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Understanding and Addressing Waking Up Tired: Causes and Treatment Options

  1. Understanding and Addressing Waking Up Tired

    • Waking up tired is not a sleep condition. If people frequently wake up tired, it could be a cause of underlying sleep habits. It can be due to certain medical conditions, poor sleep quality, sleep disorders, stress and anxiety, medication, and lack of physical activity.

      Individuals experiencing symptoms alongside daytime and morning tiredness may also have anemia, anxiety, chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, diabetes, and an underactive thyroid.
      Understanding and Addressing Waking Up Tired: Causes and Treatment Options

      If a person constantly wakes up tired, it is good to consult a doctor and discuss strategies that may improve sleep quality.

    • Addressing this issue of waking up tired can be helpful in improving the quality of life, mental health, productivity, and physical health. It in turn improves the overall well-being of an individual. The treatment for waking up tired involves making lifestyle changes, improving sleep hygiene, exercising, and seeking medical help in case of any underlying issue.
  2. Common Causes of Waking Up Tired

    There are several causes of waking up feeling tired. It can be lifestyle factors and certain medical conditions.

    • Poor Sleep Quality: If someone does not get enough sleep or the sleep is frequently interrupted, the person may wake up feeling tired.
    • Sleep Apnea: It is a serious sleep disorder that can lead to periodic pauses in breathing. It may lead to snoring, gasping for air while sleeping, feeling tired, and headache in the morning. It is important for a person with sleep apnea to see a doctor. It can help in preventing potential complications.
    • Insomnia: Insomnia is a condition in which a person has difficulty in falling or staying asleep. A person with insomnia frequently wakes up, is tired upon waking, has a depressed mood, and a low energy level, and wakes up too early.
    • Restless Leg Syndrome: Restless leg syndrome is a sleep movement disorder that is characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move legs. There is an uncontrollable crawling or creeping feeling in the feet, calves, or thighs. This can disrupt a person’s sleep, and make them tired during the day.
    • Chronic Pain: Pain can interfere with a person’s ability to fall asleep, stay asleep or get enough sleep. This can make a person feel tired and fatigued. Also, pain may lead to shifting positions frequently during sleep leading to waking up and feeling unrested. The discomfort and exhaustion caused by chronic pain may affect a person’s mental and physical health. This may lead to a decrease in the overall quality of life.
    • Depression and Anxiety: Depression and anxiety can cause a person to wake up tired. Both conditions can interfere with sleep quality and make it difficult to fall asleep. These conditions can lead to muscle tension, headache, and gastrointestinal problems, which can interfere with sleep quality and contribute to feeling tired. It can also lead to feelings of tiredness or worry.
    • Lifestyle and Dietary Factors: The sleep cycle can also get disrupted if a person does not get enough exercise, consume rich and fatty foods and caffeine before bedtime, and drinks alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol is a sedative but it may also increase sleep apnea and contribute to poor sleep quality. (4)
  3. Diagnosis of Waking Up Tired

    Diagnosing the underlying cause of waking up tired may involve the following approaches.

    • Medical history: The doctor takes the medical history of the individual. He enquires about the medical history, lifestyle, and sleep habits.
    • Physical Exam: The patient’s physical examination is done to look for any signs of underlying medical conditions.
    • Sleep Study: The doctor may recommend a sleep study to evaluate the sleeping patterns and look for the signs of sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, or narcolepsy.

    Mental health evaluation is done in cases of depression and anxiety. Medications that affected sleep quality are reviewed and lifestyle evaluation is done to improve sleep quality and reduce fatigue.

  4. Treatment Option for Waking Up Tired

    The treatment option for waking up tired may depend on the underlying cause. Some of the potential treatment options for waking up tired include:

    • Improving Sleep Hygiene: It involves bringing in changes in the lifestyle by avoiding screen time, creating relaxing time, and sticking to a regular schedule. Research suggests that using amber tinted blue-light blocking lenses before bedtime can help improve sleep in people with insomnia. (1) According to the centers for disease control and prevention, good sleep hygiene involves limiting daytime naps to less than 20 minutes and taking them before 2:00 am.(3)
    • Medications: If any medication is causing a person to wake up tired, the doctor may recommend adjusting the medication dosage or switching to a different medication.
    • Continuous Positional Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy: This is a treatment option for a common sleep disorder that can lead to waking up tired. It involves wearing a mask over the nose and mouth that delivers a continuous flow of air to keep the airway open while a person is asleep. This can be helpful in improving the quality of sleep.
    • Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Insomnia: This can be an effective treatment for people with sleep difficulties and may include waking up tired. It focuses on identifying and changing negative thoughts and behavior that contribute to sleep problems. It also helps in developing healthy sleep habits and routines. This may include sleep hygiene education, stimulus control therapy, sleep restriction therapy, relaxation techniques, and cognitive therapy.
    • Treating Underlying Medical Condition: If any underlying medical condition such as thyroid disorder or anemia is causing sleep issues, medications are given to treat the condition.
    • Lifestyle changes: The lifestyle changes include limiting caffeine intake, avoiding evening alcohol, managing digestive issues, exercising regularly, and adopting stress management techniques. Studies indicate that exercising an hour before bedtime can take longer to fall asleep. (2)
  5. Preventing Waking Up Tired

    There are a variety of factors causing waking up tired. These include sleep disorders, stress, unhealthy lifestyle, and poor sleeping habits.

    A few tips to prevent waking up tired include:

    • Going to bed at the same time every day.
    • Create a relaxing environment. Make sure the bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool. Use comfortable bedding and pillows and use a noise machine or earplugs if necessary.
    • Avoid taking caffeine or alcohol before going to bed as it can disrupt sleep and make it harder to fall asleep
    • Exercise regularly as it can help improve the quality of sleep and make a person feel more energized during the day.
    • Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga can be helpful in reducing stress and improving sleep quality.
    • Avoiding using electronic devices before bedtime can prevent the natural sleep-wake cycle from getting disrupted which makes it harder to fall asleep.
    • Intake of heavy meals before bedtime should be avoided as the discomfort caused due to it interferes with sleep.
    • Seek professional help in case of chronic fatigue, which is another symptom of sleep disorder is important.
  6. Conclusion

    Waking up tired is not an uncommon symptom. However, it can be an unpleasant experience that can have a negative impact on mood, productivity, and overall quality of life. Several steps can be taken to prevent waking up tired, which include maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, creating a relaxing sleep environment, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and exercising regularly. By implementing these strategies, the quality of life can be improved as the person can sleep well and wake up more energized and refreshed.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:March 23, 2023

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