Picture this: it’s midday, and you’re at work. Struggling to stay awake, you try to casually peel your eyes open and force yourself to focus on the task at hand, but sleepiness prevails. In the end, you’ve had another semi-productive day. Once again, you are a victim to waking up tired. Sound familiar?
So, why is that? No matter what time you slip into bed, are you still waking up tired? If you’re here, chances are you’re searching for some answers.
We want to dissect this issue and address some factors that can contribute to sleepy days or restless nights. Furthermore, we want to talk about some steps you should take to avoid waking up tired.
How Many Hours of Sleep Should You be Getting a Night?
Yes, for years, researchers and doctors have proved eight hours to be the standard. Yet, no two bodies are designed exactly alike. We have to remember that the “eight hours of sleep” rule only acts as a guideline. You have to examine your own body’s clock and find what works best.
Over the next three days, try this little experiment to better understand your internal clock. Look at the time you typically wake up and then count back seven and a half hours. Mark that time as your bedtime. For example: If you wake up at 6:30 am, try winding down no later than 11 pm the night before. If you find yourself waking up about 10 minutes before your alarm goes off after trying this out for three days, you’ve found the sweet spot. If you’re still relying on your alarm, bump your bedtime back by about 15 more minutes until you can wake up independently.
If you’re not trained to wake up at a consistent time, your alarm could be disrupting your sleep cycle. On average, each person goes through about five 90-minute sleep cycles – both sleep (non-REM) and deep sleep (REM). A disrupted sleep cycle can result in grogginess, so it’s important to wake up in-between sleep cycles, rather than in the middle.
Once you find that sweet spot, stay consistent with your bedtime and wake-up time. The more consistent you are, the more alert you will be the next day.
In addition, oversleeping can be just as bad as undersleeping. If you’re consecutively getting little to no sleep, don’t think you can make up for the lost time by sleeping in an extra three hours on the weekend. In turn, this will actually make you drowsier.
Be Honest with Yourself: Are You Guilty of Poor Sleeping Habits?
If you’re shamefully (or shamelessly) owning up to practicing poor sleeping habits, then you’re well aware that your sluggishness or drowsiness is partly self-inflicted.
Electronics Before Bed
We admit this habit can be a hard one to crack. Why do we get this sudden urge to scroll on our devices right before falling asleep? Sometimes, it’s simply mindless. Unfortunately, social media and late-night browsing have proven to carry several negative effects, but did you know the artificial light from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop is actually detrimental to your sleep?
The bright light tricks your mind into thinking it’s daytime, which signals your body to stay awake because the light is associated with daytime. This deception can disrupt your circadian rhythm, leaving you to feel especially tired in the morning.
Could Caffeine be the Culprit?
This one seems obvious, right? DON’T drink caffeine right before bed! Sadly, many caffeine lovers crave that fix at the end of a long day. Caffeine increases alertness, so as you can imagine, it doesn’t make falling asleep an easy process. As a rule of thumb, consume caffeine at least three hours before bedtime. Or, skip the nighttime fix altogether and save your coffee for the morning!
How a Healthy Lifestyle Plays a Part
Do you know how diet and exercise affect your mood, skin, body composition, and pretty much everything else in your life? Yeah, well, it also affects your sleep. If you live off fatty and fried foods, you will get restless nights of sleep in return. Highly processed foods will lead to indigestion, gastrointestinal issues, and heartburn – all of which makes for a terrible night’s rest. It’s simple; you won’t receive good sleep quality if your stomach is constantly churning.
Exercise wise, you should be keeping active throughout the week. Aim to complete at least 40 minutes of physical activity a day, four days a week. This will increase energy levels, and release endorphins which will put you in a good, positive state of mind. Additionally, exercise naturally wears you out. By exercising, you’re likely to fall asleep (and stay asleep) faster that night.
By implementing a well-balanced diet and a steady exercise regimen, you’ll feel energized and ready to tackle each day. Say goodbye to waking up tired.
Anxiety and Depression can Prevent a Good Night’s Sleep
Having a restless night here and there isn’t abnormal. We’ve all been there. But, if you find yourself struggling to fall asleep night after night due to overthinking or stressing about what the next day holds, you may be subject to a medical condition like stress, anxiety, or depression.
Not only can these conditions make you feel sad or out of whack, but they also deplete your energy levels. If you’re suffering from any of the above, falling asleep won’t come easily. It is critical you search for ways to manage your stress, anxiety, or depression and do something about it. It’s advised to meet with a medical doctor and loved ones to get the care and comfort you need. Otherwise, you might continue waking up tired with no real solution.
Are you Aware of Your Sleeping Disorder?
If you aren’t suffering anxiety or depression, perhaps you have a sleeping disorder. We want to take a closer look at sleep apnea and Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), specifically.
Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder where a person starts and stops breathing throughout the night – it typically leads to snoring. As a result, you may feel tired and unable to concentrate during the next day.
RLS deals with the nervous system. If you suffer RLS, something in your body will give you the overwhelming urge to move your legs. It gets worse at night. So, if you’re constantly turning, tossing, and unable to stay still, you could have this disorder. The constant moving will lead to poor sleep quality.
To manage these sleep disorders, we suggest seeing a medical expert. If you want to do your part, you could adopt better sleeping habits (i.e. have a consistent bedtime, sleep the same amount of hours, don’t drink caffeine at night, exercise regularly, etc. – more of what we’ve already discussed). Ultimately, it’s tough to know whether you have a sleeping disorder or not. If you can’t find the source of your fatigue, consider seeing a doctor and you can discuss your symptoms furthermore.
Getting a Good Night’s Sleep Also Starts with The Right Mattress
When it comes down to it, the quality of your sleep heavily relies on the quality of your mattress. While most understand this, few do something about it. In fact, according to the National Sleep Foundation, over 90% of participants in a survey admitted to understanding that sleep quality depends on the mattress, yet most will blame the price tag of a new mattress and continue sleeping on their poor quality mattress.
Taking note of everything we’ve gone over should help you to pinpoint the root of your fatigue, but we urge you to take a look at your mattress. At Hero Bed, we offer mattresses made from a combination of “Hero Foam” and Latex to support sensitive areas and relieve pressure points, all while staying at an affordable price.
If you’re through with waking up tired, take a moment to assess your sleeping habits, lifestyle, medical conditions, and of course, your mattress. If you can change at least one thing in your routine, you’re bound to feel a little more energized and alert throughout your day. See ya later, tired self.