Never Fully Rested: Why You Still Feel Tired After 8 Hours Of Sleep
Getting enough sleep is often a challenge – yet sometimes, even when we do clock in those eight recommended hours of rest, we still wake up tired, fatigued, and feeling anything but energized.
In fact, just one proper night of sleep will not make up for a series of bad nights, and it takes a lot more to get your sleeping rhythm back in order. Plus, you may be facing other underlying reasons for your tiredness, which are messing with your rest.
Let’s explore some of them.
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You are not going to bed at the right time
We all have our own sleeping patterns and rhythms – and we all need different amounts of sleep to restfully. Some people operate better in the morning and have no problem waking up at the crack of dawn, while others prefer to go to bed late and are productive in the evening. In order for your body to hit all the necessary stages of sleep (from light to deep sleep), you will need to figure out when you sleep best. If you are a night owl, don’t try to force yourself to get up early and vice versa, but rather try to shift your schedule so that it matches your sleeping habits.
You snooze your alarm too much
When the alarm goes off in the morning, the easiest thing to do is hit snooze and get a bit more sleep. However, snoozing the alarm is actually really bad for us, as we drift off to some very shallow sleep in the five to ten minutes between alarms, making it much harder for our brains to wake up again. The more we snooze, the more difficult it becomes, as we wake up and fall back asleep multiple times.
The best thing to do when the alarm goes off is just to stay awake. You don’t need to jump right out of bed, but don’t let yourself go back to sleep either. It will be much easier on you in 10-15 minutes, than if you were to snooze for the same amount of time.
You ate or drank something that did not sit well
Having a heavy meal or drinking a lot of caffeinated beverages before going to sleep will usually cause a restless night. If you have the habit of eating a large meal an hour or two before going to bed, chances are you won’t be getting the quality sleep you need. You may feel like you are sleeping, but your body will be busy digesting the meal instead of repairing and recuperating.
The best way to remedy this is to either eat a light meal before bed or to eat several hours beforehand. This way, you’ll enable your body to process the meal, giving it time to get ready for going to sleep.
You exercise right before bedtime
Working out is always a good idea, but try not to do it before bedtime. As you work out, your adrenaline levels will rise, and this will keep your body and mind awake for a while, so you just won’t be able to drift right off to sleep. If you don’t have any other time during the day to work out, try to do something gentle, like a bedtime yoga session, as opposed to some heavy HIIT or weight lifting.
You engage in screen time before going to sleep
Getting away from a screen has never been as difficult as it is today. We’re so used to our phones and other gadgets that we don’t even think about the fact that they may be ruining our sleep. The blue light emitted from your phone, tablet, computer, and TV suppresses the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates your sleep cycles. That’s why it’s increasingly harder to get to sleep after having spent even thirty minutes in front of a screen.
Make sure you put the phone down at least an hour before bedtime and swap your screen for a book, journaling, or meditation. Work on your evening routine – take a relaxing shower, do a skincare ritual, or whatever you enjoy that will soothe your mind and prepare it for sleep.
You may be suffering from a sleep disorder
Of course, there is also the chance that you may be suffering from some kind of sleep disorder. Sleep apnea is the most common one, but you might be a snorer and not be aware of it, or you might have restless leg syndrome. The best course of action you can take is to visit your GP and talk to them about your disrupted sleep. They’ll ask you some questions about your habits and check your general health as the first step in examining what is causing your tiredness and how best to fix it.
If you’re waking up after eight hours of sleep feeling tired and sluggish, make sure to address the issue head-on as soon as possible. Poor sleep is not only irritating and annoying, but it can also cause all sorts of further complications. The sooner you tackle the issue, the better.
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