You have had a fabulous night’s sleep – you drifted off quickly and have slept through until the alarm went off this morning. So why do you still feel exhausted? Could it be your sleep was not quite as deep as you thought? Or are there other reasons which you need to address?
Why a good night sleep is sometimes actually bad
“Just because it might have felt like a good night’s sleep, doesn’t necessarily mean it was,” says Mihaela Berciu owner of Mindfulness Hub Spark Your Bloom? “There are many reasons for waking up feeling tired. From worry to food intake, from caffeine to alcohol intake, from uncomfortable bedding to room temperature, any and all can lead to poor quality sleep. On top of that there are conditions like PMS, menopause, hypothyroidism, that could also impact how well you rest.”
If waking up feeling tired is a regular thing, it’s worth working through these factors to see which could be affecting the quality of your sleep. “If it’s occasional, then there are a few things you could do, other than increasing your caffeine intake, which is not advisable,” says Mihaela. “I recommend starting your day with a no caffeine refreshing smoothie that keeps you activated for a few hours. Meditation also helps. Calming your mind makes you feel alert and present, releasing the feelings of anxiousness and irritability, which are increased when lacking rest. There are also essential oils blends especially formulated to help energise and focus when feeling tired.”
More: How to meditate
Although you may be asleep and not have seemingly woken all night, it could well be you have been in a light rather than restorative deep sleep. “Change bedsheets once a week to prevent bacteria build up that can lead to irritation of the skin, a discomfort that can affect the quality of your skin,” adds Mihaela. A mattress which is not supportive or comfortable can also leave you tossing and turning and mean your sleep is regularly interrupted. And check your room temperature too – a room which is too warm also affects sleep quality so try and keep your bedroom to a sleep friendly 18 degrees. You may need to keep the heating off or lower in your room in the winter and use a fan or have a window open in the summer to achieve this.
Read on: Top sleep tips!
Although the guideline is to have 8 hours sleep it is just a guideline. Some people simply do not need that much sleep – and others need more. To make sure you are feeling your best you need to tap into exactly what is the right amount of sleep for you. To figure out your personal needs work out when you need to get up then count back 7.5 hours. It’s good to go for this bedtime as theaverage person goes through five 90 minute sleep cycles alternating between sleep (non-REM) and deep sleep (REM). If you wake up in the middle of REM sleep you are more likely to feel groggy during the day. Waking when you have been in non-REM sleep will leave you feeling alert.
Try having the 7.5 hours sleep for three days, if you find yourself waking up around 10mins before your alarm then this sleep duration is perfect for you. But if you still rely on your alarm clock you need more sleep so move your bedtime back by 15 minutes every three days until you find yourself waking just a few minutes before your alarm goes off.
When you have found your perfect sleep length try and stick to it as closely as possible – extra long sleep at the weekend is likely to leave you feeling worse rather than refreshed!
Try: How much sleep do you really need?
Day time tiredness can be an indicator of a number of other medical conditions or nutritional deficiencies, so seeing a doctor if you have persistent tiredness is important. It could be that you are suffering from a sleep disorder and have no idea. Sleep apnoea, narcolepsy, depression, restless leg syndrome and even heart disease can all result in a feeling of fatigue despite having adequate sleep.
Daytime tiredness can also be an indicator of a nutritional deficiency like anaemia, which is when you don’t have enough iron in your body for it to function as it should. Magnesium, potassium, vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiencies will also leave you feeling lethargic.