Why You're Waking Up Tired - Lacking Energy & Drive

Do you ever wake up feeling like you've barely slept at all? You're not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from sleep deprivation, and it's taking a toll on their energy levels, productivity, and overall health.

In this article, we discuss reasons why people wake up tired and offer some solutions to help you get more restful sleep. We also answer a few commonly asked questions about daytime grogginess and sleep products.

So if you're looking for ways to feel more energized during the day, keep reading!

Poor Lifestyle Habits that Contribute to Fatigue

You may be waking up tired and lacking energy for various reasons. Your exhaustion could be due to an underlying health condition, such as sleep apnea or snoring, or you may have an irregular sleep schedule. The root cause may also be stress, anxiety, or depression.

Finally, many people wake up tired due to sleep inertia, the feeling of grogginess and fatigue often experienced when you first wake up.

a lady who woke up tired

What Causes Sleep Inertia?

Sleep inertia is the natural process of waking. Feeling drowsy and disoriented for a few minutes after waking up is expected. It's your brain and body transitioning from sleep to wakefulness. The feeling typically fades within an hour and often within minutes.

However, for some people, sleep inertia can last for much longer.

Several factors can contribute to long-lasting sleep inertia, including:

  • Sleeping for less than seven hours a night

  • Waking up from a deep sleep

  • Taking certain medications, such as sedatives or antidepressants

Sleep inertia may also worsen after a sudden change in sleep patterns, such as waking up earlier than usual or sleeping in on weekends.

If you wake up tired occasionally, it is not a cause for concern. However, if you wake up exhausted regularly, you should schedule an exam with your doctor to rule out any medical causes.

Sleep Disorders and Other Medical Causes For Tiredness

It's not uncommon for sleep disorders and other medical conditions to cause fatigue during daytime hours.

For example, bruxism (teeth grinding) is a common sleep disorder that can cause you to wake up exhausted and in pain.

Other medical conditions that can lead to daytime fatigue include:


Snoring is often caused by an obstruction in the airway. Snoring can deprive you of quality sleep. It can also be a nuisance to your partner or anyone who shares a sleeping area with you.

Fortunately, devices like VitalSleep are available to help people who snore get more restful sleep. VitalSleep is a mouthpiece that's FDA-approved to treat snoring. The snore guard positions the jaw to improve airflow, reducing or eliminating snoring entirely for more restorative sleep.

The mouthpiece is made of soft, bendable material that can be custom-fit to each individual.

Many doctors and dentists use personalized mouthpieces to treat patients who snore or have other problems, like bruxism or sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that causes you to stop breathing during sleep. This can lead to restless nights and waking up feeling tired and exhausted.

Similarly to snoring, sleep apnea is caused by a blockage in the airway. However, this blockage is typically due to the relaxation of the muscles in the throat. It's most often due to obesity, though other factors can contribute to the condition.

It's a serious sleep disorder that can significantly impact your health, increasing your risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.

That said, it's vital to consult a doctor if you believe you have this condition.


Insomnia prevents people from falling asleep. It's a common sleep disorder with many causalities, including stress, anxiety, medications, and underlying medical conditions.

If you have a hard time getting to sleep at night, contact your doctor. Many treatments are available for insomnia, including cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and medications.

Restless Legs Syndrome

Restless Legs Syndrome is a neurological disorder that makes sufferers have an urge to move their legs, often due to discomfort or pain.

The condition can make getting a good night's sleep difficult, leading to daytime fatigue. There are many therapies available for Restless Legs Syndrome, including medications and lifestyle changes.

a man with restless leg syndrome

Anxiety and Depression

Anxiety and depression can reduce sleep quality, causing you to wake up tired. These conditions can also make it hard to fall asleep in the first place.

Contact a physician or mental health professional if you're exhausted due to anxiety or depression. Treatments, including therapy, medication, and exercise, may reduce symptoms and encourage you to sleep more soundly.

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome induces fatigue, sleep problems, and pain. There is no cure for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but treatments are available to help manage the symptoms.


Anemia causes overall fatigue due to a lack of oxygen in the blood. It's a common condition that can be triggered by many things, including pregnancy, blood loss, and certain medical conditions.

