condition.
Can chronic pain cause fatigue in the morning?
Yes, chronic pain can interfere with restful sleep and make you feel tired in the morning. Pain can make it difficult to fall asleep, stay asleep, or get into a comfortable sleeping position. In addition, the stress and discomfort of chronic pain can contribute to feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
If you suffer from chronic pain that affects your sleep and energy, you should talk to your healthcare provider about treatment options.
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