Have you ever woken up feeling exhausted, even though you went to bed at a reasonable time? You’re not alone. It’s a common issue, and there can be many different factors at play.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common reasons why you might wake up feeling tired. We’ll also offer some tips on what you can do to improve your sleep and help fight your morning fatigue.
So, why do you wake up feeling tired? Let’s take a look.
Why You Wake Up Tired?
When you wake up feeling tired, it’s called sleep inertia. Sleep inertia is the groggy feeling you experience when you first wake up. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
Sleep inertia is normal and usually isn’t cause for concern. However, if you regularly wake up feeling exhausted, it could be a sign of an underlying serious sleep disorder or other health condition.
There are many different factors that can contribute to you feeling tired when you wake up. Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons.
5 Reasons Why You’ve Been Tired
Waking up tired can have many different causes. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might be feeling exhausted when you wake up:
- Blue Light Exposure Before Bed
- Eating and Drinking Behaviors
- Sleep Environment
- Sleep Disorders
- Medical Conditions
We’ll explore each of these in more depth below.
1. Blue Light Exposure Before Bed
One of the most common reasons why you might be waking up feeling tired is because of your exposure to blue light before bed.
Blue light is a type of light that’s emitted from screens, such as phones, computers, and TVs. It can also come from LED lights and fluorescent lights.
Exposure to blue light before bed can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and make it more difficult to fall asleep. It can also cause you to wake up feeling tired in the morning.
Blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, which is the hormone that makes you feel sleepy. It also shifts your natural sleep-wake cycle (or circadian rhythm) so that you feel more alert in the evening and less sleepy at night.
This can make it more difficult to fall asleep and can cause you to wake up feeling exhausted in the morning.
2. Eating and Drinking Behaviors
Your eating and drinking habits can also affect how well you sleep at night.
Certain foods and drinks can act as stimulants and make it more difficult to fall asleep faster. They can also cause you to wake up feeling tired in the morning.
Below are some of the most common offenders:
Caffeine is a stimulant that can stay in your system for up to 6 hours. It’s found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and some sodas. Some medications and supplements also contain caffeine.
Too much caffeine can make it difficult to fall asleep and can cause you to wake up feeling tired in the morning.
If you take too much caffeine late in the day, it can:
- make it difficult to fall asleep
- cause you to wake up severally in the night to visit the bathroom
- make your brain not stay at rest for long
Although alcohol can make you feel sleepy, it can also disrupt your sleep. According to the National Sleep Foundation, alcohol can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night.
Drinking alcohol can also prevent you from reaching the deep sleep stage, which is when your body heals and repairs itself. This can leave you feeling exhausted in the morning.
Drinking Too Much Water Before Bed
It’s important to stay hydrated, but drinking too much water too close to bedtime can cause you to wake up frequently to use the bathroom. This can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep hence contributing to sleep inertia.
Nocturia, which is the medical term for waking up at night to urinate, can also be a symptom of several underlying health conditions. If you frequently wake up to use the bathroom, it’s important to speak with your doctor.
3. Sleep Environment
Your sleep environment can also play a role in how well you sleep at night. There are many different factors that can affect your sleep environment, such as:
Loud noise can disrupt your sleep. Noise from traffic, construction, or a snoring partner can make it difficult to fall asleep and can cause your sleep to be less restful.
Exposure to light can also disrupt sleep. Light exposure can come from sources like sunlight, streetlights, and TVs. It can also come from devices like phones and computers. The blue light emitted from these screens can interfere with your natural sleep cycle.
The temperature of your sleep environment can also affect how well you sleep at night. If it’s too hot or too cold, it can make it difficult to fall asleep leading to a poor night’s sleep.
According to the Sleep Foundation, the best temperature for sleep is between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 19 degrees Celsius).
Mattress and Pillow
Your mattress and pillow can also affect your sleep. If they’re uncomfortable, it can make it difficult to fall asleep and can cause you to wake up feeling sore.
An uncomfortable sleep environment can also lead to restless nights and frequent waking. This can cause you to feel exhausted in the morning.
According to studies, people who sleep on comfortable mattresses and pillows report better sleep quality. They also wake up less during the night and have less pain upon waking.
The ideal mattress should be:
If you’re not happy with your current mattress, it might be time for an upgrade. The same goes for your pillow. If it’s lumpy or doesn’t provide the right amount of support, it might be time for a new one.
4. Sleep Disorders
There are many different sleep disorders that can cause you to wake up feeling tired in the morning. Some of the most common sleep disorders include:
Insomnia is a sleep disorder that can make it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep. It’s the most common sleep disorder, affecting up to 30% to 48% of adults.
There are many different causes of insomnia, such as stress, anxiety, depression, and medications. If you have insomnia, you might:
- have difficulty falling asleep
- wake up frequently during the night
- wake up early in the morning
- feel exhausted during the day
- have trouble concentrating
- have mood swings
Sleep Movement Disorders
Sleep movement disorders are conditions that cause you to move around a lot before or during sleep. The most common sleep movement disorder is restless leg syndrome (RLS).
RLS is a condition that causes an irresistible urge to move your legs. This can make it difficult to fall asleep.
Other sleep movement disorders include:
- periodic limb movement disorder (PLMD)
- bruxism (teeth grinding)
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes you to stop breathing for short periods of time during sleep. There are two types of sleep apnea:
- obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)
- central sleep apnea (CSA)
OSA is the most common type of sleep apnea. It’s caused by a blockage in the airway, such as from obesity or enlarged tonsils.
CSA is caused by a problem with the brain signaling the muscles to breathe. It can be caused by conditions like heart failure, stroke, or brain tumors.
Sleep apnea can cause you to snore loudly and wake up feeling exhausted. It’s also been linked to a number of serious health conditions, such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
5. Medical Conditions
There are many different medical conditions that can cause you to wake up feeling tired in the morning. Some of the most common include:
Anemia is a condition that occurs when there’s a decrease in the number of red blood cells. This can lead to fatigue and tiredness.
There are many different types of anemia, such as iron deficiency anemia, sickle cell anemia, and aplastic anemia.
The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces hormones that regulate metabolism. If the thyroid isn’t functioning properly, it can cause a number of symptoms, including fatigue and tiredness.
Hypothyroidism is the most common type of thyroid disorder. It occurs when the thyroid doesn’t produce enough hormones.
Hyperthyroidism is less common and occurs when the thyroid produces too much hormone.
Diabetes is a condition that occurs when there’s too much sugar in the blood. It can be caused by a number of factors, such as genetics, diet, and lifestyle.
If you have diabetes, you might:
- wake up feeling thirsty
- wake up to urinate frequently
- have blurry vision
- feel fatigued during the day
- have cravings for sweets
What to Do to Improve Sleep?
If you’re waking up feeling tired, there are a number of things you can do to improve your sleep.
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.
- Establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible.
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol before bed.
- Avoid working or using electronic devices in bed.
- Get up and move around every few hours to keep your body active.
- Practice relaxation techniques before bed, such as yoga or meditation.
- See a doctor if you have any underlying medical conditions.
- See a sleep specialist if you have chronic insomnia or sleep apnea.
Waking up feeling tired can be caused by a number of different things, from sleep disorders to medical conditions.
If you’re regularly waking up feeling exhausted, it’s important to see a doctor to find out the cause.
Your doctor can help you develop a treatment plan to improve your sleep hygiene and overall health.