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As annoying as it can be, waking up tired is incredibly common. But the reason isn’t always linked to how many hours of sleep you are getting in each night.
Has your morning coffee suddenly stopped working? Do you spend most of your morning feeling groggy and irritated rather than refreshed and rejuvenated? Maybe you need to upgrade to a hybrid mattress? Many reasons can lead to morning fatigue and you may need to do a little research to figure out why you are waking up tired.
Waking up tired can impact mood and productivity. Most people feel like they are dragging their feet even to do the simplest of tasks such as brushing teeth, taking a shower, or packing the kids’ lunch. This sluggish and lethargic feeling is familiar, but it shouldn't last for long.
When waking up tired becomes a common occurrence, you might need to pay attention to any changes which might be happening in your body or in your routine that could be contributing to this sudden decrease in energy.
Here are 5 common reasons why many people wake up tired. Do any of these resonate with you?
1. You wake up during the deepest stage of sleep.
Have you ever woken up in a confused state of mind, wondering where you are and what time it is? This is called sleep inertia, and it usually happens when you wake up during the deepest stage of the sleep cycle.
Sleep inertia can last for 30 minutes or longer, but even when it’s over, it can be hard to hit the ground running and start the day the way you would like.
2. Your diet isn’t as good as it used to be.
What you eat during the day affects how you sleep at night. It may not look as evident on the surface, but if you take a deeper dive into how the sleep cycle works, you’ll learn that a poor digestive system can leave you feeling bone-tired in the morning.
Changes in your diet could be the reason you are waking up feeling really tired. Maybe you are eating more carbs than usual or trying to shed pounds by eating much less. It could even be the new spices you’ve been experimenting with. Whatever the case, when your digestive system is adjusting to something new, you may feel the after-effects in the morning.
3. You have a lot on your mind.
A new baby, new job, new relationship, or any new and sudden lifestyle change can wreak havoc on your morning routine, leaving you with no choice but to wake up exhausted. From everyday stress factors to more serious ones such as anxiety or depression, your state of mind plays a crucial role in sleep.
When you are mentally drained, you will most likely wake up tired even after a solid 8 hours of proper sleep night after night.
4. Your bedroom is distracting and uncomfortable.
Comfort shouldn’t be a luxury, it's a necessity if you want to finally put an end to waking up tired. An uncomfortable bedroom can be the difference between average sleep and fantastic sleep.
Most of the research you are doing about waking up tired is likely to be related to your health and routine. However, most people overlook one of the most critical factors of all: Sleeping on the most comfortable mattress and limiting distraction in the bedroom.
An old and lumpy bed can negatively impact joint and muscle health, and distracting noises and dust cause multiple disruptions throughout the night. The result? A tired and grumpy morning.
5. You never sleep or wake up at the same time.
Waking up tired is easy when you constantly leave your mind and body guessing when rest will come. A key reason why so many people can’t seem to stop waking up so tired is that they don’t have a proper sleep schedule.
Getting 8 hours of sleep is essential, but it matters when you do it. If you sleep 8 hours at night, then 8 hours in the day, then try another 8 in the afternoon a few days later - your sleep cycle will be confused and will leave you waking up tired.
Now you know a few of the key reasons you are waking up tired, here's what you can do about it. Putting an end to waking up tired each morning can be easy when you know the right sequence of steps.
1. Create a reliable sleep schedule.
So you’re dreaming about being able to wake up fresh before your alarm, aren’t you? Most people can, and it doesn't take a lifetime. Sleeping at the same time each night, and waking up at the same time each morning for two straight weeks will help get you there. But there is a fine print - you need to follow this schedule on weekends too.
Being consistent with your sleep schedule is a straightforward way to make waking up tired a bad dream of the past. If you struggle with falling asleep fast when you hit the bed each night, a weighted blanket might be exactly what you need.
Weighted blankets relax the body with gentle stimulation. Small pellets in the blanket rest on the body to create an instant state of calm and relaxation.
2. Upgrade your mattress and bedroom setup.
To wake up feeling completely refreshed and rejuvenated, make sure you sleep on the most comfortable mattress. In most cases, the best mattress will either be a memory foam mattress or a hybrid mattress.
Memory foam mattresses are excellent if you prefer a contouring feeling on your muscles. Memory foam is a viscoelastic material that hugs the body. These mattresses don’t have a bounce like traditional innerspring mattresses.
If you prefer more stability, then a hybrid mattress may be the one you are looking for. Hybrids offer the same sleep-inducing benefits of memory foam, with an added density boost of encased pocket coils. One of the major benefits of both these mattress types is that they limit motion transfer. So if your partner is moving around, you won’t feel a thing.
Once you are confident that your bed is supporting your sleep in your pursuit to stop waking up tired, take a quick look around the rest of your bedroom. Are you getting distracted by noise, clutter, dust, or colors? Light sleepers who can easily be distracted should remove all possible distractions. You can look into minimalist decor ideas on how to strip back to just the essentials.
3. Manage stress and release worries before bed.
Most people would agree that you should never go to sleep angry. You should also never go to sleep stressed. Going to bed stressed doesn’t just make you go to bed straddled with worries, but it can also be why you are waking up tired.
Ruminating over worries is common before bed. When everything is quiet, you might feel like you have plenty of time to overthink. However, it’s not healthy, especially if it happens too frequently.
There are some quick and easy ways you can reduce stressing out when you should be sleeping. To put your mind at ease, try a simple guided meditation before bed. Meditation is a proven calming technique that can clear your mind.
You can also try listening to sleep sounds. Sleep sounds consist of low to medium frequency noises, often referred to as white noise, that mask other sounds. This level of sound frequency helps to create a calm state of mind.
When you go to sleep with your mind at ease, you may find that you no longer have to endure the struggle of waking up tired.
4. Maintain a healthy diet as much as possible.
The perfect diet doesn’t exist, and most people tend to adjust what they eat depending on life circumstances. To stop waking up tired, take a close look at what foods you are consuming before bed.
The best foods for sleep have high levels of potassium, melatonin, tryptophan, and antioxidants. When you’re tired or sleep-deprived, your body tends to crave unhealthy foods. You can blame it on your hormones. Lack of sleep causes certain hormones to shift, and as a result, pizza, donuts, and sweets tend to be all you can think about.
Lack of sleep increases the hunger-control hormone ghrelin and decreases the appetite-suppressing hormone leptin. The solution isn't to starve yourself; instead, try to indulge in the best foods for sleep. You will be able to satiate your hunger without increasing sugar levels, so you don’t have to worry about waking up tired.
5. Get to know how your sleep cycle works.
You sleep in stages, and knowing which stage you are in when you usually wake up can help you say goodbye to the days of waking up tired.
Waking up exhausted and feeling disorientated is usually a sign that you have woken up during REM sleep. It’s the deep stage of sleep where dreams occur. While the body remains entirely still during REM sleep, the mind is highly active, so waking up suddenly can be confusing.
To better understand your sleep cycle and avoid waking up during REM sleep each morning, you can use a sleep tracker to see what time you enter the different stages of sleep. You can then adjust your sleep schedule accordingly.
Transitioning from waking up tired to waking up full of energy takes time. Instead of doing it all at once, you may need to make minor improvements and practice trial and error until you start feeling the benefits.
The most important thing to know is that it is possible to wake up in the morning full of energy - many people do it! Stay positive, and pay attention to the small things like your mattress' quality and how you manage stress.
What's your morning routine like? Share below in the comments!
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Disclaimer. We love sleep and we want you to get the best sleep possible. But we do not provide medical advice. This blog is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical info, diagnosis, or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our blog.