6 Reasons Why You're Waking Up Tired in the Morning

We've got tips on what you can do about it

Photography: Pixabay | Pexels

There are a few things that can probably get you as listless or cranky than waking up in the morning exhausted. Even if you got into bed early and managed to nab a good seven to eight hours of sleep, there are times when you get up the following day not feeling rested at all, and the negativity persists throughout the day.

If it’s been a while when you’ve last felt fully recharged first thing in the morning, then maybe it’s time to make several lifestyle changes. Here are a few reasons why you feel fatigued when you wake up and how you can deal with them.

1. You keep on hitting the snooze button.

If you think that catching a few more minutes of sleep can help you feel more rested, then you thought wrong. AsapScience explains that hitting the snooze button and letting your alarm go off again can wake you up in the middle of a new sleep cycle, which causes you to feel worse than when you first should have woken up.

Instead of delaying the inevitable, simply get enough hours of sleep and wake up the first time your alarm goes off. Or better yet, train yourself to sleep at the same time every night and give your body the right number of hours for it to fully rest, and you’ll naturally wake up easier in the morning.

2. You don’t know the right amount of sleep for you.

You’ve heard it before: eight hours of sleep is good for the body, but the reality is that this is just an average. The right number of hours of sleep can vary from person to person. Too much sleep can be as bad as getting too little sleep. Optimal sleep goes through several cycles (one complete sleep cycle takes around 90 minutes), from falling asleep, a shallow kind of sleep, to deep sleep, or rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.

We usually go through five complete sleep cycles to feel refreshed, so count back from the time you need to wake up, or you can go to a site that does it for you, such as SleepyTime. Remember, waking up in the middle of a sleep cycle does more harm than good because your natural rhythm is disrupted.


3. You fiddle with your phone in bed.

Sure, you may think that a little bit of bedtime Facebook isn’t so bad, but it is! A feature on Huffington Post notes that the artificial light coming from your phone or tablet can trick your brain into thinking that it’s still daytime, so it needs to keep awake. Our bodies associate light as the wake cycle, and darkness as a period for rest. This bad habit can disrupt your body’s circadian rhythm, or the natural sleep and wake system. 

Make sure all your screens are turned off before you hop into bed. If you’re trying to establish better sleeping habits, it might be a good idea to use eye masks to help your body realize that it’s time to sleep and recharge.

4. You drink late into the evening.

They say that a bottle or two can help you ease into dreamland quicker. While that is true, sleep researchers at the Papworth Hospital in Cambridgehave found that this unnatural drowsy trigger doesn't help you complete one sleep cycle. Drinking alcohol close to bedtime lets you slip into what is called deep sleep, where the body repairs itself. However, deep sleep is not the first stage of sleep.

As the alcohol wears off, the chances of you surfacing from deep sleep into normal sleep is greater. It is easier to wake from, which explains why you tend to wake up a few hours after you went to bed tipsy. If you can’t avoid a few bottles of beer, give your body time to process the alcohol out of your system before you jump into bed. It usually takes a couple of hours so keep that in mind the next time you go out for a night cap.


5. You snack or you eat the wrong kinds of food over dinner.

Having a heavy, unmonitored midnight snack won’t do you any good in the waistline and sleep departments. Caffeine-rich food tend to give you a temporary boost in awareness and energy, which can wreak havoc on your rest period. Moreover, cheese-laden munchies such as pizza can actually trigger nightmares, or even make your tummy feel acidic.

The best way to curb the late-night snack craving is to wean yourself from the bad habit. Drinking a glass of warm water slowly helps by curbing the feeling of an empty stomach, and also warms your tummy, making you feel more comfortable.

6. You have a psychological or physical condition.

If you have tried everything and still can’t seem to develop good sleeping habits, then maybe it’s time to see a doctor. Something as simple as snoring can be a symptom of sleep apnea. Insomnia is the most popular condition that hampers people from getting the right amount of rest, and can really affect your overall health. Emotional or mental problems like anxiety and depression, as well as more physical conditions like anemia or thyroid problems can all lead to lack of sleep.

Seeing a doctor won’t hurt, so if you think you have a condition or illness that might be the culprit for your sleepless nights, then better have that check-up. Getting enough sleep is crucial for your body to heal and repair itself, and should you have any condition, you'll need all the rest that you can get.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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