Why Do I Wake up Tired? 7 Sleep Sins You May Be Committing
Nearly 5 percent of U.S. adults report nodding off or falling asleep at the wheel. Drowsy driving is one of the more dangerous side-effects of not getting enough sleep but it’s far from the only one.
Lack of energy, poor performance at work, difficulty focusing, and higher levels of stress are all connected to a lack of sleep. But what can you do if you’re wondering, “Why do I wake up tired?”
Let’s look at 7 sleep sins that lead to poor sleep – and what you can do about them.
- Using Screens Before Bed
If you watch TV or use your smartphone or tablet at night, especially when you’re lying in bed, it disrupts your sleep patterns.
Our brains associate light with being awake and they can’t tell the difference between natural light and the light coming off of a screen. The light disrupts your body’s melatonin production, which affects your sleep.
Solution: Turn off all screens at least an hour before going to bed.
- Inconsistent Sleep Patterns
The human body works best when it can adjust to repetitive patterns. If you go to bed and get up at the same time every day, your body gets used to that pattern.
If you go to bed and wake up early all week and turn into a night owl on the weekends, you won’t feel as rested even if the number of sleeping hours doesn’t change.
Solution: Go to bed and wake up at a consistent time, no matter what’s on the agenda for the day.
- Too Much Caffeine or Other Stimulants
Caffeine and other stimulants make it hard for our bodies and minds to relax. If you eat or drink these things too soon before going to bed, you won’t be able to get to sleep as easily.
And even if you do get to sleep, it won’t be as deep of a sleep and you won’t feel entirely rested afterward.
Solution: Avoid eating or drinking caffeine and other stimulants for several hours before going to bed. Everybody has a different tolerance level so experiment with different cut-off times to see how it affects you.
- Too Much Light In Your Bedroom
This sleep sin is related to the first one about avoiding screens at night. But instead of the light coming off a screen, this is about the light in your bedroom.
The light coming in your window, coming off your clock, or coming from any other source will trigger your brain’s “wake up” response. Even if you don’t fully wake up, it can interrupt your sleep throughout the night.
Solution: Mute or turn off any lights in your bedroom and use blackout curtains to fully block any light coming in from outside your window.
- Drinking Alcohol Before Going to Bed
Alcohol is a sedative so it seems like it would help you sleep but that’s not the case. It might help you fall asleep faster but it stops your body from going into a deep sleep. You could sleep through the entire night and still wake up feeling tired.
If you suffer from sleep apnea, alcohol can make the problem worse. It relaxes the muscles in your throat, which can collapse your airway more than usual and lead to worse snoring and trigger an apnea attack.
Solution: Avoid drinking alcohol for several hours before going to bed.
- Hitting the Snooze Button
When you wake up feeling tired, it’s tempting to hit the snooze button and roll over for a few more minutes’ worth of sleep.
This isn’t a good solution though. In fact, it can make you feel worse than if you got up on the first alarm.
If you manage to go back to sleep for a few minutes, your body doesn’t have enough time to get into a deep, restful sleep. And the short amount of extra sleep time means very little compared to the full night anyway.
Hitting the snooze button can also lead to more stress because you often end up feeling bad about it or punishing yourself for not being more disciplined.
Solution: When your alarm goes off, get up immediately. Once you start doing this regularly, it gets easier until it becomes second nature.
- Laying in Bed When You Can’t Get to Sleep
If you’re having trouble getting to sleep, it seems reasonable that you should stay in bed until it happens. Even if you have the best mattress in the world, you’ll probably find yourself struggling to fall asleep occasionally.
Tossing and turning while trying to get to sleep will only make the problem worse. You end up stressing about not being able to get to sleep, which makes it even harder to do so.
Solution: When you’re having trouble getting to sleep, get out of bed and do something else. Read a book, meditate, or something else that doesn’t involve a screen. Go back to bed once you start feeling tired.
With These Tips, You Won’t Have to Wonder Why Do I Wake Up Tired
Getting proper sleep is no different than eating a healthy diet or getting enough exercise. You need to put some effort into making it happen but the results are more than worthwhile.
Stop wondering, “Why do I wake up tired?”, and start being intentional about getting enough quality sleep that it won’t happen anymore. You’ll feel better and it will help you get better results in lots of other areas of your life.
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