8 Reasons Why You’re Waking Up Tired – How to Overcome It

Feeling tired after sleeping eight hours straight? There may be reasons why this is happening, experts say.

Most nights we sleep seven to eight hours and feel tired in the morning or even during the day. How exactly do you follow the golden rule of sleep, but feel wrong?

According to a 2015 study, this discrepancy is often due to an enhanced level of sleep stability, a circadian process that alters memory, mood, reaction time, and alertness. And during this period, confusion sets in after setting off the alarm for the first time. The effects of sleep apnea usually wear off after 15 to 60 minutes, but can last up to several hours.

Sleep deprivation affects sophisticated cognitive skills such as evaluative thinking, decision-making, creativity, and rule-making, and worsens when a person is sleep-deprived.

But even if your job doesn’t save lives or drive a truck all night, hours of inactivity can still affect your quality of life.

The way to overcome this starts with assessing your sleep “Two Questions”, says pulmonologist and sleep specialist Raj Dasgupta, associate professor of medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “If you sleep well whatscale, the next question is: ‘Am I sleeping well? whatReally?”

Dasgupta recommends seeing a sleep specialist, who can check for an underlying or primary sleep disorder. But there are other, more easily modifiable factors — such as memory consolidation, hormonal regulation, and emotional regulation or processing — that can interfere with reconsolidation and recovery processes.

1. Fatigue

“There are many conditions that cause fatigue, but it doesn’t necessarily make people feel ready to sleep,” says Jennifer Martin, MD, a professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, and president of the American Academy of Medicine.

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These include chronic pain conditions, metabolic or thyroid conditions, anemia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

If you’re feeling unexplained fatigue, “an important first step may be a regular physical with your doctor,” notes Martin.

Also, the US National Sleep Foundation says that healthy adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, so you may need more than eight hours of sleep to feel energized. You can try going to bed an hour earlier than usual or waking up an hour later to see if that makes a difference, suggests Christopher Barnes, a University of Washington management professor who studies the relationship between sleep and work.

2. Sedentary life

If you’re sedentary, your body can only get used to expending a limited amount of energy — so you may feel tired when you try to perform basic daily activities, Martin says.

The World Health Organization recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate to vigorous physical activity per week, while pregnant women should get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic and strengthening exercise per week.

3. Anxiety or depression

Dasgupta notes that being anxious or depressed can be completely passive. These conditions can negatively affect how long it takes to fall asleep, as well as (how often) you wake up throughout the night, he adds.

And sometimes drugs used to treat depression or anxiety can cause side effects such as insomnia or blockages in the deeper stages of sleep, warns Dasgupta.

4. Irregular sleep

Sometimes our hours vary on weekdays compared to weekends. Hours may also vary for those with shift jobs.

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“Okay, well, it’s Friday night, and I don’t have to work tomorrow morning, so I can get up a little later,” Barnes says. Since you don’t have to work on Sunday either, you can stay up late on Saturday night and then go to bed on Sunday before the work week.

But by this time you have already adjusted your sleep schedule by a few hours. “It’s very similar Travel fatigueBarnes says. “That quick reset doesn’t work very well.”

5. Dehydration

According to the Cleveland Clinic, more than 50% of your body is made up of water, which is needed for many functions, including digesting food, making hormones and neurotransmitters, and delivering oxygen throughout your body. Being dehydrated is linked to decreased alertness and increased sleepiness and fatigue.

The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume 2.7 liters of fluid and men 3.7 liters of fluid daily. This recommendation includes all liquids and water-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, and soups. Since the average fluid-to-food intake ratio is about 80:20, that’s 9 glasses daily for women and 12 glasses for men.

6. Poor sleep environment or routine

Good sleep hygiene includes keeping your bedroom dark, quiet, and cool at night, and using it only for sleep and sex.

Avoid caffeinated beverages six hours before bedtime; and limit alcohol and heavy or spicy foods at least two hours before bedtime. Alcohol can prevent deep sleep stages, and foods like these can cause digestive problems and interfere with restful sleep.

7. Partner’s sleep problems

“The person (or pet) you share the bed with has a big impact on your sleep,” says Martin.

Your bed partner may have a sleep disorder and snore or toss and turn a lot. Or you may have a different schedule that interferes with your sleep. Pets can disrupt your sleep schedule because they don’t have the same sleep patterns as humans.

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“The most important thing — if your bed buddy is snoring — is to get them to see a sleep specialist and get them evaluated for sleep apnea,” says Martin. Sleep apnea — a condition in which breathing stops and starts again while a person sleeps — is common among snorers, he adds.

8. Sleep disorders

In this regard, sleep disturbance is another factor that can dramatically reduce sleep quality, Barnes warns.

A person with sleep apnea may wake up 50, 100, or more times throughout the night.

“By the time you wake up, you’re no longer in deep sleep, and you usually don’t fall into deep sleep right away,” he says. “Releasing people from deep sleep by waking them up usually means they spend less time in the deep phase of sleep.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, other sleep disorders that affect daily energy levels include insomnia and restless legs syndrome.

The best way to monitor sleep quality and quantity—especially if you think you might be diagnosed with a sleep disorder—is to get a polysomnogram at a sleep clinic, says Barnes.

Apps and electronic wearables — like watches or rings — that measure sleep in clinical trials aren’t precise, but they provide enough information for healthy adults, he says. “I would like to know that this has been developed and validated against another, more accurate device.”

*Article originally published in August 2022

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