8 reasons why you wake up tired, and how to fix it

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8 reasons why you wake up tired, and how to fix it


Waking up tired should not be ignored as sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain and numerous health issues.

When you observe that this becomes a norm for you then it is essential to find out what are the possible causes behind it and why is this happening?

When this happens what you can possibly do to avert it or reverse the condition so you can have a good sleep. Here are 8 reasons why you wake up tired and how to fix it.

1.           Sleep inertia

This is with reference to the impairments in the sensory-motor and cognitive functions that are functional the moment you wake up.

Although, research is ongoing to find the cause behind sleep inertia but some reports suggest that the prefrontal cortex takes time to fully become awake and active after waking up.

This part is responsible for self-control and decision-making process. It might be one of the reasons.

 Sleep inertia occurs at a time of waking up suddenly and it leads to a lot of mental confusion, some of these are as follows:

  • Disorientation
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Poor ability to make decisions
  • Motor tasks become difficult to perform

2.           Poor Sleep practices

Healthy sleep practices are essential for a restful sleep. Poor sleep practices contribute to poor quality sleep.

Following are some of the pointers that will help you understand poor sleep practices:

  • Irregular bedtime routine with inconsistent sleep and wake times
  • Daytime naps that exceed the needed limit
  • Staying online on your mobile device or laptop while on bed
  • Sleep environment or temperature not suitable for restful sleep either too hot or too bright or too loud or uncomfortable surroundings or temperature that is not suitable for your body to rest
  • Uncomfortable pillow or mattress and bed clothing

3.  Lifestyle

Sleep is impacted by your lifestyle and eating habits too. If you are doing the following then it leads to poor night sleep and disturbed sleep patterns:

  • Not getting right amount of exercise that would be either less or too much especially close to bedtime. If you are in the habit of workout prior to bedtime then this would only keep you alert and awake for long hours.
  • Nocturia or frequent urination throughout night time, while for some it is due to consuming lots of liquids prior to bed time or close to it for others it may be an underlying health condition.
  • Even your diet can disrupt your sleep patterns, when you indulge in spicy and fatty food prior to bedtime then it leads to digestive issues. Needless to say people suffering from acidity and gastrointestinal problems are hardly able to sleep well.
  • Consuming caffeine prior to bed time stimulates the central nervous system and results in alertness that delays the sleep. This also includes consuming chocolates close to bedtime.
  • While some like to have a drink or two prior to bedtime as a sedative but in fact it results in sleep apnea and is responsible for poor sleep quality.

4.           Sleep disorders

Even after following good sleep practices if you are still suffering with poor sleep and wake up tired then it is indicative of sleep disorder.

Following are some of the sleep disorders that are responsible for poor sleep:

  • Sleep apnea- The person sleeping experiences periodic breathing pauses and they wake up frequently, they might be snoring, gasping for air, waking up with dry mouth, headaches in morning and tired even after sleeping all night.
  • Insomnia- A sleep disorder where the individual finds it difficult to sleep and lies awake for long tossing-turning in their bed. They may experience symptoms like: frequently waking up, difficulty going back to sleep, waking up very early, feeling tired on waking up, bad mood and low energy levels.

5.           Restless legs syndrome

Although, this may seem like something that can be neglected, but in fact some people constantly suffer from this disorder.

People suffering from it experience an urge to move their legs and it is uncontrollable, they may experience crawling or buzzing in their feet or thighs or calves.

6.           Periodic limb movements disorder

Or PLMD is a disorder wherein the person keep moving their legs involuntarily during their sleep. The disorder affects the lower limbs, jerking and twitching of muscles causes it. Repetitive movements after every 15-40 seconds disrupts the sound sleep.

7.           Bruxism

  • Grinding or clenching of teeth during sleep is termed as Bruxism. When one experiences bruxism then the following symptoms occur:
  • Headaches with tooth aches
  • Tooth damage and jaw disorders
  • Ear aches for no reason at all
  • Sleep disturbances

8.           Other medical conditions

There are numerous other health conditions that one may be suffering with contributing to poor sleep and sleep disturbances, some of these are as follows:

  • Anemia- Deficiency of iron in the body, person suffering from it experience feeling tired and low in energy throughout the day. The symptoms may include feeling dizzy, chest pain, pale skin, shortness of breath and cold hands/ feet and body weakness.
  • Anxiety- Anyone suffering from this psychological disorder knows the struggle of not being able to go to sleep and experience fatigue during the day time. They may experience symptoms like: increased heart rate, sweating/ trembling, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing properly, congestion in chest, gastrointestinal problems, nervousness, and feeling scared for no apparent reason or danger and difficulty in focus.
  • Chronic fatigue- or CFS chronic fatigue syndrome experienced by a person who feels extremely tired and is not able to sleep. This would not improve even with sleeping right. Symptoms of this disorder include: headache, lack of focus, dizziness, loss of memory, muscular pain or pain in joints and not able to perform routine activities.
  • Depression- The worst mood disorder wherein the person is not able to sleep a wink at night and loses interest in every activity that used to give joy. Depression leads to lack of sleep, fatigue, low energy levels and mental tiredness along with suicidal thoughts, fear, weight gain, body aches, and loss of appetite or change in it, anxiety, frustration / hopelessness, overthinking, lack of concentration, and much more.

Fixing sleep related troubles

There are medical treatments available to tackle sleep disruptions and only after proper diagnosis can one achieve a restful sleep, but you can definitely begin by incorporating some healthy sleeping habits as follows:

  • Limit your daytime naps that should not be more than 15 minutes per day and should not be taken after 2 p.m.
  • Establish a good bedtime routine and follow it that should include relaxing your body by stretching exercises, taking chamomile tea or jasmine herbal tea that helps in inducing good sleep, a warm cup of milk too helps in inducing a restful sleep.
  • Create a sleep appropriate environment like a dark, cool place with comfortable pillow / mattress.
  • Listening to white noise music while on your bed helps relax your mind instantly.
  • Refraining or restricting the use of electronic gadgets and mobile devices at night time.
  • Limiting caffeine intake close to bed time, refrain from taking fluids 2 hours prior to bed time. So does avoiding alcohol late evenings.
  • Avoid taking heavy meals or spiced up meals for dinner.
  • Addressing underlying health issues and taking proper medication for it.

In conclusion to it, sleep disturbance may seem a common phenomenon but it is sure not to be neglected as prolonged disturbance in sleep leads to major health issues.

Addressing your sleep disturbance and seeking medical help is essential when you are not able to relax despite common measures taken for restful sleep.