People who are tired all the time should schedule a doctor's appointment to find out if they have anemia or another condition. Anemia can be successfully treated with medication and diet modifications in most cases, so there's no need to suffer from it unnecessarily.

Thyroid Disorders

Thyroid disorders can lead to fatigue, sleep difficulties, and weight problems. The thyroid is a gland in the neck that regulates metabolism, so when it's not functioning properly, it can have a major impact on your health.

Schedule a doctor's visit if you wake up tired and have other thyroid disorder symptoms. Thyroid disorders are typically treated with medication, but in some cases, surgery may be necessary.


If you don't drink enough water, it's easy to become dehydrated, leaving you feeling tired. It may seem simple, but dehydration is a common problem, especially in hot weather or following exercise.

Drinking plenty of fluids, especially water, is necessary to prevent dehydration and maintain energy. If you're feeling weary, even in the early morning, drink a glass of water and see if that boosts your energy.

And don't worry! Whether you've ruled out potential health problems or been diagnosed with a sleep disorder, there's a lot you can do to help improve your sleep quality.

How to Achieve Better Sleep Quality

Whether you have a common sleep condition or simply aren't getting great sleep, there are many ways to improve your sleep hygiene and your chances of achieving and maintaining deep slumber.

By changing a few lifestyle factors, people can often achieve deep sleep that reduces morning fatigue, so they don't feel drained upon waking.

We offer a few tips to help you fall asleep faster and get enough shuteye below.

Treat Airway Problems and Snoring Issues

Snoring inhibits sleep and can make you feel exhausted in the morning. If you snore, there are treatment options to help you sleep better.

Mouthpieces and nasal strips, for example, open your airway so you can breathe properly at night. Many of these devices are available over the counter, including VitalSleep.

VitalSleep is a mouthpiece that's BPA and latex-free. It's worn overnight and available online without a prescription. It's made from soft, flexible material and is comfortable to wear. VitalSleep can be molded to your teeth for a personalized feel, and users can adjust the mouthpiece for optimal jaw positioning, allowing for the best night's sleep.

Alternatively, your doctor may prescribe a custom-fit mouthpiece, though that will come at a much higher cost.

Avoid Substances That Prevent Restful Sleep

Some substances reduce sleep quality, increasing your chances of poor sleep.


Caffeine is a stimulant that can keep you alert and awake. As such, too much caffeine or caffeine consumed at the wrong time can make it hard to fall asleep. It's best to avoid caffeine in the evening, especially if you're having trouble sleeping.

That means no caffeine intake in the form of coffee, sodas, chocolate, or other products.


Alcohol might make you drowsy and eager for bed, but it can actually disrupt sleep and cause you to wake up tired. It's best to say no to that glass of wine before bedtime, even if it's tempting.


Nicotine is another stimulant that can make you feel tired in the morning. If you smoke and have trouble sleeping, it's best to quit or at least avoid smoking in the evening.

Minimize Light Exposure Before and During Bedtime

Blue light exposure suppresses melatonin production, making it harder to fall asleep.

To avoid blue light exposure before bedtime, try to limit your screen time in the evening. Consider wearing blue-light blocking glasses if you must use a computer or phone. You can also download apps that reduce blue light exposure on your devices, such as f.lux and Twilight.

These apps change the color of your screen to a warmer hue, which is less likely to keep you awake at night.

Finally, invest in blackout curtains or wear an eye mask to reduce overall light exposure in your bedroom.

Create a Consistent Sleep Schedule

Your body's natural sleep rhythm, or circadian rhythm, is dictated by the rise and fall of the sun.

When it's dark outside, your body produces melatonin, a hormone that makes you sleepy. When the sun rises, and light spills in through the window, the body slows melatonin production.

You can regulate your sleep schedule by getting exposure to sunlight in the morning and avoiding bright light at night. This trains your body to sleep when it's dark outside.

Also, try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends, to regulate your sleep schedule further.

Keep Your Bedroom Cool

Your bedroom should be cool and dark to promote sleep.

For the best chance of good sleep, set your thermostat somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit and avoid using heavy blankets that will cause you to sweat or overheat. 

If overheating at night is a recurring problem, you may need a different bed. Some mattresses, like those made with memory foam, tend to hold heat, creating a hotter sleeping environment.

