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How to Stop Waking Up Tired and Get Back on Track

Ana Marie Schick Feb 12, 2024

Why do I wake up feeling tired

Waking up feeling tired can be a frustrating and perplexing experience, and there's more to it than meets the eye. We'll delve into the various factors that could be behind those groggy mornings. From sleep-related disorders and environmental factors to lifestyle choices, we explore the reasons that might rob you of that refreshing wake-up feeling.

The common question is, why am I always tired? Well, It's time to solve why you may not be starting your day with the energy you deserve. Below, we'll explore some common reasons you might wake up tired and provide a few helpful solutions so you can wake up feeling more rested.

Below, we delve into why you might still feel tired even after clocking in 8 hours of sleep, uncovering common factors that can affect the quality of your rest. Understanding these elements is key to addressing the perplexing question: "Why am I still tired after a full night's sleep?"

We'll not only explore these reasons but also offer practical solutions to enhance the quality of your sleep. This way, you can wake up feeling truly refreshed and energized, ready to tackle the day ahead.

Why is Sleep is So Important?

Sleep plays a fundamental role in maintaining our health and overall wellbeing. It profoundly impacts virtually every tissue and system within the body, including critical areas such as the brain, heart, and lungs. Additionally, sleep significantly influences our metabolism, immune system functionality, and emotional state.

Recognizing the critical importance of sleep is an important first step in adopting healthier lifestyle habits. Here, we outline three key reasons why prioritizing adequate rest is vital for everyone, underscoring its significance in our daily lives.

  • Sleep helps in restoring and recovering the body.
  • The quality of sleep has a direct impact on one's physical health.
  • Getting sufficient and proper sleep can significantly enhance mental health and clarity.

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Feeling Tired Caused by Sleep Disorders

We all know that feeling of waking up in the morning only to feel just as tired as we were when we went to bed the night before. It's a frustrating experience that can make us feel like we're not getting enough rest, even if we've slept for a full eight hours.

Several common sleep disorders can cause us to wake up feeling tired, no matter how much sleep we get. From sleep apnea to insomnia, these conditions can seriously impact our sleep and health. Continue reading to understand how the following sleep disorders can disrupt your sleep, making you wake up tired.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that can cause fatigue during the day, even after a full night's sleep. This condition occurs when your airway becomes blocked, causing you to stop breathing briefly while still sleeping. Some common symptoms of sleep apnea include

  • Loud snoring
  • Gasping or choking during sleep
  • Waking up feeling tired
  • Headaches in the morning

Sleep Statistic: Roughly 39 million U.S. adults have obstructive sleep apnea. [1]


Insomnia can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep. If you have insomnia, you may wake up tired, even after a full, uninterrupted night. Common causes of insomnia include the following:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Poor sleep habits

To help improve your sleep if you have insomnia, look into creating a regular bedtime routine, avoiding caffeine and drinking alcohol close to bedtime, creating a dark and cool sleep environment, and bedtime meditation.

Read More: Understanding Circadian Rhythm and Sleep


Bruxism is a sleep disorder that is characterized by the involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth during sleep. This can lead to various issues, including dental problems such as tooth sensitivity, worn enamel, and even tooth loss.

Additionally, it can cause jaw pain, headaches, and disrupted sleep patterns, which can result in daytime fatigue and irritability.

Several factors can contribute to bruxism, including stress, anxiety, an abnormal bite, and sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. In some cases, it can also be a side effect of certain medications or substances, such as caffeine or alcohol.

Statistic: Around 5% of the population regularly grind their teeth, often during sleep or while awake. [2]

Restless Leg Syndrome

RLS is a condition that can create discomfort and an urge to move your legs, especially at night. It can make it challenging to fall asleep and often result in fatigue during the day. Not sure if you have RSL? Below are a few common symptoms, including:

  • Uncomfortable sensations in the legs
  • An urge to move the legs
  • Difficulty sleeping

Read More: How to Fall Asleep Fast: 10 Proven Strategies

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic fatigue syndrome, also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, is a complex and often misunderstood medical condition characterized by persistent and unexplained fatigue that is not relieved by rest or good-quality sleep.

The fatigue experienced by individuals with chronic fatigue syndrome is often accompanied by other symptoms, including pain, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and insomnia. People with CFS may wake up feeling sleepy and exhausted.

Other Causes of Morning Fatigue

While sleep disorders are a common cause of tiredness upon waking up, other reasons can also contribute to this feeling.

Anxiety and Depression

Experiencing anxiety and depression can significantly impact our sleep patterns, resulting in waking up tired. Anxiety and depression can cause our bodies to produce more cortisol. This hormone is associated with increased alertness and wakefulness which can make it more challenging to relax and fall asleep, and ultimately wake up feeling tired.

Sleep Inertia

Sleep inertia is the feeling of grogginess and disorientation that you may experience when you first wake up. It is sluggish when your mind and body are still transitioning from sleep to wakefulness.

During sleep, your body goes through different stages, and abruptly waking up during a deep sleep phase can intensify sleep inertia. Your brain needs time to shake off the drowsiness and fully wake up.

