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You did everything right. You slept eight full hours, made sure to avoid caffeine before bed, and even turned off your electronics an hour before hitting the hay. So why do you always wake up tired?
The truth is that many people suffer from fatigue and morning drowsiness, often despite getting ample sleep. This is because the quantity of sleep is not the only factor determining how rested you feel in the morning. Sleep quality also plays a role, and most people don't give it enough attention.
In this post, we'll discuss the importance of sleep quality and how to improve it.
There are many potential explanations for why you always wake up tired. The most common one is sleep inertia, which refers to the grogginess and disorientation you feel when you first wake up. Sleep inertia is normal and usually goes away after a few minutes, but in some cases, it can last much longer.
Other possible reasons for always waking up tired include:
Another common reason for sluggishness is poor sleep hygiene. Sleep hygiene refers to your habits and behaviors before and during sleep, which can significantly affect the quality of your rest.
There are many different aspects of sleep hygiene, but some of the most important ones include:
You could also be waking up still feeling exhausted due to physical discomfort during sleep. This can be caused by anything from an uncomfortable mattress to restless leg syndrome. If you frequently wake up feeling stiff or sore, it's possible that physical discomfort is to blame.
Try sleeping in a different position or on a different surface to test this theory. If you normally sleep on your side, try sleeping on your back. If you always sleep with a very soft pillow, test out a firmer option. See how you feel after the change and determine if a long-term change is in order.
If you're taking medication for sleep, the medication may be causing you to wake up tired. Many sleep medications, including antihistamines and melatonin supplements, can cause sleep inertia when you first wake up. This effect is usually temporary.
Many medical conditions can cause fatigue and make it hard to wake up feeling rested. Some of the most common include:
If you constantly wake up tired, there are a few things you can do to improve your sleep quality:
Your bedroom should be dark, quiet, and cool. If you can't control the noise level in your environment, try using a white noise machine or earplugs. Eye masks and blackout curtains are useful if you’re bothered by outside light.
The blue light from screens (phones, laptops, TVs) suppresses melatonin production and makes it harder to fall asleep. Avoid using screens for at least an hour before bedtime. You can fill your screen-free time with calming activities like reading or breathing exercises for an even better chance of getting a good night's rest.
You might love caffeine, but the stimulant can stay in your system for six hours or more. That’s not a problem if you’re drinking a cup of morning joe, but it might be if you’re drinking caffeine later in the day. To avoid sleep disruptions, avoid caffeine after lunchtime.
Eating a big meal before bed can make it harder to fall asleep and can cause you to wake up feeling overly full and tired. Drinking liquids isn't much better. Too much fluid in your system before bed might lead to middle-of-the-night bathroom trips.
Seeing the time can add to anxiety and make falling asleep harder. Even the glowing light can be distracting. Put your clock in a drawer or turn it around so you can't see the time from your bed.
If you often wake up with neck pain or headaches, it's possible that your pillow isn't providing enough support. Try using a pillow that is designed to keep your neck in alignment. You may need to try a few different shapes and styles to find the right fit.
You can also try using a pillow to alleviate back pain. For example, putting a pillow between your knees while sleeping on your side can significantly affect your comfort level.
Keep a sleep journal if you're unsure what's causing your fatigue. For two weeks, write down everything you eat and drink, when you exercise, and how you feel when you wake up. This will help you identify any patterns that may be disrupting your sleep.
These tips can help if you're always tired, no matter how much sleep you may get. However, they might not be enough. It can be extremely challenging to pinpoint the exact cause of your sleep issues.
That’s where Sleep Reset comes in. We offer an online sleep quiz to help you identify what’s happening. Our program is based on the latest research and is tailored to meet your individual sleep needs.
Take the sleep quiz to see how Sleep Reset can help you wake up rested.