How often do you feel tired after you wake up? Occasionally, some people feel slightly groggy in the morning. Some people are faced with this dilemma every single day if they work a regular job. You may ask yourself, “Why am I so tired in the morning?” Have you ever thought about that?
UPDATED: OCTOBER 15, 2022
Feeling tired: Every once in a while? Or more often than not?
It can happen every now and then when you’re not fully awake in the morning. However, a regular pattern of fatigue can present problems.
Such problems include difficulty sleeping, anxiety and depression, and being unable to make sound judgments. There are so many things that can go wrong.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of ways to understand how sleeping better is beneficial. As adults need a certain amount of sleep, it’s undoubtedly essential.
I will describe five reasons why we feel more tired than usual in this article. Afterward, I will discuss some best practices that lead to better sleep.
Approximately one hour before you wake up, your body releases hormones such as cortisol in preparation for waking. As a result, one naturally awakens, which is called sleep inertia. It refers to the feeling of being tired (more or less) once you wake up.
When you wake up after a light sleep, you feel refreshed and ready for the day. However, if you tend to wake up only through your alarm clock during deep sleep, you may feel groggy.
You can feel it when you’re experiencing a memorable dream. I’m sure most of us have experienced this feeling just before waking up, and it is very tiresome.
Feeling tired is natural when transitioning between sleep and waking up. On average, it lasts around 15-60 minutes, but it can last longer if your body experiences problems. Perhaps that’s why waking up in the morning feels so difficult.
Adverse effects of sleep inertia
If you feel more tired during your first hours awake, that may signify some problems. It can lead to adverse effects on how you navigate your day ahead; in other words, you end up making poor decisions.
Such adverse effects include:
- Driving to work (getting into a car accident when you’re more tired)
- Operating machines (depending on what job you do, you can make mistakes here; also, a decline in overall productivity)
- Falling asleep at a workstation (closing your eyes, nodding off while staring at a computer screen)
These things can take place as a result of a poor night’s sleep. For some people, it ends up being costly for making mistakes from feeling fatigued.
The blue light emitted from phones, laptops, and TVS can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin by up to three hours.Dr. Vishal Shah, Medical Director at Thriva
Drinking too much caffeine or not drinking not enough water
It’s true that caffeine can help you stay awake, but that only lasts several hours. Drinking it late in the day can result in staying up late at night as well.
Caffeine can last in your system for at least 6-7 hours. But in some cases, even 7-8 hours depending on if you drink more during the day.
On a typical day, I like to cut off caffeine no later than noon. After that, I’ll switch to water or decaf beverages (Check out the video below)
Feeling dehydrated can lead to fatigue, especially when your body needs water. It’s recommended that men drink on average 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) while women drink 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluid daily.
Lack of a balanced diet
It’s common to feel tired when you don’t have a proper diet. Especially if you don’t have breakfast in the morning, it can make some people less energetic and motivated to do things during the day.
Some people may experience common deficiencies such as a lack of iron or vitamin D. Moreover, some things to take on those deficiencies include:
- Eating iron-rich foods such as spinach and beans (personally, these are my favorites)
- Magnesium-rich foods such as green vegetables and nuts (in some cases, chocolate is good for you as well)
- Eating high-antioxidant foods (i.e., blueberries) helps improve your immune system and can help avoid feeling fatigued
Watching too much TV before lights out
Many people like to watch TV at nighttime. But doing it right before going to bed, it’s not quite the best thing to do.
Although it may be relaxing to do before sleeping, TV or any electronic stimulates the brain. It’s why it makes it so much harder to fall asleep at night.
It’s where the concept of blue light comes in. When staring at a computer screen (where blue light is emitted), it keeps us awake and can result in staying up later.
Dr. Vishal Shah, medical director at Thriva, says, “The blue light emitted from phones, laptops, and TVs can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin by up to three hours.” That quote alone gives why it’s even harder to go to bed at a reasonable time.
I’ll admit that I was guilty of doing that myself early on. Over time, it has gotten better, and I feel a bit more self-aware of it. Some helpful tips include the following:
- Limit TV/screen time to only 1 hour a night
- Please do not do it right before bedtime; give yourself some time to get ready for sleep
- Do other activities to help wind down and feel relieved, including:
- Light exercise
Sleeping too much
For some people, too much sleep results from sleeping later than their usual wake-up time. It leads to disrupting the body’s biological clock. (also known as the circadian pacemaker).
This concept explains why going to bed earlier or sleeping later can have a negative effect. Also, it’s why sleeping in on off days or weekends is not always the best idea.
It may not sound ideal, but going to bed simultaneously each night while waking up helps develop a healthy sleep schedule. Even on the weekends, it’s still a good idea to go to bed and wake up every single day.
Also, getting exposure to natural sunlight can help you feel more alert. Sun exposure helps so much, and it has many health benefits (e.g., higher vitamin D levels, reduced feelings of depression, etc.).
If you’re unable to get natural sunlight, a good alternative would be to use a sunlamp. Especially if you live in a climate where it’s cloudy most days, this option would be suitable in place of natural sunlight. During cloudy days in my town, I use a sunlamp.
Best Tips for Better Sleep
Exercising is vital for health and overall well-being. It helps boost energy levels and can help jumpstart your day.
When it comes to feeling refreshed in the morning, getting outdoors early for morning walks is a good idea. Or doing rigorous exercise sometimes after you wake up helps as well.
Set up your bedroom properly
This approach is one that some people don’t think about that much. Ensuring that the bedroom is comfortable and relaxed at night can help prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Especially during the summertime, it’s best to sleep in cooler temperatures when it’s warm and humid outside. The last thing you want is to wake up feeling hot or sweating in bed.
Also, keeping your bedroom dark (or pitch-black) helps prevent any light from coming in as well. Even having opaque window drapes to keep the room darker is a great idea.
Stick to a consistent bedtime schedule
Staying on a regular sleep schedule helps you stay refreshed while feeling less tired each day. As mentioned earlier, weekends should count as well.
Sleeping in on the weekends does not mean you’re catching up on sleep. If you do that, you’ll feel even more tired once Monday morning comes around the corner. It may not be easy, but it’s better for your health overall.
Get outdoors during the day
If possible, try to get outside and get some fresh air. Staying all the time indoors is not suitable for you either.
By going outdoors, it gives you a burst of energy. Especially getting out in the sunshine helps boost vitamin D levels (and is better for your immune system).
Do more (non-electronic-related) activities
As mentioned earlier, it’s best to spend less time using electronics right before bed. Spending time on electronics can keep you up at night and potentially feel tired the following day.
Other activities you can do include meditating, reading, or even taking a bubble bath. My personal preferences include meditation, deep breathing exercises (which help calm me down), and some reading.
Essentially, perform activities that will make you feel tired and relieve stress before turning off the lights at night.
Overall, feeling tired in the morning is a familiar feeling for all of us to have. But having it more often than not can be a problem.
Although this article may be related to health, it ties in with productivity as well. Without proper sleep, personal productivity may dive.
On the other hand, high-quality sleep can boost productivity. If you feel energetic and stay on top of things, it may result from a great night’s sleep.
So if sleeping an extra 60-90 minutes each night helps, maybe it will make a difference in making you more productive. You’ll also be able to take advantage of your time more effectively. It’s not a bad idea, and something to think about as well.
Your Turn: Do you find yourself tired more often than not?
I want to turn it over to you. Have you felt tired more often lately? Have you taken action on this issue? Do you use any of the tips mentioned above to create change for the better?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your feedback, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.