Most of us go through life with twists and turns, ups and downs. At times our sleep follows this unexpected path. Most of our sleep issues are ‘self-limiting’, meaning it will resolve on its own and ‘self-induced’, meaning we cause it. If your sleep issues do not get better after 2-3 months, then medical attention is warranted. Sooner if your sleep issues significantly affect your life. Visit our sleep telemedicine site and find out how our sleep specialist can help you without leaving home.
If you have been waking up from sleep either groggy and requiring a shower, caffeine shot, or wearing a ‘do not disturb’ sign around your neck before you feel bright eyed – then you’re waking up tired. This is not normal. Other ways poor sleep can manifest is through low concentration, irritability, poor motivation, memory loss etc. There is another type of tiredness which shows up as a significant drop in energy level in the afternoon.
Why Does This Happen? Common Causes Of Waking Up Tired.
As a sleep doctor in Macon, who offers online services in Georgia and South Carolina, I have seen many patients who struggle with poor sleep. Common causes in my practice are:
1. HOURS OF SLEEP.
Make sure you’re getting enough of it. Recommendation of 7-8 hours for most adults. Kids require more sleep. Older adults require as much sleep as ‘regular’ adults. To understand your unique needs our sleep and pulmonary specialist suggests: “Sleeping consistently at the same time every night, and not use the alarm to awaken. Average out the hours you need. Your nightly needs may vary slightly depending on physical and mental exertion.” Use a sleep diary to visualize your sleep patterns; print versions and online apps are available.
Smoking, eating late, screen time, alcohol, energy drinks, caffeine can dramatically affect your ability to fall and stay asleep. Caffeine can take longer to break down in your system the older you get. Stay away from caffeinated or stimulant-based beverages 4-6 hours before expected bedtime. Closer to bedtime have food with higher protein content. Craving a late night snack? Spoon some peanut butter.
The body is a well-oiled machine. Rest it. Sleep at around the same time every night. Period. Late or evening shift work can pose a problem. If you have trouble with sleep due to shift work, visit our sleep telemedicine site and find out how our sleep specialist can help you.
Look up some of the side effects. If you can associate waking up tired after starting a new medication, it may need a dose adjustment by your provider. As we age or have changes in our body function, especially the liver and kidneys, medications can affect us differently. Discuss with your provider. Some medications can be discontinued or switched.
Snoring is a sound of air rushing through a narrowed airway (from the nose to the back of the throat). When severe, it disrupts your quality of sleep (and your bed partners) leading to a condition called obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Women do not need to snore as loud as men to have similar issues with sleep disruption. OSA can be caused by aging (airway muscles become more collapsible), genetics (born with a narrow airway), medications (sedatives and pain medications), weight (more tissue around your airway), and menopause (protective effect of estrogen on airway muscles is gone). Here you can find more inf
6. RESTLESS LEGS.
Running in your sleep. The movements can be as subtle as twitching which disrupts your sleep quality. It manifests during waking hours by urge to move legs (creepy crawly) causing inability to sit for prolonged periods of time, need to move to reduce the urge, temporary relief with movement and occurs while sitting or in the evenings. This can cause difficulty falling asleep (restless leg syndrome) or staying asleep (periodic limb movement).
7. MEDICAL CONDITIONS.
Heart, thyroid, liver, neurological and blood diseases may present with tiredness. This list is not exhaustive. If you have or suspect that you do have an underlying medical condition, seek professional assistance.
8. MENTAL HEALTH.
Sleep issues and mental health have a bidirectional relationship, for example, mental health problems can make sleep worse and sleep problems can worsen mental health issues. Some medications used to treat mental health can have a significant effect on sleep and tiredness. If you feel the tiredness is difficult to manage, speak with your prescriber.
Written by Dr. Avinesh Bhar, MD MBA
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Our board-certified sleep and respiratory physician, Dr. Bhar, believes that high-quality care only comes from a trustful physician-patient relationship. To find out more, get in touch with us today and visit https://www.sliiip.com, or call 478-238-3552.