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Why Am I Still Tired After 8 Hours Of Sleep?

It is very important that your sleep lasts long enough, and eight hours is considered the ideal duration of a night’s sleep. But not only duration is crucial, quality sleep matters as well, because it can happen that you wake up tired even after 8 hours of sleep.

You have probably noticed when you read sleep-related articles it is constantly mentioned that an adult should sleep at least 6 hours every night, and it is best to sleep between 7 and 9 hours. This is certainly vital for your body, but it is also important how you feel when you wake up in the morning, regardless of how many hours you slept.

It happens to everyone occasionally to wake up drowsy even though you went to bed and got up on time. But if you often feel drowsy in the morning and sleep the recommended 8 hours, then there is definitely some underlying issue, and that issue may be something related to your lifestyle or some health problem.

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    Lifestyle problems

    There are so many habits that negatively affect the sleep quality so we should definitely start from there. If you find that you need to change a habit or more of them, it is certainly much simpler than if there is a medical condition that causes such state in the morning.

    Drinking alcohol prior to sleep

    When a person drinks one or more alcoholic beverages in the evening, it will have a sedative effect so it is very easy to fall asleep. While it is true that alcohol helps you fall asleep faster, your night’s sleep will be nowhere near as good as when you don’t drink a single drink. Alcohol causes something called fragmented sleep. You will wake up several times during the night, sometimes you will be aware of it, sometimes not, but it will definitely disrupt your sleep cycle and affect the deep sleep. The liver needs at least 3 to 4 hours to process a few drinks, so if you drink alcohol right before bed, fragmented sleep is very certain.

    A male's hand over the glass of alcohol.

    Drinking coffee in the evening/late afternoon

    While a coffee nap can recharge your batteries much faster than a classic nap, it is crucial that you do not ingest caffeine in the form of coffee or energy drinks for at least a few hours before bedtime. It is best to limit your daily caffeine intake to 3 or 4 PM, and to avoid caffeine completely after that. Everyone knows the properties of caffeine and that it keeps you awake, so there is no need to explain why it should be avoided. Remember that tea and chocolate, which is something we all like to consume in the evening, also contain caffeine and may cause poor sleep.

    An image of a young woman drinking her coffee.

    Presence of electrical devices in the bedroom

    Electrical devices have become an integral part of our lives. Can you remember the last time you left the apartment without a smartphone? Or when was the last time when you didn’t use tablets, laptops and other devices all day long? We guess you can’t remember a day like that. And while this is certainly inevitable because you can’t function without the use of various devices, you should limit the use of electrical devices in the bedroom, and it is best not to use them at all. 

    An image of laptop and smart phones on a desk.

    They all emit blue light which disrupts melatonin secretion and this has negative consequences on the sleep schedule. If you need the phone to wake you up in the morning, make sure it is not close to your body. It is recommended that you do not have a TV in the bedroom. It is best to read a book before going to bed if you can’t fall asleep right away.

    Heavy meals

    Food can make you sleep like a baby, and it can also keep you awake all night. It is up to you to choose those foods that will have a positive effect on your night’s sleep. Dinner should be balanced, for example, it can consist of low fat meat, some healthy fats like avocado and carbohydrates. The amount should be moderate, in accordance with daily needs. If you eat a large amount of fast food or some similar foods full of fats, salts and additives, you will probably have trouble falling asleep. 

    an image of a woman eating a heavy meal

    Since everyone makes such a mistake from time to time, you should sleep on the left side because it will help digestion. Warm milk right before bed can be good both because of the amino acid tryptophan and because it will be part of your bedtime routine.

    Late afternoon exercising

    Sometimes you feel sleepy after a workout and then the idea may arise that it is best to train in the evening to fall asleep quickly after a workout. While the myth is that you shouldn’t schedule your workout after 3 PM, similar to caffeine intake, it’s certainly not good to have a workout in the last hour or two before bed. 

    An image of a couple stretching and exercising in the morning.

    If you sometimes have to have a workout so late, then let the intensity be lower than usual. And it is recommended that you finish the workout 2 hours before bedtime, so that the body has time to calm down and get all the necessary nutrients. There are certain light exercises that you can do before bed for a better night’s sleep.

    Possible medical conditions for being tired after sleep

    If you are not doing anything wrong, and you are still tired after sleep, then it is time to visit the doctor. Many diseases and disorders are first manifested by feeling constant tiredness and unable to fall asleep. You should not be afraid because many such disorders are not life threatening, but you should definitely address this problem before it becomes chronic and has a far-reaching impact on your daily life.

