Why do I wake up and feel so tired? How to wake up feeling refreshed? How to become a morning person?

Not everyone jumps out of bed with enthusiasm when it’s time to start the day. If you consistently struggle to get up, even after a good night’s sleep, it can affect your ability to fully enjoy life.

So, if you often wonder, “Why am I so tired in the morning?” it might be helpful to examine your daily and nightly habits that could be contributing to your grogginess.

In this discussion, we’ll explore reasons for morning fatigue and suggest ways to kickstart your day and maintain that energy, whether you’re a morning person or not.

Why do I wake up and feel so tired?

During the last hour of sleep, your body naturally releases hormones, including cortisol, to help you wake up. This leads to a natural awakening during a period of light sleep. However, if an alarm interrupts your sleep during a deeper phase, you might wake up feeling groggy.

Feeling tired upon waking is often due to sleep inertia, a normal sensation during the transition from sleep to wakefulness. This usually fades within 15 to 60 minutes, but for some, it can last longer. So, if you’re wondering why you’re still tired after a full night’s sleep, sleep inertia could be the reason.

Man trying to wake up in the morning after night out

While sleep inertia is a common experience, it can affect motor and cognitive skills, causing frustration, especially if alertness is required soon after waking. This can be problematic for tasks like driving or safety-critical activities.

For some, persistent fatigue may be linked to underlying medical or sleep conditions. Insomnia, characterized by difficulty falling or staying asleep, can be primary (not linked to a health problem) or secondary (linked to health conditions). Chronic insomnia, lasting at least three nights a week for three months, requires medical attention.

If you often ask, “Why am I so tired in the morning?” improving sleep hygiene and lifestyle habits can help ensure a fresher start to your day.

How to wake up feeling refreshed?

For a refreshing wake-up, it’s crucial to prioritize good sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night, but a third of Americans fall short.

Follow these sleep hygiene practices to create optimal conditions for a quality night’s rest:

  1. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule, going to bed and waking up at the same time daily.
  2. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable.
  3. Avoid consuming coffee, alcohol, or food too close to bedtime.
Smiling young woman in white top and cotton shirt stretching back in kitchen in the morning after getting up

Melatonin, a natural sleep aid, is released in your brain after dark. To support this process:

  1. Dim the lights in your home after dark.
  2. Keep your bedroom dark or use an eye mask while sleeping.
  3. Turn off electronic devices at least an hour before bedtime to avoid disrupting melatonin production.

Designate your bedroom as a sleep sanctuary:

  1. Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillow.
  2. Establish a relaxing bedtime routine to signal your mind that it’s time for rest.

Combat morning fatigue with a healthy breakfast containing proteins, whole grains, nuts, and low-sugar fruits. Consider a brief afternoon nap of 10 to 20 minutes to help maintain your alertness throughout the day.

How to become a morning person?

Even if you’re following all the sleep recommendations and enjoying a full night’s rest, waking up in the morning can still be a challenge. Let’s explore your morning routine to see if it can add some pep to your step.

Research suggests that your internal body clock, known as the circadian rhythm, may naturally lean toward being a night owl or a morning person. But regardless of your preference, establishing the right morning routine can make you feel more refreshed and alert.

A young tired man hitting alarm clock in bed at home, waking up in morning.

Similar to preparing for bedtime, you can adopt healthy habits in the morning to set yourself up physically and mentally for the day:

  1. Embrace bright light: Just as a dark environment helps prepare for sleep, studies show that exposure to bright light in the morning can boost alertness.
  2. Avoid snoozing: Resisting the temptation to hit the snooze button prevents an increase in blood pressure and heartbeat. Those extra 5-10 minutes aren’t enough for restorative sleep.
  3. Consider morning meditation: A regular 10-minute morning meditation can help shake off grogginess and set a positive tone for the day.

For those asking, “Why do I always wake up tired?” morning concerns may contribute to stress, impacting productivity. Meditation can be a powerful tool to manage stress by teaching you to observe thoughts rather than letting them control your actions.

With practice, you can shift from a “stress response” to a “relaxation response,” easing your day and improving sleep. Studies suggest that regular meditation can even reduce the size of the amygdala, enhancing stress management.

The Headspace app, offering various guided meditations, including the 30-day Sleep pack, specifically targets improving your relationship with sleep for a more restful night through positive actions during the day.

Tips for a better morning

Even with good habits, there are times when waking up can be challenging. Consider these tips to make waking up easier:

  1. Consistent Wake Time: Get up at the same time daily and resist hitting the snooze button.
  2. Face Washing: A refreshing face wash can help invigorate your senses.
  3. Morning Light Exposure: Use bright lights in the bedroom in the morning to signal wakefulness.
  4. Short Morning Walk: Take a brief walk to kickstart your body and mind.
  5. Hydration: Drink water to rehydrate your body after a night of sleep.

Final thought

For those frequently waking up tired without other symptoms, adopting good sleep hygiene habits and making lifestyle changes can make a difference.

However, if tiredness persists despite these efforts, consulting a doctor is essential. It could be indicative of an underlying health issue that requires proper attention. Individuals experiencing additional symptoms alongside morning fatigue should seek medical advice promptly.

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