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Always Want To Sleep In? 7 Things Your Body Could Be Telling You

Emma Loewe
Author:
September 20, 2021
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
By Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director
Emma Loewe is the Senior Sustainability Editor at mindbodygreen and the author of "Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us."
Young Woman in bed under the covers
Image by Kayla Johnson / Stocksy
September 20, 2021

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 start 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, and thankfully, most of them are easy to fix (as long as you've ruled out more serious medical issues like sleep apnea).

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Here are seven of the main reasons you (and I) might be waking up sleepy, and what to do about them:

1.

You're not sleeping for long enough.

Most adults need around seven to nine hours of sleep a night, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine's official recommendations1. While some can get away with less and still feel sharp the next morning, they are few and far between. 

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 experts say signs that you might be overdoing it include feeling tired through the whole day but getting a burst of energy at night, and dealing with the occasional morning headache.

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3.

You're not getting high-quality sleep.

If you consistently clock eight hours in bed a night but still wake up feeling tired, it could also be a sign you're not getting high-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 sleep support+.*

A powerful blend of magnesium, jujube, and PharmaGABA®, it's expert-formulated to help people fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and wake up feeling rested—and if the hundreds of five-star reviews are any indication, it really works.*

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4.

You're drinking too close to bedtime.

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 bedtime.

Alas, indulging in a sugary dessert right before bed can make it tough 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.

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6.

Your sleep schedule is all over the place.

The body loves consistency, so hitting the hay at 10 p.m. one night and 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 bedtime 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.

Emma Loewe
Emma Loewe
mbg Sustainability + Health Director

Emma Loewe is the Sustainability and Health Director at mindbodygreen and the author of Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us. She is also the co-author of The Spirit Almanac: A Modern Guide To Ancient Self Care, which she wrote alongside Lindsay Kellner.

Emma received her B.A. in Environmental Science & Policy with a specialty in environmental communications from Duke University. In addition to penning over 1,000 mbg articles on topics from the water crisis in California to the rise of urban beekeeping, her work has appeared on Grist, Bloomberg News, Bustle, and Forbes. She's spoken about the intersection of self-care and sustainability on podcasts and live events alongside environmental thought leaders like Marci Zaroff, Gay Browne, and Summer Rayne Oakes.