    Sleep apnea

    Obstructive sleep apnea is one of the most serious sleep disorders and is manifested by long or short interruptions in breathing during sleep. One of the main symptoms is snoring, and as snoring is a common occurrence, then people do not pay enough attention to it, not knowing that they may be suffering from sleep apnea. The second most common symptom of sleep apnea is daytime tiredness, because the body cannot get enough rest during the night since it gets less oxygen than it needs and REM sleep is affected too.

    an image of a woman cannnot sleep due to man's snoring

    If sleep apnea is left untreated it can lead to many other diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, liver problems and many more. Excess weight, smoking, age and alcohol are some of the most common causes of sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is much more common than you think, roughly one in four men suffers from this disorder, including Shaquille O’Neal.

    Narcolepsy

    Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that ranges from very mild to very serious affecting sleep patterns. People who suffer from narcolepsy have a problem with the sleep-wake cycle and that has a huge impact on the daily schedule because daytime tiredness often occurs. Narcolepsy is more than just daytime tiredness because it can happen that a person suddenly falls asleep regardless of place and situation.

    An image of a business man had fallen asleep in the office due to narcolepsy condition.

    One of the accompanying symptoms can be a sudden loss of muscle tone, especially in those who have a more severe form. There is no cure, but lifestyle changes can help you to stay awake and live normal life.

    RLS

    Restless legs syndrome (RLS), also called Willis-Ekbom disease (WED), is another neurological disorder that can affect your life, including sleep, but is significantly less complicated and easier to treat than narcolepsy in most cases. Sometimes it is very challenging to start treating RLS, because a large number of underlying medical issues can cause RLS, and RLS can also occur on its own.

    An image of a woman suffering from Restless Legs Syndrome.

    After eliminating iron deficiency, uremia and many other health issues, it remains to change sleep habits and other habits such as consuming too much caffeine. There are various medications that can help too. To cope with RLS it is recommended to increase physical activity, and in the evening wear compressions socks after a warm bath.

    Insomnia

    You may think that you would certainly be aware that you are suffering from insomnia, but insomnia does not always have to be manifested by an inability to fall asleep. You may often wake up during the night or feel daytime fatigue, and these are also symptoms of insomnia.

    an image of a woman suffering from insomnia problems

    It is important to find the cause of insomnia, because there can be many, like stress or a recent childbirth. Once you determine the cause, it will be easier to treat insomnia. You can try various methods, such as massaging certain pressure points. If nothing else helps, consider going to a sleep clinic.

    3 easy everyday habits that will keep you rested after 8h of sleep

    Whether you found some underlying issue which causes problem or not while reading this article, there are things you should always do to have a good night’s sleep, and also to stay overall healthy. The most important things are to eat healthy, to have regular physical activity and to make the bedroom an ideal sleep environment. That you will achieve restorative sleep.

    Healthy diet

    Food is one of the most important parts of sleep hygiene. You have to pay attention to what you eat, but also when you eat. It is necessary to get enough macronutrients – proteins, fats and carbohydrates, and also micronutrients – minerals and vitamins. Although it seems simple, it is necessary to take into account what you eat each meal in order to meet the daily goal. 

    an image of a healthy diet for an easier waking up in the morning

    If you eat fast food and similar unhealthy foods, it will significantly disrupt the proportion of macronutrients. Also, such food is completely empty, there are no minerals and vitamins. You can take minerals and vitamins as supplements. Remember that dinner should not be a heavy meal, while for breakfast and lunch you can eat more.

    Optimal sleep environment

    There are people for whom the sleep environment plays a very small role and can sleep even though it is noisy and has too much light. But everyone else needs to create a sleep environment that will make you sleep longer and better. You need to strive to achieve the optimal temperature in the bedroom, neither too hot nor too cold. If you already have to choose between the two, then it is definitely much healthier to sleep in a cold room

    an image of an optimal lighting in a bedroom

    After that, blinds or blackout curtains should help keep the bedroom completely dark. Since you will sometimes read a book in the bedroom, don’t forget about bedroom lighting.

    Exercising in the morning

    If you can harmonize your workout with your other obligations, it would be great to incorporate a workout into your morning schedule. You may not feel tired at all after 8 hours of sleep, it just takes more time for your body to fully wake up. Workout will help significantly. After you finish the workout and eat breakfast, your energy will be at its maximum for the rest of the day.

    an image of a woman exercising yoga

    After a high intensity workout, you should stretch. You can also do yoga, although it is even better to do yoga in the evening to help you sleep better. It is clear that you cannot exercise every morning, rather 3 to 5 times a week, but this will generally create a habit and then it will be easier for you to wake up completely even on days when you are not exercising.

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