Always Want To Sleep In? 8 Things Your Body Could Be Telling You
I knew I had a morning problem when I read through my phone's screen-time report. My most-used app wasn't Instagram, Photos, or Chrome—it was my clock. "How could that be when I only set two alarms a day max?" I wondered. Then it hit me: It was all those times I'd pressed the snooze button, stealing a little extra sleep, minute by minute, until over an hour had passed and I was officially late to the day.
Yikes. But, hey, I'm not alone! Research shows that the majority of adults report waking up feeling tired at least one day a week—especially during the pandemic. Of course, there are many things that can cause that drowsy, lethargic feeling in the morning. The good news is that most of them are preventable.
Here are some expert takes on eight of the main reasons you and I might be waking up more tired than when we went to bed, and what to do about them:
1. You're not sleeping long enough.
2. You're sleeping too much.
On the other end of the spectrum, it is possible to sleep too much. There's no official number of hours that constitutes oversleeping, but some signs that you might be overdoing it include feeling tired through the whole day but getting a burst of energy at night, experiencing brain fog, and suffering from morning headaches.
3. You're not getting high-quality sleep.
The deep and restorative sleep you've always dreamt about*
If you consistently clock eight hours of sleep but still wake up feeling tired, it's a sign you're not getting good-quality sleep. There are four stages of sleep, and the last two—REM and non-REM deep sleep—are the ones where our brains really get to rest and recharge. People who wake up often in the middle of the night are likely not spending as much time in those as they should.
To promote deeper sleep with fewer wake-ups, you can turn down your thermostat, drown out sounds using white noise, or try a sleep-promoting supplement like mbg's magnesium+.* A powerful blend of magnesium glycinate, jujube, and pharmaGABA, it's expert-formulated to help people fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling rested—and if the dozens of five-star reviews are any indication, it really works.*
4. You're drinking too close to bed.
While nightcaps might feel relaxing, research shows that drinking alcohol before bed inhibits that ever-important REM sleep. Before you swap them out with a big glass of water or tea, remember that too much of any liquid pre-bed can cause you to need to make a bathroom run in the middle of the night. Urologist Vannita Simma-Chiang, M.D., recommends finishing your final drink a few hours before lights out.
5. You're eating too close to bed.
Alas, indulging in a sugary dessert right before bed can make it impossible to fall asleep. Board-certified sleep specialist Michael J. Breus, Ph.D., says most people would be better off capping midnight snacking to 200 to 250 calories about 30 minutes before bed—ideally a mix of whole carbs and fat or protein.
6. Your sleep schedule is all over the place.
The body loves consistency, so hitting the hay at 10 p.m. one night at 1 a.m. the next will only confuse your system. To get into a good rhythm, try naturopathic sleep doctor Catherine Darley, N.D.'s favorite tip and set a nighttime alarm an hour before you want to get into bed to remind yourself to start winding down. After a while, it could make that morning alarm sound a lot less jarring.
7. You were on your phone too late.
Speaking of alarms! That nighttime one can also be your cue to put your phone and other electronics away for the evening. Looking at blue light too close to bed can mess with your circadian rhythm, and these days scrolling usually entails a flood of stress, excitement, or dread—none of which are conducive to deep, restorative rest.
8. You have sleep apnea.
A medical condition that causes breathing abnormalities during sleep, sleep apnea often leads to snoring and frequent wake-ups throughout the night. If you suspect you might have it, a doctor will be able to tell you for sure. They might recommend a new sleeping position, diet changes, and weight loss as potential treatment plans.