A good night’s sleep is supposed to leave you feeling rejuvenated, refreshed, and wide awake. But what if it doesn’t? If you’ve gotten the recommended amount of sleep, it’s extra frustrating to start to feel worn down and exhausted a few hours into the day. Unfortunately, it happens all too often, and the cause isn’t always easy to pinpoint. The reasons you might be tired, even after sleeping well can vary from easily preventable to something more serious that will require some doctor visits.
Typically, experts say that adults need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to get energy and stay healthy — but it is possible to get that amount of sleep every single night and still feel sleepy the next day. Feeling exhausted for seemingly no reason can often point to a whole bunch of other health issues, whether it’s something mental or physical. There might also be something you’re doing before bed that isn’t letting you sleep as well as you thought — you might think you just had some great shut-eye, but you may not have been as deeply asleep as it seemed. So, what could be behind all of this? Here are a few reasons you’re tired even after sleeping well:
A lot of people associate physical activity with exhaustion, but that’s not always the case. While an intense sweat session at the gym can help you sleep better, it’s not going to drain you of energy completely. In fact, not incorporating any physical activity in your day will make you even more tired. According to Science Alert, “doing light exercise just a few times a week can leave you more energized.” Regular movement helps your body work better overall, and over time, it will help you feel more awake.
2. You’re Dehydrated
Being dehydrated can do more than just make you feel light-headed and dizzy — it can also make you feel really, really tired. Being dehydrated messes with your blood volume, which can make your heart less efficient, leading to exhaustion all the time.
3. You’re Depressed
One of the most common symptoms of depression is exhaustion. This mental disorder can leave you feeling tired all the time, no matter how much sleep you get — people often don’t realize they’re depressed until they realize how sleepy they are. Healthline says, “People with depression often feel very tired and aren’t interested in doing any activity, regardless of the task or the required amount of effort. Pay attention to how you’re feeling, and if you think depression could be the reason, consider seeing a therapist.
4. You Had A Glass Of Wine
How often have you poured yourself a glass of wine at night to relax, unwind, and help yourself fall asleep? Probably a lot! While wine will make you feel sleepy, it doesn’t work in the end. Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine, P.C., in New York City says, “It ultimately sabotages sleep maintenance.”
5. You’re Drinking Too Much Coffee
If you’re drinking coffee as much as six hours before your bedtime, that’s affecting your sleep — even if you don’t realize it. Coffee is meant to keep us awake and energized, but too much of it too late in the day will backfire. Science Alert says, “It will mess with your adenosine production, making it harder to go to sleep. Besides, studies have shown that caffeine actually messes with our circadian rhythms.”
6. You Spend Too Much Time On Your Phone
You’ve likely heard this warning before, but it’s worth repeating: stay off your phone before bed! In fact, stay away from all electronics, including your television. Blue screens like the ones on smartphones can trigger a “wake-up” hormone even when you’re about to sleep for the night. Again, you might not realize it’s messing with your rest, but it could be keeping you from getting a deep enough sleep and leave you tired the next day.
7. You Didn’t Eat Breakfast
Yes, you’ve also heard this one many times before — but really, eat your breakfast! According to Health.com, “The food you eat fuels your body, and when you sleep, your body continues using what you consumed at dinner the night before to keep your blood pumping and oxygen flowing. So, when you wake up in the morning, you need to refuel with breakfast. Skip it, and you’ll feel sluggish.”
8. You Have Some Sort Of Deficiency
Maybe you aren’t eating enough iron — an iron deficiency can make you feel tired and weak all the time. You might also be low on vitamin B, which converts food into energy. Without it, you could feel extra sleepy. You might have a magnesium deficiency, which can mess with your blood glucose levels and leave you feeling lethargic.
9. You Have Anxiety
Depression isn’t the only mental disorder that can mess with your sleepiness — so can anxiety. Stress and anxiety can go hand in hand in ensuring you’ll feel less energetic and more lethargic, no matter how much sleep you get. It can make sleep more restless, causing you to wake up more and not fall into the deep sleep you need, and it can just leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Talk to a therapist if you think you need help managing anxiety.
10. Something More Serious Is Happening With Your Health
Sometimes, the issue of being tired could be a sign of something more serious, like diabetes, a thyroid disorder, or anemia. Anemia can also make you feel weak and short of breath, and is typically caused by an iron deficiency, blood loss, or even something like cancer or kidney failure. Meanwhile, one major sign of both thyroid disease and diabetes is exhaustion. If your exhaustion goes on for more than a week, see your doctor.
11. You Have A Sleep Disorder
Of course, the issue could also be with the way you’re sleeping. Michael Decker, Ph.D, a sleep specialist and associate professor at Case Western School of Nursing, says sleep inertia may be to blame. If you’re trying all sorts of tips to feel less tired, and none of them are working, it’s worth getting checked out for a sleep disorder.