Symptoms of sleep inertia include mood disturbances, impaired cognitive function, and disorientation.

Various factors can influence the severity of sleep inertia, such as the time of day, the quality of your sleep, and how abruptly you wake up. If you feel a bit fuzzy-headed right after waking up, you can attribute it to sleep inertia.

What You Can Do

Sleep inertia is a normal aspect of the waking-up process, but there are strategies to minimize its impact. A consistent and full night's sleep can reduce sleep inertia. Additionally, brief daytime naps, ideally less than 30 minutes, can help manage this groggy feeling upon waking.

Another effective method is to get outside and get sunshine on your face, signaling to the brain that it’s time to wake up, reinforcing your circadian rhythm, or your sleep-wake cycle.

Poor Sleep Quality

Poor sleep quality is one of the most common reasons people wake up exhausted. Even if you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Some factors that can contribute to poor sleep quality include:

  • Noise
  • Light
  • Temperature
  • Uncomfortable mattress or pillow

Read More: What is Good Sleep Hygiene and Why It’s Important


Blue Light Exposure

Blue light is a type of artificial lighting that emits blue wavelengths. It is not necessarily harmful as it can boost alertness and mood during the day. However, it is not desirable when you are trying to sleep.

Energy-efficient lighting and electronic screens have increased our exposure to blue light, particularly after sunset. Compared to other types of light, blue light has a greater impact on melatonin secretion, a hormone that helps regulate our sleep-wake cycle.

This can make achieving high-quality sleep difficult, leaving you tired and lethargic the following day.

What You Can Do

To mitigate the influence of blue light on your sleep, consider implementing the following practices.

Refrain from engaging in screen time within two to three hours leading up to bedtime. If you find it necessary to use electronic devices at night, either wear blue-blocking glasses or utilize an app that filters out blue light to minimize its disruptive effects on your sleep patterns.

Bedroom Temperature

It can be difficult to sleep when you're too hot or too cold. Although personal preference is important, a cooler room is generally better for sleeping comfortably. [3]

If you're still having trouble sleeping, wearing socks to warm your feet can help to dilate blood vessels and regulate your internal temperature.

A sleep study foundsleep study found that adults who wore either unheated or heated socks to bed were able to fall asleep faster. [4]

What You Can Do

Consider implementing the following tips to foster the ideal conditions for quality sleep. Maintain your bedroom temperature within the range of 60°F to 67°F (16°C to 19°C) to create a comfortable sleep environment.

Sleep cooler with one of our award-winning cooling sleep systems.

Select sleepwear and bedding suitable for your area's prevailing climate, ensuring you stay cozy without overheating. By optimizing these factors, you can contribute to a conducive and restful atmosphere that promotes a good night's sleep.

Loud Noises at Night

Even if you're someone who can sleep with the TV on, noise can still affect the quality of your sleep. Reducing background noise can help you get more deep sleep per night and reduce the number of times you wake up during the night.

What You Can Do

It can be difficult to remove loud noises, but there are solutions that can help. You can sleep with earplugs, use a white noise machine, and keep your bedroom windows and doors closed.

Staying in the Bed Too Long

When we are tired in the morning, sometimes we hit the snooze button multiple times before getting out of bed. However, this habit can actually leave you feeling more tired than if you had gotten up when your alarm first went off.

Here's why: When you hit the snooze button, the alarm is typically set to go off again after 7-9 minutes. This seems like a short amount of time, but it's enough time for your brain to begin to drift back into a light stage of sleep. When the alarm goes off again, it interrupts this sleep cycle and jolts you awake, which can cause you to feel groggy and disoriented.

Even if you do manage to fall back asleep during those few minutes between snoozes, you're unlikely to get any significant restorative sleep during that time.

In fact, during the last 30-60 minutes of your sleep cycle, you're typically in a deep, restorative stage of sleep that is essential for feeling rested and alert throughout the day. When you repeatedly interrupt this stage of sleep with snoozes, you end up with fragmented, broken sleep that can leave you feeling even more tired and groggy than if you had just gotten up when your alarm first went off.

Final Thought

If you find yourself always waking up tired, there are a few adjustments you can make to your sleeping habits that may help. It's also a good idea to reduce your intake of caffeine or alcohol, as these can affect the quality of your sleep.

However, if your fatigue persists despite making these changes, it's important to consult with your doctor or sleep specialist to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

Citations / Resources

[1] “Sleep Apnea Statistics and Facts |” National Council on Aging. View Resource

[2] Murali RV, Rangarajan P, Mounissamy A. Bruxism: Conceptual discussion and review. J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 2015 Apr;7(Suppl 1):S265-70. doi: 10.4103/0975-7406.155948. PMID: 26015729; PMCID: PMC4439689.

[3] “The Best Temperature for Sleep.” Cleveland Clinic, 8 Nov. 2018. View Resource

[4] Raymann, Roy J.E.M., et al. “Skin Temperature and Sleep-Onset Latency: Changes with Age and Insomnia.” Physiology & Behavior, vol. 90, no. 2-3, Feb. 2007, pp. 257–266, View Study