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Why You Feel Tired Yet Wired & What To Do About It, From A Sleep Expert

Young pretty woman lying on a bed
Image by Lyuba Burakova / Stocksy
November 15, 2022
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Have you ever been so ready to curl up in bed, only to lie there awake for seemingly no reason? Feeling tired yet wired when you go to bed is frustrating, not to mention confounding, and it can happen for a variety of reasons. Here's why you might experience feeling tired-yet-wired, plus what to do about it.

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What causes that "wired yet tired" feeling?

From stress to an inconsistent sleep schedule to too much caffeine, there are a ton of reasons you might find yourself tossing and turning even though you're tired.

And according to Shelby Harris, Ph.D., director of sleep health at Sleepopolis and author of Women's Guide to Overcoming Insomnia, the feeling of being tired versus sleepy are actually very different. Being sleepy, or "drowsy," occurs before we're ready to actually go to bed, but feeling tired, or "fatigued," doesn't necessarily mean you're ready to turn in for the night.

"People may experience tiredness near bedtime and confuse that with being sleepy, which can make it difficult when trying to fall asleep," she explains.

Additionally, a number of other factors can keep you up at night, from eating a large meal too close to bedtime to that second cup of coffee you probably didn't need at 4 p.m. or doing an energizing workout late in the evening.

Here's a deep dive into more reasons you could be struggling to fall asleep. In general, the solution to getting quality sleep often comes down to sleep hygiene.

As Harris explains, "Proper sleep hygiene is so important when it comes to getting quality sleep and can often be overlooked." To that end, here's how to establish it.

What to do about it:

If you find that you're feeling wired before bed, your main objective is going to be settling down and relaxing so your feelings of tiredness will eventually evolve into actual sleepiness. Give yourself plenty of time to wind down, Harris tells mbg, and avoid looking at screens in the hour or so before bed as well. (And if you haven't been going to bed at the same time every night, consider this your sign to start!)

"Drinking caffeine too close to bedtime, napping too late in the afternoon, [and] stress [...] can all lead to someone feeling awake at night when they should be sleepy," Harris adds, so going forward, look to mitigate those things as well.

And while you're winding down, that would be a good time to reach for a quality sleep supplement, such as mbg's sleep support+.* The pioneering combination of three science-backed ingredients (magnesium bisglycinate, jujube, and PharmaGABA®) come together for one supplement that can help you fall asleep quicker, and sleep deeper.* And for what it's worth, it's non-habit-forming and nonhormonal and won't lead to the morning grogginess common with other sleep aids like melatonin.

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The takeaway.

No one wants to toss and turn when they're feeling tired. Once you get your sleep hygiene up to snuff and distinguish between tired and sleepy, you should start having an easier time falling asleep, but as Harris notes, if you're routinely facing sleep difficulty, "definitely talk with a sleep doctor."