Use a Supportive, Comfortable Mattress

Your mattress should be comfortable and supportive, facilitating sound sleep. If your mattress is old or worn out, it may be time for a new one.

When mattress shopping, look for a bed that meets your unique needs. For example, a memory foam mattress may not be the best choice if you tend to sleep hot. And if you need a soft mattress that conforms readily, a firm innerspring bed probably won't do the job.

Additionally, if you share a bed with a partner, each of you should have enough room to sleep without being cramped.

The bed should be designed to provide support for your body type and sleep style. Do your research to find the best bed for you and discuss your needs with a sleep specialist or mattress store staff before making a purchase. Also consider you pillow.

Sleep in a Quiet Area

If noise keeps you up at night, try using a sound machine to mask the offending sounds. You can also wear earplugs or use a fan to create white noise.

If the noise comes from outside your bedroom, try using heavier curtains or earplugs to block it out.

Maintain a Calming Pre-Sleep Routine

A regular sleep routine is crucial to getting the best sleep and avoiding daytime tiredness.

Try designing a bedtime routine that includes winding down for 30 minutes before sleep. During your prep time for sleep, you can take a bath, read a book, or do some light stretching. Avoid using screens before bedtime, even if it's for reading, as the blue light will make it harder to fall asleep.

Once you're in bed, try to relax and clear your mind of any worries or stressors. If you can't fall asleep after 20 minutes, get up and do something calming until you feel tired again.

Sleep is essential for your health and well-being. However, getting a good night's rest is not always easy. If you're waking up without energy, changes to sleep hygiene can often help.

Waking Up with Energy

In addition to enhancing sleep quality, you can do a few things to make your morning routine more energizing.

Don't Hit Snooze

Hitting the snooze button can actually make you feel more tired when you ultimately get up. This is because waking up and then falling back asleep can disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy.

Instead of hitting snooze, try setting the alarm for a time when you know you can get out of bed and start your day.

Open the Curtains and Turn on the Lights

Start your day with some sunlight. Opening the curtains to let in the natural light should wake you up and jumpstart your body's circadian rhythm.

If natural light is not an option, turn the lights on.

Play Energetic Music

Waking up to energizing music can help you start your day on the right foot. Choose upbeat songs that make you want to get up and move.

You can also try setting a cheerful daily alarm tone on your phone.


Stretching or doing light exercises in the morning can get your body moving and make waking up easier.

Try a few simple stretches in bed or do some jumping jacks or push-ups to get your heart rate up. You can also try a short yoga routine or go for a brief walk or jog around the block.

Take a Shower or Wash Your Face

Splashing your face with cold water or taking a shower can help you wake up and feel refreshed.

The shock of cold water may help you feel more awake, and the steam from a shower can help clear your head. Getting out of your pajamas can also help.

Frequently Asked Questions: Waking Up Tired

Below we answer a few frequently asked questions about poor sleep and tired waking.

Why Does a Change in Routine or Environment Affect Sleep?

We are creatures of habit, and our bodies are designed to follow a natural circadian rhythm. 

When we travel or have a change in routine, it can disrupt this natural rhythm and make it harder to fall asleep or stay asleep.

What If I'm Sleeping For 8 Hours and Still Waking Up Tired?

There are a few possible explanations. It could be that your sleep quality is poor, and you're not getting the deep, refreshing sleep that you need due to an underlying medical condition, like snoring or bruxism.

If you're feeling tired after a full night's sleep, discuss the problem with a medical professional. You can also try over-the-counter solutions, like VitalSleep, to enhance sleep quality. 

How Does a Mouthpiece Improve Sleep?

An adjustable mouthpiece, such as VitalSleep, is a snoring solution that can help you breathe more easily at night to get the restorative sleep you need. It's more affordable than most other snoring solutions and can be customized to fit perfectly.

Don't Let Lack of Sleep Ruin Your Day

If you're waking up tired with no energy, finding the root cause of your sleep deprivation is the first step. Once you identify the problem, you can change your sleep hygiene to get better rest.

Whether you need a sleep device, like VitalSleep, to decrease snoring, or to make adjustments to your habits, a good night's sleep is within reach.


Try VitalSleep for yourself and experience restful sleep

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