Why Do I Wake Up Tired?

Why Do I Wake Up Tired?

waking up tired

Are you feeling groggy in the morning? The occasional bad night's sleep may cause you to wake up feeling tired in the morning. A night out on the town may have you regretting that extra cocktail in the morning. Otherwise, you should be waking up refreshed and ready to take on the day.

Regularly waking up tired for no specific reason should have you looking into why this is happening and what you can do about it. Getting 7-8 hours of sleep should have you waking up refreshed. If you wake up groggy, you will lack the energy to get through your day. Let’s take a look at the possible reasons why you are waking up tired.

Sleep Cycles and Deep Sleep Explained

The main reason why you are waking up groggy is probably that your body is not getting enough deep sleep or that your sleep cycles may be irregular. These are usually the culprits for your lack of restful sleep. 

Sleep Cycles

The length of a sleep cycle is between 90 and 110 minutes. This cycle is divided into non-REM and REM sleep. REM stands for Rapid Eye Movement and is usually the stage in your sleep where your dreams occur.

Non-REM sleep happens for the first 90 minutes when you go to bed. As the night progresses, your body goes in and out of non-REM and REM cycles, each one lasting a bit longer than the previous. As adults, our nights usually consist of 20% REM sleep.

  • Stage 1: This is when you get into bed and drift off to sleep. 5-10 minutes
  • Stage 2: This is the light sleep cycle where your heart rate slows down and your body gets ready for deep sleep. 15-20 minutes
  • Stage 3: This is the deep sleep cycle and is where your body is completely relaxed. There is no brain activity during deep sleep.
  • REM cycle: This is the dream stage of your sleep. Your brain is active and processing unconscious thoughts.

Deep Sleep

This is the most important part of the night where your body is regenerating and replenishing your immune system. If you don’t get enough deep sleep, you will probably have a bad sleep quality and wake up feeling tired.

If you are not getting enough deep sleep and waking up tired on a regular basis, it’s time to look at some possible reasons why this is occurring. Making some simple changes to our diet or schedule may help get you that deep sleep that is required to wake up refreshed.

waking up tired

Reasons Why You Wake up Tired

There are a variety of reasons why you are waking up tired. You should wake up feeling refreshed after 7-8 hours of sleep. If you are not, then you may not be getting enough deep sleep or your cycles may not be regular. Take a look at your lifestyle, your environment, your partner’s sleeping habits, and also your food and drink intake. 

  • Irregular Sleep Schedule

Keeping a regular sleep schedule will help your body know what to expect every day. This may help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

  • Naps 

Taking that afternoon nap may be a good idea when you are feeling a lack of energy during the day. Naps can be useful and revitalizing to help you get on with your daily activities, but they may also be the reason why you are not getting your much-needed deep sleep at night.

Helpful Sleep Tip: Take short naps in order to not fall into REM or deep sleep during your nap. 
  • Caffeine or Alcohol

These are often the main culprits that keep people from getting a restful night’s sleep. Caffeine is a stimulant that will keep your brain active and stop you from falling asleep.

Alcohol will mess up your REM cycle and may induce snoring that will also keep you from having a restful night. 

Helpful Sleep Tips: Lower your coffee intake as the day progresses. The caffeine stays in your body and can stop you from falling asleep. Calculate your alcohol consumption and alternate with water between drinks.

  • Digestion

Eating a big meal before bedtime will have your body working overtime digesting during the night. All that work will keep you from getting restful deep sleep.

Helpful Sleep Tip: Refrain from eating a few hours prior to bedtime.
  • Your Environment 

A healthy environment to sleep in will assure a relaxing night’s sleep. Make sure that you create a calm and comfortable bedroom to sleep in.

Helpful Sleep Tips: Have shades that block out light and minimize external noises as much as possible. Turning off the phone and other devices is also recommended for minimal distractions during the night.

Did you know? Blue light that is emitted from smartphones has stimulating properties and can keep you from falling asleep.

  • Hormonal Imbalances

As we age our hormones can fluctuate and have adverse effects on our health and our sleep patterns.

Helpful Sleep Tip: If you think that your hormones may be the cause, see your doctor and have your thyroid checked out.
  • Dehydration

Being dehydrated will keep your body from doing its regular functions during the night.

Helpful Sleep Tip: Drink plenty of water during the day but don’t overdo it in the evening as this may cause you to wake up and have to go to the bathroom.
  • Deficiencies 

Another reason why you may be experiencing a lack of deep sleep may be some form of deficiency. Magnesium and melatonin are important for a good night's sleep. 

Helpful Sleep Tip: Magnesium and Melatonin supplements may help alleviate sleep problems.
  • Sleep Apnea

Sleep disorders include sleep apnea, insomnia, restless legs syndrome, and others. Sleep apnea is probably one of the main causes of deep sleep deprivation. Sleep apnea happens when your breathing is interrupted during the night sometimes making you gasp for air and waking you up in the process.

Helpful Sleep Tips: There are several ways to help with sleep apnea symptoms. The CPAP machine is usually the most recommended way to treat it. It may, however, be useful to see a sleep specialist in order to determine what kind of treatment is best for you.
  • Your Partner Snores

The reason why you are waking up tired may be totally out of your control. If your partner snores and wakes you up frequently during the night, then it’s a sure sign that you are not getting enough deep sleep.

Helpful Sleep Tips: Talk with your partner and look into snoring remedies for them.

When to Consult a Professional 

waking up tired

Seek medical advice if you think that you have a hormonal imbalance or a problematic sleep condition like sleep apnea. 

Getting a restful and rejuvenating night’s sleep is as important as any other health priority in our lives. A well-rested mind and body will be able to perform and tackle the busy day ahead. Look into the reasons why you may be experiencing sleepy periods during the day and try to work on getting that good shut-eye at night.

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