12 Reasons You Wake Up Tired—And How to Overcome Them

Waking up tired, regardless of how many hours you slept, is not a reason for significant concern, but it can lead to a poorer quality of life. Some causes of feeling tired despite getting a total of 8 hours of sleep can be easily fixed with lifestyle changes, while others require you to talk to a professional. But first, you need to try to find the cause of your insufficient sleep. 

1. Sedentary lifestyle

One reason you feel tired despite getting enough sleep is a lack of movement throughout the day. If you spend most of the day in your office working a desk job, your body does not feel the need to rest. This can lead to numerous sleep issues, including not getting high-quality sleep. The WHO recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week, such as aerobics or pilates, to improve your sleeping habits and reduce stress. 

2. Screen time before bed

If you think staring at social media will benefit your sleep, think again. By reducing your exposure to blue light, you allow melatonin to spread through your brain, leading to a blissful sleep. Numerous studies have linked using devices with screens before bed and their harmful effect not only on the quality of sleep but even on potentially more severe sleep issues, like sleep disruption and making it harder to fall asleep. 

3. Anxiety

Anxiety is connected to numerous sleeping problems, and it is commonly linked to insomnia. However, if you are not struggling with this sleep disorder, you might still have trouble with your sleep, including not getting enough quality sleep. This is a vicious circle since the less sleep you get, the more anxious you feel. To improve the quality of your sleep, you can try meditations or progressive muscular relaxation to clear up and calm your overworked mind. 

4. Irregular sleep schedule 

Your body gets used to going to bed at specific hours, and any drastic changes to your sleep schedule can cause you to feel tired and even cause significant health concerns. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study found that people with irregular sleep schedules are more likely to suffer from type 2 diabetes and other chronic diseases. By establishing a sleeping timetable, you will likely wake up feeling better rested and protect your health. 

5. Poor sleep hygiene 

Apart from knowing when to go to bed, creating a routine that signals to your body and mind that the time for rest is approaching is crucial. This means avoiding alcoholic and caffeinated drinks and keeping the room dark and moderately cool. Ideally, the room should be used for sleep only, but if that’s not the case, you might have to improvise and create a welcoming, calming atmosphere that will support your sleep quality. 

6. Dehydration or too much water before bed 

Most of your body is made of water, so getting enough fluids is imperative for your whole organism to function correctly. However, if you are dehydrated, the quality of your sleep could be endangered, and vice versa. If you don’t sleep enough, your body will be even more dehydrated. Yet, drinking too much fluids before bed will likely cause sleep interruptions. The solution is simple: drink plenty of water during the day, and if needed, take smaller sips before going to bed. 

7. Unhealthy diet

Your diet may need more fiber to get into that deep, restorative sleep that you crave. Eating too many foods high in saturated fat while not giving your body enough fiber can be the main cause of waking up tired. But there is more. Skipping meals, eating too much sugar, or eating too quickly can adversely affect your sleep. 

8. Underactive thyroid

Hypothyroidism increases the risk for many sleep disorders, including waking up tired. To remove doubts, you need to do a blood test, and if the results show any abnormalities, you must see an endocrinologist. The issue can be resolved with hormone therapy prescribed by your doctor. 

9. Sleep inertia

Some people wake up tired but feel fine once the morning drowsiness wears off. Sleep inertia usually takes up to 30 minutes to go away, but it can last longer if you are sleep-deprived or your alarm woke you from a deep sleep. While it is not unusual to have sleep inertia occasionally, if the condition persists, you should see your GP to ensure there are no other underlying sleep issues. 

10. Chronic fatigue 

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a condition that causes a person to feel tired, dizzy, lack concentration, and even feel pain in joints and muscles. CFS is commonly connected to sleep troubles, and to diagnose it, your doctor will review your health history and blood tests. There are many remedies to fight off fatigue, but you must consult your doctor before trying out any of them. 

11. Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a condition that causes a strong urge to move the legs. Though there is no cure, there are plenty of things your doctor can advise to improve the condition. The movement can destroy your sleeping because of disruptions, and you wake up sleeper than the night before. 

12. Wrong mattress

Sometimes, you may wake up exhausted because your mattress (or pillow) does not support you correctly. Medium-firm mattresses proved best for most, though you should watch out for allergens. Remember to replace your mattress every ten years and your pillows even more regularly. 

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