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Why Am I So Tired When I Wake Up? The Answer May Surprise You!

Posted on December 01 2022


  • Feeling tired in the morning is a normal part of waking up as your mind transitions from sleep to wakefulness. However, if fatigue and weakness follow you through your day, it’s best to explore the root cause. 
  • Common underlying issues that can make you feel tired after waking up and persist throughout your day include sleep inertia, sleep disorders, bright light exposure, and a poor bedroom environment, to name a few.
  • There are numerous ways to help get rid of grogginess in the morning, from proper hydration and observing good sleep hygiene to regular exercise and limiting caffeine consumption.
  • Incorporating meditation into your morning routine with the Mesmerize app can be a great way to help you wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Plus, a sleep app like Pzizz can help you overcome your sleep troubles through clinically-tested techniques designed to make you wake up feeling well-rested and ready for the day. 


Not everyone is a morning person; anyone who isn’t will know all too well the discomfort of waking up groggy in the morning, not wanting to get out of bed. While waking up exhausted can happen to even the most bright-eyed and bushy-tailed of us from time to time, for some people, it can become the norm, with the prospect of waking up refreshed and reenergized being a mere pipe dream. 

If your morning cup of coffee or shower isn’t doing the trick to shake off your tiredness and you still lack energy throughout the day, the underlying cause may be hiding in your daily habits or even an unknown health condition. Keep reading to learn the possible reasons you’re not feeling rested after sleep and, more importantly, useful tips on how to be less tired in the morning.

Common Causes For Waking Up Tired Every Day

If exhaustion and weakness follow you long after you’ve gotten out of bed, it’s best to explore what else may be happening. Here are some common underlying issues that can make you feel tired after waking up and persist throughout your day: 

  1. Sleep inertia

It’s normal to wake up feeling tired to some extent-your natural body clock releases cortisol and other hormones during light sleep to help prepare you to wake up, so naturally, it can take a little time for your brain to transition from sleep to wakefulness fully; a process known as sleep inertia. 

Research suggests sleep inertia can last anywhere from 15 minutes up to one hour, during which motor and cognitive skills are reduced considerably, making it difficult to be alert and focused [1]. However, alertness and energy levels should typically restore to normal pre-sleep levels after this period. Factors such as being woken up abruptly by an alarm or another disruption and a lack of sleep can increase the likelihood and intensity of sleep inertia. 

  1. Sleep disorders

People who often question, ‘Why do I still feel tired after sleeping?’ may want to consider whether an undiagnosed sleep disorder is a reason for waking up with no energy to get out of bed. Sleep conditions come in many forms, commonly including: 

Sleep movement disorders 

  • Restless leg syndrome involves an uncontrollable urge to move the legs due to a creeping or crawling sensation in the feet, calves and thighs. 
  • Periodic limb movement disorder is characterized by limbs that uncontrollably twitch, jerk, or flex during sleep. Such repetitive movements can occur every 15 to 45 seconds, lasting up to a whole hour. 
  • Bruxism is a condition whereby a person regularly clenches and grinds their teeth during sleep, resulting in symptoms such as headaches, tooth damage, and jaw disorders.

Sleep apnea

Sleep apnea can be a serious condition that causes your breathing to stop at various intervals throughout the night. Common symptoms of the condition include snoring, gasping for breath during sleep, and waking up with a dry mouth.


Insomnia is when you have trouble falling or staying asleep, and it can have many root causes, depending on the type you suffer from. It is the most common sleep condition in the U.S., affecting around 70 million Americans. Approximately 30% of this population suffer from primary insomnia, while 10% battle with secondary insomnia [2]. 

Primary insomnia is often short-term and can stem from stressful or traumatic events or changes to your sleep schedule. 

Secondary insomnia can be more severe, lasting for several weeks or months and is often linked to mental health issues, other sleep disorders, illnesses, and pain. 

People may experience irritability, anxiety, depression, and difficulty concentrating.

  1. Bright light exposure

In our tech-driven world, we’re more exposed to artificial lights than ever before, and while such exposure is harmless during the day, it’s not ideal after sunset. 

Many of us are guilty of checking social feeds while lying in bed or staying up late watching Netflix, but it’s wreaking total havoc on our internal body clocks. 

More specifically, the blue light emitted from phones, laptops, and television screens is the culprit preventing the body from producing melatonin. This hormone prepares us for sleep, causing us to feel tired in the morning. 

  1. Poor bedroom environment

Many elements can contribute to a poor bedroom environment. Most of them you’ll probably be totally unaware of. Yet, they can greatly impact the quality of your sleep. If where you sleep is too bright, too hot or cold, or too noisy, it could be stealing precious zzz’s that leave you running on empty the next day. 

