Sometimes, a full night’s sleep isn’t enough to stop you feeling fatigued
It’s the most frustrating feeling in the world: making the effort to get a full night’s rest, only to wake up still feeling like you could hit the pillow and fall straight back to sleep. All of us would like to wake up every morning feeling rested and energised, and sometimes it feels like this is out of reach even when we’re meeting our recommended sleep quantity.
The National Sleep Foundation recommends getting between 7 and 9 hours sleep each night. So why is it that, even when you consistently achieve this amount of sleep, you still wake up feeling exhausted? We’re going to take a closer look at this issue below.
Why are you so tired?
Feeling energised throughout the day is all about finding a routine that works for you. If you’re consistently getting a good amount of sleep, but still going to bed at wildly different times every night, you’re still going to feel tired because your body can’t regulate its hormone releases against your erratic sleep schedule.
Ironically, part of the issue may be that you actually stay in bed too long. For many of us, the snooze button is far too tempting, and we end up pressing it anywhere between two and 10 times before actually getting out of bed. This is a bad idea. The average snooze button is around eight minutes, which doesn’t give your brain the time it needs to enjoy deeper, more refreshing sleep. So during the last 30 to 60 minutes of your time in bed you’re actually getting broken and fragmented sleep. It’s a far better idea to give yourself that extra half an hour of proper sleep, and get up as soon as your alarm goes off.
Diet can also wreak havoc on your sleep quality, with caffeine and alcohol being the two worst offenders. While alcohol may help you feel sleepy, it actually keeps you out of the deeper stages of sleep, which can leave you feeling tired in the morning even if you’ve been asleep for eight hours. Drinking caffeine into the evening can also have a similar impact, stimulating the brain and keeping it out of the deeper stages of sleep.
What can you do about it?
Making simple adjustments to your diet and lifestyle can improve your sleep quality in the long run. Find a schedule that works for you and stick to it, aiming to go to bed and wake up and around the same time every day. Stop drinking caffeine by 2pm and stop alcohol consumption at least three hours before bed. Two or three glasses of wine with dinner takes around three hours to leave your system.
Sometimes, your sleep environment can hinder your sleep, so make sure that all electronics are kept out of the bedroom and you aren’t scrolling through your phone just before bed. Invest in blackout blinds to keep the light out and a mattress that supports your body while providing maximum comfort. You should also keep your bedroom at a cool temperature.
In some cases, sleep problems can point to a wider sleep disorder, such as insomnia, narcolepsy or restless leg syndrome. If you think this might be the case, speak to a healthcare professional about your concerns.