Sleepiness is a normal part of life — especially in our hectic, technology-fueled world. It is not unusual to have a sleepless night now and then, whether it’s due to stress, health issues, or feeling anxious and restless. Not being able to sleep sometimes is normal for most people. People manage to make up for the occasional loss of sleep.

Then there’s another group of people: the ones who are sleeping properly but still feel tired all the time. Constantly feeling sleepy isn’t normal. Endless sleepiness could be the symptom of more serious issues. If you’re always sleepy even after a long sleep, here’s what might be causing you to sleep trouble — and how to get back to sleeping soundly.

Why Am I Always Sleepy No Matter How Much Sleep I Get?

You deserve a good night’s sleep and wake up refreshed and ready to seize the day. Sadly, this isn’t possible for people who feel tired all the time. It is frustrating to feel sleepy and have low energy every day, even when you go to bed early every night and sleep a full night.

If you struggle with tiredness even after a long sleep, you should consider the amount of sleep you get each night. For most adults, 7-9 hours of sleep per night should be enough. People with certain medical conditions and those with strenuous physical activities require even more sleep each night.

Over-reliance on sleep medicines can also cause sleep problems. You have to be careful with natural and synthetic sleep aids such as valerian or melatonin. Even though natural remedies can have fewer side effects and be safe, depending on any medication type to help you sleep can hide underlying sleep issues.

It may help to see a physician to better understand your sleep patterns during the night. A doctor can help you understand the underlying reasons for restless sleep. Your doctor’s advice can help you deal with your sleep issues and help you make a lifestyle change.

Why am I always tired?

Sleep is important, but the quality of the sleep you get each night is critical. Whether you are falling asleep during the day or wake up groggy after a long sleep, you need to understand why you are always tired.

Suppose you feel like you sleep enough through the night. It possible that a sleep disorder like sleep apnea causes your tiredness. Sleep disorders may be related to iron deficiency or chronic fatigue. Seeking out medical advice can help you investigate your constant tiredness, so you return to feeling your best and stop losing sleep over it.

Why do I wake up tired?

It is normal to feel groggy in the morning after a full night of sleep. Sleep inertia, as it is called, is a normal part of the waking process in the morning. It takes a while for your brain to wake up after sleeping. You are essentially feeling the effects of your brain transitioning to a wakeful state.

Why do I feel groggy after I wake up?

It is quite normal to feel disoriented or groggy during this period of transition. As this happens many people fall back asleep. Because sleep inertia slows down your motor and cognitive skills, you might feel that it is difficult to get yourself going immediately after you wake up. Normally, sleep inertia lasts a few minutes to over an hour. For most people a few minutes is enough time after waking up to get passed sleep inertia.

How do I stop feeling groggy when I wake up?

Have you ever experienced one of those mornings when you just can’t shake a feeling of fatigue, even after you have slept through the night?

You can stop feeling sluggish after you wake up in the morning in the following ways:

  • Forget the snooze button. The snooze option on your phone or alarm clock can unnecessarily stretch your morning grogginess. Falling back asleep for a few more minutes in the morning may seem precious, but it won’t help you wake up faster. Experts call the little extra sleep you get this way “fragmented sleep.” Unfortunately, this type of sleep isn’t valuable deep sleep we all need.
  • Lose your morning grogginess with a glass of water. Dehydration is a classic symptom of fatigue. So, why not let a glass of water help you become more alert in the morning.
  • Start your day with an easy stretch. When you start your day with something that makes you feel good. During the REM stage of sleep, your muscles were effectively paralyzed. As you stretch your body, you are gradually reactivating your muscles.
  • You can stop feeling groggy when you wake up if your first trip is to hit the shower. A shower in the morning, or splashing your face with water is an amazing way to stop morning fatigue.
  • A healthy breakfast might be a great way to fuel your body in the morning. Having energy will help you seize the day and stay energized.
  • Get outdoors to activate your brain fast. Sunlight is a natural way to boost your serotonin levels. A healthy serotonin level will help you sleep better resulting in more daytime energy.
  • Research shows that aerobic exercise can reduce fatigue. Try to squeeze a cardio workout into your morning routine.

What does it mean when you wake up feeling drunk?

If you suddenly wake up only after a couple of hours of a deep sleep, you may find yourself in a confused condition called confusional arousal also called sleep drunkenness. It is a sleep disorder that bypasses the inertia state. An episode of sleep drunkenness may last for about 30-minutes. When you wake up in the morning, you may not even remember it.

Quality of Sleep, Not Quantity

Many people think of sleep in terms of hours gained or lost. But in reality, the quality of sleep matters just as much as the quantity of sleep.

What do we mean by sleep quality?

Sleep quality refers to how well you’ve slept. The quality of your sleep has to do with a variety of factors such as:

  • Did you fall asleep easily, or did you struggle with falling asleep?
  • Were you able to sleep through the night uninterrupted?
  • Did you spend enough time in each sleep stage? There are two principal sleep stages: rapid eye movement (REM) sleep and non-REM sleep, which has three stages. A healthy person cycles through all the sleep stages multiple times during a normal night of sleep.
  • Did you rise naturally in the morning? Natural risers are more likely to feel well-rested after a night of sleep.

Any of the above factors can influence your sleep quality and if you feel exhausted the following day.