Even if you think you’re perfectly fine sleeping with the television on, it could prevent you from drifting into a deep sleep. And while a cooler room is always better for achieving restful sleep, it all comes down to personal preference on what temperature feels comfortable. 

Additionally, an uncomfortable mattress or pillow can cause stiffness, soreness, aches, and pains, compromising your sleep quality. 

  1. Lifestyle and dietary habits


Caffeine is commonly found in teas, coffees, colas, chocolate, and energy drinks. The substance can also be found in certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. It can disrupt sleep because its naturally stimulating properties activate the central nervous system to promote alertness and increase energy levels, thereby preventing deep restorative sleep. 


Although alcohol has a sedative effect that makes you sleepy, it may actually stop you from getting a quality night’s sleep. Once the sedative effects of alcohol wear off, the number of times you wake up increases, thereby preventing the deep rest needed for restoration. The more you consume, the more disruptions you will experience throughout the night, increasing your likelihood of waking up tired. 

Too many fluids

Drinking too many fluids too close to bedtime will likely make you get up multiple times throughout the night to urinate, consequently affecting your energy levels the following day. Excessive urination at night is also a condition called nocturia and may be caused by an underlying health issue. 

Eating too late

Eating too close to bedtime can cause problematic symptoms like bloating, heartburn and indigestion that keep you up at night, especially if you’re eating a lot of rich, fatty, or spicy foods before going to sleep. The time your body should be spending in a restful state is spent on digesting food, consequently reducing the quality and quantity of your sleep.

Sedentary lifestyle

Sitting for long periods without any movement tends to be associated with an elevated risk of insomnia and sleep disturbances, according to a 2017 study published in the International Journal of Behavioural Medicine [3]. Not getting sufficient exercise every day can reduce your energy levels, making you persistently tired and sluggish, and completing simple daily tasks can become a struggle. 

Long or late daytime naps

While a short nap in the early afternoon can go a long way in helping you feel refreshed throughout the day, anything longer than 20-30 minutes can have the opposite effect, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep, especially if it was taken later on in the day. 

Inconsistent sleep schedule

Going to sleep and waking up at different times each night and morning can throw your circadian rhythm off balance. An inconsistent sleep schedule has been linked to higher incidences of cancer, depression, and heart problems, according to a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences [4]. Moreover, you may not get a solid eight hours of sleep if you choose to stay awake longer, particularly on weekends, or if your line of work involves changing shift patterns. 


Not drinking enough water to stay hydrated can cause fatigue and difficulty thinking clearly, even in mild cases, according to a 2013 study [5]. Such findings are no surprise given that our bodies are made up of around 50% water, and it is essential for countless bodily functions and processes.

Sleep partner problems

If the person you sleep next to tends to snore or excessively toss and turn throughout the night, or even if they have a different sleeping schedule, you may lose a significant amount of sleep each night. Sleeping next to pets can also impact sleep quality and duration since they have different sleeping patterns from humans. 

  1. Psychological and physical health conditions

Thyroid disease

An underactive thyroid (also known as hypothyroidism) is when the thyroid gland produces too few thyroid hormones. It can result in disrupting metabolic processes inside the body and cause excessive tiredness in the morning and throughout the day. Other symptoms include mood imbalances, weight gain, and joint and muscle pain.

Adrenal and chronic fatigue

Hormonal imbalances can cause your body to release excess stress-based hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol-which shift your body into ‘fight-or-flight’ mode. This imbalance can cause a state of hyper-alertness, making it more difficult for you to unwind and get to sleep at night, thereby leaving you feeling tired and weak in the morning.


Insufficient iron levels in your blood are a condition called anemia. This condition can leave you feeling constantly fatigued, regardless of getting eight or more hours of sleep each night. Other symptoms of anemia include cold hands and feet, shortness of breath, pale skin, and weakness.

Stress, depression, and anxiety

Mental health issues like stress, depression, and anxiety can seriously affect your energy levels and adversely impact your ability to fall asleep at night. Such chronic fatigue can have an impact on your capacity to function on a daily basis.


There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. They are characterized by high blood sugar levels, which can cause excessive tiredness and other impairments in bodily functions.

How To Get Rid Of Grogginess In The Morning


Introducing healthy habits to your morning can be an ideal way to help you feel refreshed and alert. One effective method is meditation, with as little as ten minutes of practice helping to release grogginess, promote a state of calmness, and set the right mood for your day. Breathing exercises can also stimulate the mind and body by raising oxygen levels and helping you feel more awake. 

Using the Mesmerize visual meditation app is an excellent way to achieve better alertness and concentration, lower stress, anxiety, and depression, and induce sleep. The app offers a wealth of guided meditations and visual breathing techniques based on scientifically-backed principles to encourage a restful night and energized day. 

