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Why do I Wake Up Tired

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Waking up feeling tired is a common issue that many of us face on a daily basis. However, the reasons behind this feeling are not always as obvious as not getting enough sleep or drinking too much.

Here’s our Top 6 of the not-so-common reasons for a rough morning:

Sleep Apnea

While sleep apnea is a very common sleep disorder, it may not be obvious that it often leaves a person feeling tired and fatigued upon waking.

Sleep apnea is characterized by repeated stops and starts in breathing during sleep. This can lead to decreased oxygen levels in the blood and the brain, causing a person to wake up frequently throughout the night. As a result, the person may feel excessively tired in the morning and throughout the day. This can have a significant impact on overall health and well-being.

Treating sleep apnea can greatly improve the quality of sleep and reduce feelings of exhaustion. Some solutions include using a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine, losing weight, avoiding alcohol and sleeping on your side. In some cases, oral appliances or surgery may also be recommended. If you suspect you may have sleep apnea, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.

A man with sleep apnea and a woman inconvenienced by it

Welltory app can help you track your sleep patterns and provide personalized recommendations for improving your sleep. By monitoring changes in your sleep and heart rate, the app can help you identify any potential sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea, and guide you towards solutions for better sleep.

Hormonal Imbalances

Hormonal imbalances can also contribute to feelings of fatigue upon waking. The hormones cortisol and melatonin play a major role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and energy levels. If cortisol levels are too high in the morning, it can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety, making it hard to fall back asleep. An imbalance in melatonin levels can result in difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep, leading to feelings of fatigue in the morning.

Hormonal imbalances may play a role in waking up tired if you experience some of these symptoms:

  • Chronic feelings of fatigue and exhaustion, even after a full night’s sleep.
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep throughout the night.
  • Feeling energized in the evenings but feeling exhausted in the mornings.
  • A sudden onset of fatigue without any changes in lifestyle or habits.
  • Mood swings, irritability, and anxiety.

It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by other factors, such as poor sleep habits, lack of physical activity, or stress. It’s always a good idea to consult with a doctor if you are experiencing persistent feelings of fatigue. They can help determine the root cause and provide appropriate treatment options.

Lack of physical activity

Leading a sedentary lifestyle, spending long hours sitting or lying down, actually has a negative impact on the quality of your sleep and results in feeling tired upon waking up. This is because physical activity stimulates the body and helps regulate the circadian rhythm, which is the internal biological clock that controls the sleep-wake cycle. By staying active during the day, you are helping to regulate your internal clock and promote better sleep at night.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that regular exercise leads to better sleep and can help treat insomnia. Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine can help improve your sleep and increase your energy levels. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day, such as brisk walking, cycling, or swimming. Additionally, engaging in regular physical activity can help reduce stress and anxiety levels, which can also impact your sleep.

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Medications can also play a role in waking up tired. Some medications have side effects that can cause fatigue, including drowsiness and lethargy. Some common examples of such medications include:

  • Antidepressants
  • Antihistamines
  • Blood pressure medications
  • Pain medications
  • Sleeping pills

If you suspect that your medications may be causing your fatigue, it’s important to speak with your doctor. They can help determine if the medications are the root cause and if alternative treatments or dosages may be more suitable.

Shift Work Sleep Disorder

Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) is a condition that affects people who work overnight or rotating shifts. According to the National Sleep Foundation, people with SWSD often feel sleepy or experience insomnia during the day, when they need to be awake and alert. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion and difficulty waking up in the morning.

To combat SWSD, it is recommended to follow a consistent sleep schedule, even on weekends. This can help regulate your internal circadian rhythm and improve sleep quality. Bright light exposure during the day and avoiding bright screens before bedtime can also be helpful.

Restless Leg Syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is a sleep disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs, often accompanied by an irresistible urge to move them. This can cause an uncomfortable feeling in the legs, especially when a person is lying down or trying to sleep.

To alleviate symptoms of RLS, individuals can practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, massage, or stretching before bed. Regular exercise and reducing caffeine and alcohol intake can also help to reduce symptoms. Additionally, medication and sleep aids may be prescribed by a doctor to help improve the quality of sleep.

It is important to consult with a doctor if a person suspects they may have RLS, as it can be easily confused with other sleep disorders. A doctor can perform a thorough evaluation and recommend the appropriate treatment plan.

Final Thoughts

There are many reasons why someone might wake up feeling tired. From poor sleep hygiene, to medical conditions like sleep apnea, to medications and hormonal imbalances, the causes are varied and often interrelated. To address these underlying causes and improve the quality of your sleep, it’s important to work with a healthcare professional and assess your individual needs.

By making changes to your sleep environment, tracking your symptoms and habits, and addressing any underlying medical conditions, you can take steps towards waking up feeling refreshed and revitalized. One tool that can be helpful in this process is Welltory, a digital health platform that provides personalized insights and recommendations to help you optimize your sleep and overall health. By working with Welltory, you can gain a deeper understanding of the factors affecting your sleep, and take action to improve your sleep quality and reduce fatigue.

Welltory Team, Feb 3. 2022