Why do I Wake up Tired?

Why do I Wake up Tired?
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Photo: Laura Chouette

Published Gemma Dunn ⋅ Review Editor
October 1, 2022

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4.6/5 - (18 votes)

Have you ever woken up feeling like you’ve not slept at all? “Sleep is crucial to us as humans, and in today’s blog, we look at why you might be waking up tired and how you can crunch that morning grogginess regardless of how long you sleep. People who wake up tired may feel like they’ve not slept or want to fall back asleep irrespective of what their day brings, but waking up tired shouldn’t be accepted as a new normal.

Why do I wake up Tired

When we wake up tired, most people will look straight at the number of hours they slept – and in most cases, this could be why you’re waking up sleepy. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night can be crucial to feeling refreshed and reset for the day ahead. However, most people who wake up tired may feel sleep inertia. Most people have experienced sleep inertia, as it’s part of who we are as humans. Sleep inertia lasts roughly 15-60 minutes after you’ve woken up initially – which may be when your alarm clock goes off on a morning, even if you try to go back to sleep.

Sleep Inertia is still a vastly unknown condition that is still being researched. Still, many scientists believe that sleep inertia is a protective mechanism that allows our brains (and bodies) to stay asleep or sleep quicker after being woken up when unintended. An example of this may be a loud noise at night or when someone said they spoke to you on a night, but you don’t remember this – it could all be down to sleep inertia.

How to Combat Morning Tiredness

Sleep inertia is a regular habit for most humans; everyone will experience this at some stage, if not daily. Although there is no cure or treatment for sleep inertia or morning tiredness, there are some things you can do to be proactive and help improve your chances of waking up feeling ready for the day ahead. Here are just some things you can do;

  1. Keep HydratedAlthough you may wake up for the toilet at night, staying hydrated can be a straightforward way to combat sleep inertia and morning tiredness. After eight hours of deep sleep, your body becomes quite dehydrated. Although this level of dehydration is not severe, it’s good to stock up on water before you sleep and have a glass by your bed for when you wake up to get your body going quickly.
  2. Gain Light ExposureBefore the age of alarm clocks, we woke up based on the day-night cycle. If you’ve got a window in your bedroom, and you sleep at night – then having thin curtains or blinds that are not fully closed can help you get a head start in the morning. Allowing your body to adapt to the light in the morning will provide you with a natural alarm clock but also help your body wake up with a burst of serotonin, which, over the day – can help you have a more restored sleep the following night. After a few days of waking up to the natural light outside, you will improve your sleep quality and feel much more rested.
  3. Exercise throughout the Day and MorningExercise, in general, is essential, but when waking up, you probably won’t be in the mood for exercise. Walking around your home, stretching, or even going to the shops or around town for 20 minutes can improve the whole day.
  4. Aim for “Perfect” SleepWe all know perfect is impossible, but getting as perfect as possible for your sleeping habits is crucial. We have written extensive and detailed reviews on the best beds and mattresses that can provide better sleep. We’re talking about getting a minimum of 8 hours’ worth of deep sleep, with no electronics or food, at least an hour before sleeping and keeping your bedroom for bedroom activities only – these can all be significant benefits to giving you the perfect night’s sleep, and help you wake up feeling refreshed. You should also ensure you have the right equipment for the best night’s sleep.
  5. Avoid CaffeineWe all know that caffeine can be a great way to escape the slums of morning tiredness and, in most cases, avoid caffeine before you sleep, but taking something with caffeine as you wake up can help you out of the morning grogginess. We’re not talking about energy drinks, but maybe a morning coffee or tea can help wake you up.

What if nothing helps with morning tiredness

We hope that some of the tips in this guide, or our other guides relating to sleep, will help you combat your morning grogginess; however, if you’re still experiencing tiredness after waking up and trying to fix it – then you may find visiting your GP or finding advice through medical professionals a good idea. You should never lose sleep, over lost sleep. 99% of the time, your morning tiredness may not be anything of concern but rather a sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea, narcolepsy, restless leg syndrome or even insomnia. Your doctor may recommend other specialized solutions or prescribe medication to help you sleep better.

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