Download Mesmerize on the App Store or Google Play today.

Using a sleeping app

The Pzizz app was developed using credible science-backed technology proven to treat insomnia and its various causes using the same techniques as those used in clinical sleep studies.

Sequences of sound, known as Dreamscapes, are specifically tailored to each stage of the sleep cycle using a combination of voiceovers, sleep-optimized music, and sound effects to induce deep relaxation.Focuscapes, on the other hand, are environments of sound that help you get in the zone and be productive.

With this unique combination of science, music, and technology, the Pzizz app has helped millions of people get the best night's sleep, allowing them to wake up feeling refreshed, focused, and ready to take on the day.

Download Pzizz from the App Store or Google Play today and start your journey towards more restful sleep and more energetic mornings.


After an entire night of sleep, the body can become dehydrated. Drinking a glass of warm or room-temperature water before your coffee first thing in the morning may be just what you need to feel alert and less groggy when waking up. Upping your daily water intake can also encourage a more wakeful state. The Institute of Medicine recommends women drink 2.7 liters of fluids daily and that men have 3.7 liters daily [6].

Sleep hygiene

The American Academy Of Sleep Medicine recommends that adults get at least seven hours of sleep each night. Yet, around one-third of Americans get less sleep than the recommended amount [7]. 

Good sleep hygiene practices consist of various elements to achieve a quality night’s rest, including:

  • Following a consistent sleep schedule where you’re going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day and getting between 7-9 hours of sleep on a regular basis. 
  • Avoid eating heavy foods and drinking fluids at least two hours before bed.
  • Keeping caffeine consumption to a minimum and avoiding it altogether at least 3-7 hours before bed. 
  • Avoid drinking alcohol in the evenings and limit daily consumption. 
  • Keeping your room cool and comfortable, between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit is an optimal temperature. Wear socks, use a hot water bottle, or choose warm sleepwear and bedding if you live in a colder climate.
  • Regulating bright light exposure by getting plenty of sunlight during the day and minimizing exposure to artificial and blue lights after sunset will keep your sleep-wake cycle in check. You can also use black-out blinds or curtains or go to sleep wearing a sleep mask to block out light.
  • Keeping your sleep environment as quiet as possible by eliminating disruptive background noise or using noise-blocking earplugs.
  • Get comfortable bedding, including a medium-firm mattress and supportive pillow, and use a hypoallergenic cover if you’re prone to dust and mite allergies. 
  • Only using your bedroom for sleep or intimate activities helps your mind make the association between the environment and rest, making it easier for you to fall asleep. All other activities should strictly be done outside of the bedroom.


The idea of exercising is enough to make you crawl back into bed when you’re feeling fatigued, but it may just be the trick to helping you feel energized. In fact, one 2006 study found overwhelming evidence that regular exercise can help increase energy levels and reduce fatigue [8]. At least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity is recommended each week. 

Timing caffeine consumption

While a morning cup of coffee can be an excellent way to shake off sleep inertia, consuming caffeinated products too late in the day could affect your sleep more than you realize. Timing is key in caffeine consumption; try to avoid it post-morning and limit your intake of coffee and other caffeinated beverages to 1-2 cups per day. 

Speak to your doctor

If you’re sticking to a regular sleep schedule and consistently meeting your sleep needs but continue to wake up feeling tired, it’s important to seek professional advice. A comprehensive medical check is the best way to determine the root cause of such issues. Accordingly, your doctor or healthcare professional can rule out or help you get appropriate treatment for any underlying health conditions responsible for your sleep issues and fatigue. 


Should you go back to bed if tired?

Waking up tired doesn’t necessarily mean you should go back to bed and sleep more, especially if you’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Experiencing a little tiredness upon waking is totally normal and should subside within 15 minutes to an hour. However, going through the rest of your day, still feeling tired may indicate a lack of quality sleep. Develop a consistent sleep and wake schedule rather than returning to sleep after waking up.

What is scientifically the best time to wake up?

The ideal time to wake up varies from person to person and depends on individual chronotypes. For instance, if you’re a night owl and consistently wake up at 6 am, you may feel tired and groggy even after a solid eight hours of sleep. This is because your brain still produces the sleep hormone melatonin when you wake up. It’s, therefore, important to understand your chronotype and arrange your sleep schedule in accordance with it. 

What stage of sleep is best to wake up?

The lightest stage of your sleep cycle is the best time to wake up to help you feel refreshed, energized and ready to take on the day. Waking up at this particular stage can ensure that your mind and body get the sleep they need to function optimally. Setting the alarm during deep sleep stages of your sleep cycle can lead to grogginess and fatigue.