Why Am I Waking up Tired? [Causes + Solutions]

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When you wake up tired the whole day just seems to go wrong. From the moment the alarm sounds and you hit that snooze button over and over again, you know there’s a long day ahead of you. Such days may seem extra difficult because you feel completely shattered, causing you a lot of stress and anxiety.

Sleep is essential to our overall health, giving the whole body an opportunity to rest and restore itself. So you may wonder, ‘Then why do I wake up tired?’

Why does this keep happening to you and what can you do about it? In this article, we’ll look at the many reasons for this as well as the steps you can take to fix this situation.

Why Do I Wake Up Tired?

Most of us have been in this unenviable position at least a few times in our lives. It can be very demoralizing and depressing, especially if it happens often. Understanding why this is happening is key to preventing it from happening in the future. By spending a little time working on your sleeping patterns and looking at your sleeping environment, you can figure out the problem and make sure that you maintain a higher level of well-being.

Sleep Inertia

For some people, waking up can be fraught with difficulty. If you’ve ever wondered ‘why do I wake up tired every morning?’, sleep inertia may be the answer. Sleep inertia is a transitional state between sleeping and waking. It is characterized by a desire to go back to sleep, reduced vigilance, grogginess, feeling disoriented, and hampered performance. For some people, this state lasts a few minutes, but it can last several hours for others. Many factors affect how long and intense sleep inertia can be. A prolonged sleep inertia phase can also be extremely dangerous and it is often labeled sleep drunkenness. It makes it difficult to perform everyday tasks like driving. If you suffer from profound sleep inertia, you may have some kind of disorder such as idiopathic hypersomnia.

Sleep Environment

Considering your room and your sleep environment is a key step in working out how to not be tired in the morning. If your environment prevents you from being comfortable or relaxed, it can result in you feeling tired when you wake up. To fix this problem, take a look at the list below:

  • Your Mattress – even if your mattress used to be the most comfortable thing in the world, it can wear out like everything else. You may need to invest in a new mattress. Consider top-quality options such as a good hybrid mattress or an organic mattress. If your mattress is over seven years old, you definitely need a new one.
  • Pillow – just like a mattress, a pillow can have a huge effect on the quality of your sleep. A good pillow can aid deeper sleep which increases your energy levels and stops you from waking up tired and with no energy. Remember, it is wise to change your pillow every one to two years and find one that can keep your back aligned. IIf you often get too hot when trying to go to sleep, consider a top-quality cooling pillow.
  • Ambient Temperature – temperature over 75°F as well as anything below 54°F will hamper your ability to sleep soundly. To find the perfect temperature for you, you may need to experiment before you get it right.
  • Noise – sound can have a huge impact on your quality of sleep. Sounds in the night may be the reason why you always wake up tired no matter how much sleep you are getting. This happens because your sleep is disturbed; in fact, you are likely experiencing constant micro-awakenings and can’t reach the restorative REM sleep phase. It may even be that you suffer from a phenomenon known as sleep hangover. If you cannot make your environment quieter due to living near a busy road, for example, try earplugs.
  • Light – light is another factor that influences sleep. Dimming the lights before you fall asleep is essential. Light curtains which allow car lights to shine through can be the culprit that causes you to experience micro-awakenings. You can get some new blackout curtains, or maybe an eye mask. Try not to use any electronic devices for at least an hour before sleep as the screen’s blue light can hinder you from falling asleep.

Substances

Most of us have a vice or two, and some of these vices can be extremely detrimental to our sleeping patterns. If you want to know how to wake up not tired, then you may need to change a few lifestyle choices. Let’s have a look at a few:

  • Alcohol – some people may be under the illusion that alcohol helps you sleep, but nothing could be further from the truth. Alcohol causes the body to produce adenosine which does have a sleeping effect, to begin with. However, this effect is short-lived, and alcohol actually causes you to stay awake or wake up often without feeling rested.
  • Caffeine – people drink caffeine in the morning to wake themselves up. You should really avoid caffeinated products, coffee, energy drinks, etc., after around 2 p.m. Caffeine can remain active in your system for nearly six hours, depending on how much you have consumed. Caffeine can also induce stress, raising your cortisol level and leading to insomnia.
  • Nicotine – apart from the obvious reason why you should not smoke, another thing to consider is that nicotine is also a stimulant, meaning that it keeps you awake. If you smoke at least four hours before bedtime, your sleep will be disturbed.
  • Sugar – this may seem like an innocuous indulgence, but it may well be part of the reason you wake up exhausted. Sugar promotes a kind of sleeplessness when you crave more sugar. If you eat a lot of it, you’re likely to be more restless and you won’t sleep as deeply.
DID YOU KNOW: There are foods that promote deeper sleep, such as almonds and kiwi fruit. Why not do a little investigation and see what foods you could add to your diet?

Key Takeaways

  • Sleep can be disturbed by a great many factors from the environment to a health condition.
  • There are products such as therapeutic pillows and mattresses that you can invest in to ensure a good night’s sleep.
  • You may need to change your lifestyle a bit to sleep better.
  • Sleep inertia is common, but most people only experience it for a few minutes.

When to See a Doctor

Sleeping disorders can be very debilitating, and you should not ignore them. There is a huge difference between a bad night’s sleep and a continual pattern of constantly wondering ‘why am I still tired after sleeping?’ and not knowing how to fix it. There are many forms of sleeping disorders, such as:

  • Insomnia – which means you find it hard to fall asleep and stay asleep.
  • Sleep apnea – when you have difficulty breathing at night and you stop and start breathing again suddenly.
  • Sleep-related movement disorders – where you have sudden and jerky physical movements which may be involuntary.
  • REM Sleep Behavior Disorder – this is where you actually start acting out your dreams.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, even if it is only once a week or month you should consult with your doctor. Continual sleepiness, waking up tired after 8 hours of sleep, and the stress this involves can play havoc with your overall health. So if you struggle with sleep in any way, you need to seek professional help.

DID YOU KNOW: There are around 80 different types of sleep disorders and it is possible to suffer from several at the same time.

Conclusion

Many factors are at play when it comes to sleeplessness. There are several changes in your sleep environment you can make that can help induce better sleep, as well as some lifestyle factors. However, sometimes you may need treatment, which only a doctor can provide. So, if you find yourself waking up tired often, it may be time you did something about it.

FAQ

How do I stop waking up tired?

You need to take a look at your sleep environment and try making some adjustments to your lifestyle, like cutting out caffeine after 2 p.m.

Why do I feel sleepy even after sleeping for 8 hours?

You are not getting the sleep quality your body needs which can be due to several environmental factors or even a medical condition.

Why am I tired after a good night’s sleep?

Your sleep is likely being disturbed. Look at your sleep environment, use aids such as earplugs and an eye mask, and avoid certain substances like caffeine and nicotine before bedtime.

How can I wake up with more energy?

You need more quality sleep. It may help to change your sleep environment. If this has been going on for a long time, however, you may need to see a doctor.

Why do I wake up tired?

This can be due to a wide range of reasons, from your sleeping environment to your health. It is best to try making your sleep environment as quiet and dark as you can. If this doesn’t help, seek professional medical advice.

ABOUT AUTHOR

I've loved writing since I can remember, and back in high school, I started loving psychology as well. So I majored in it while dabbling in spirituality and yoga on the side.

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