People who spend most of their sleep time in a lighter, non-REM stage of sleep then their body cannot get the deep sleep it needs to rest and recharge for the following day. Thus, even after a full night of sleep, you will still feel fatigued the following day. Low quality sleep can be a real problem for you. It can be especially bad for new mothers who can’t sleep while their baby sleeps through the night. Mothers who linger in a lighter sleep phase can’t get the quality sleep they need to perform at their best.

For high-quality sleep, focus on your sleep routine. What you are doing before bedtime is critically important. If you’re falling asleep with your television on and your phone unsilenced, you are getting lower quality sleep. The sleep environment is also important. A decluttered, dark, and quiet room is an excellent sleep environment. To create the most relaxing environment for sleep, you might have to make a few changes.

Can sleep apnea cause sleepiness?

One of the most common medical conditions causing chronic sleepiness is sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is the medical condition when your throat muscles intermittently block and relax your airway while you sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious medical condition.

The principal symptoms of sleep apnea are loud snoring and excessive daytime sleepiness. People who suffer from sleep apnea routinely report feeling exhausted even after they have slept through the night. Obesity, diabetes, narrowed airways, and high blood pressure are all symptoms of sleep apnea.

A popular remedy for sleep apnea is a treatment called Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP). This treatment involves wearing a nasal or face mask that offers a consistent airflow stream into your nasal passages, keeping the airway open while you sleep. CPAP is a non-invasive treatment. It can help you enhance the quality of your nightly sleep. One of the most common medical advice for overweight people with sleep apnea is to change their lifestyle to promote weight loss.

Can chronic fatigue syndrome make you sleepy?

If you feel like you are not getting enough sleep, it might be due to chronic fatigue syndrome. Chronic fatigue syndrome leads to persistent daytime sleepiness even if you sleep eight or night hours every night. It can be worsened by intellectual stimulation and intense physical activity. Besides causing fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome causes unexplained joint and muscle pain, sore throat, frequent headaches, and memory loss.

Chronic fatigue syndrome may be triggered by viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus and herpes. It is also generally linked with autoimmune disorders and immune system issues. Working with a medical professional to take back control of your life offers you a way to live with chronic fatigue syndrome despite its unfortunate consequences.

Working with a physical therapist can help you reduce your hypersensitivity to exercise and progressively begin helping you get active, supporting higher energy levels, boost endorphins, and stimulating blood flow.

Health Conditions Associated with Sleepiness

The quality of your slumber is principally affected by your circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm is also known as the sleep-wake cycle. It dictates when you feel sleepy and when you are awake.

Even though the circadian rhythm is intended to keep you awake in the daytime and tired at nightfall, circadian rhythm disorders can interrupt these sleep patterns to create an inconsistent sleep cycle. Your circadian rhythm can be disrupted by irregular sleep schedules, particularly for those engaging in shift work and those who work during the hours most people normally sleep.

Iron deficiency is also a common reason why people feel constantly sleepy. Feeling exhausted is one of the most prevalent symptoms of iron deficiency. The human body requires iron to make a protein called hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is critical for carrying oxygen around your body.

Further iron deficiency symptoms include headaches, dizziness, heart palpitations, paleness,  and shortness of breath. The causes of iron deficiency could be inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy, and poor nutrition. Fortunately, most iron deficiencies are easy to address by maintaining a balanced diet and boosting your iron intake.

What is the best way to improve your sleep?

Many people who struggle with sleep fail to keep a regular sleep schedule. Without consistent sleep habits, your sleep suffers. Maintaining a regular sleep-wake schedule is critical if you want to improve your sleep.

You can improve your sleep in the following ways:

  • Exercise every day. Even a brisk walk outdoors or gardening qualifies as sufficient exercise.
  • Follow a calming evening routine. Minimize screen time and overly stimulating activities one hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and other chemicals that may interfere with your sleep.
  • Go to bed at the same time every night. A consistent sleep schedule is a pillar or a healthy sleep routine.
  • Resist the urge to nap too close to bedtime.
  • Create a sleep environment that promotes sleep. Make sure your bedroom is dark. Light interferes with your sleep cycle and can upset your sleep.
  • If you are truly sleepy, don’t be afraid to go to sleep earlier than your normal bedtime.
  • Don’t stay in bed if you can’t fall asleep. Get out of bed for a few minutes and engage in a low-stress activity.
  • Avoid eating a large meal in the evening. A light snack before bed is fine, but a large meal may prevent you from falling asleep or staying asleep.

Sleep and Your Mental Health

Consider your mental health if you are always tired. Stress and anxiety are two obvious, yet often overlooked causes of fatigue. Research shows that stress elevates your cortisol levels. And the resulting cortisol levels can disrupt your ability to maintain high sleep quality. We know that reducing cortisol levels and stabilizing the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis can minimize sleep disturbances and increase sleep quality.

The HPA is your body’s regulation system, helping keep a person safe in response to the ever-changing surroundings. It makes sense that it can send your brain into a flight-or-fight mode, producing stress and anxiety.

It is important to take care of your mental health. It can help regulate cortisol levels and keep the HPA in check to prevent them from disrupting your sleep. A daily stress management routine, including activities such as breathing exercises, yoga, physical activity, and creative expression (painting and crafts), are all ways in which you can calm the nervous system, improve your wellbeing, and improve your slumber.