It’s Monday morning. You’ve had a whole weekend to relax and rest. A whole weekend to get ready for the week ahead. You went to bed Sunday night hoping to wake up refreshed and eager for a good week.
Instead, you wake up tired and groggy, and you think that maybe Karen Carpenter was right about Monday’s always bringing her down. You down a couple of cups of coffee, and you manage to look like a functional member of society.
At work, you probably commiserate with your coworkers dealing with the same groggy feeling. After all, it’s really common. You marvel at the perky people, and you wonder if they’re sleeping differently than you.
On the days you feel less tired in the morning, you may notice that you still feel sleepy in the afternoon, and at the very least, you may struggle for energy in the evening to do anything but get ready to go to work again the next day.
So, what can you do to not feel tired during the day? And, for that matter, why are you tired during the day? Can you actually wake up rested and make it through an entire day without feeling tired?
Let’s find out.
Why Am I Tired During the Day?
Being tired when you first wake up is frustrating, but we’ve all felt groggy before. Being tired at the end of the day is fine because you’ve worked all day, and it’s time to get sleepy anyway. Being tired during the day though is frustrating, and sometimes, it can even be embarrassing or dangerous. So, what are the reasons that you might be tired during the day?
1 - Lack of Quality Sleep
Since it’s recommended that we get about eight hours of sleep each night and there are 24 hours in a day, it’s safe to say we sleep about one-third of our lives, or at least, we’re supposed to sleep that much.
It makes sense that you are supposed to devote that much of your life to it since sleep is a pretty important part of your life. Sleep is actually one of the essential functions our bodies perform to provide vital recovery each night to our minds and bodies.
Lying in bed just isn’t the same as getting a good night’s sleep, so if you find that you’re always tired during the day, you might need to prioritize your sleep and focus on improving the quality of your sleep.
2 - A Lifestyle That’s Too Sedentary
Isaac Newton’s Laws of Motion state that an object at rest will stay at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion unless acted on by an external force. By that logic, a sedentary lifestyle should be the perfect formula for a good night’s rest. However, sleep does not adhere to the laws of motion, but exercise does adhere to them.
Inactivity can actually cause you to have low energy, or feel tired, during the day. People who live a sedentary lifestyle often feel too tired to exercise. Regular exercise can instead lead to a better night’s sleep.
3 - Too Much Stress To Rest
Some stress is expected in life, but when the stress is too great or lasts for longer than normal periods, the stress is considered chronic. Excessive amounts of stress or chronic stress have been tied to fatigue.
Your constant stress may cause you to feel constantly tired during the day, but stress has also been known to make it difficult to sleep.
There are certainly other causes of feeling tired during the day, such as inadequate hydration, too much caffeine, shift or night work, and even changes to your diet, but what can you do about improving your sleep and de-stressing?
How To Get a Quality Night’s Sleep
Here are the ways to address the top reasons for being tired during the day first, and then a plan of action you can take to address other possible causes to help you stop missing out on quality sleep and finally feel rested during the day.
Make Sleep a Priority
Establishing a sleep routine and making sleep a priority can do a lot to help you not feel tired during the day. Here are some ways you can keep sleep important in your life:
- Make plenty of time for sleeping
- Stick to a sleep schedule
- Keep your sleep space cool, dark, quiet, and cozy
- Turn off screens at a reasonable hour
Remember that your goal should be to sleep for about one hour for every two you’re awake.
Move It or Lose it
Make time to exercise regularly so that your body will make time to rest. Exercise is such an important part of overall health, but it also supports good sleep health.
According to the Sleep Foundation, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can increase the quality of your sleep. This specific level of moderate-to-vigorous exercise helps adults fall asleep faster, and it can help alleviate the sleepiness you feel during the daytime hours.
Exercise can also lead to weight loss, and weight loss is recommended for people who struggle with obstructive sleep apnea.
When chronic stress is causing you to lose sleep at night and feel tired during the day, it’s time to find ways of de-stressing yourself. With all the adverse effects chronic stress can have on your health, your body will thank you if you can find ways to calm your body and mind.
Some great ways to reduce your stress include:
- Calming scents like lavender, orange blossom, and sandalwood
- Lower caffeine consumption
- Socializing with friends and family
- Saying “no” to more when you’re stretched thin
- Avoid procrastinating
Another approach to calming yourself would be to consider supplements. Daytime formulas like Complete Calm De-Stress Gummies and their active ingredients like Rhodiola extract can help reduce mental fatigue. In addition, ingredients like Lemon Balm extract can help promote cognitive performance in combination with the calming effects of the daytime terpene blend.
You might want to consider a supplement that contains key ingredients like Persian Saffron extract to help improve your sleep quality. A nighttime terpene blend can also help you to fall asleep more quickly and easily.
Hydration Is Restoration
Just like those eight hours of sleep we’re supposed to get each night, we’re supposed to drink roughly eight 8 ounce glasses of water per day.
Additionally, like a lack of sleep, a lack of hydration can make us feel dizzy, fatigued, and cause headaches. Our bodies rely on hydration for proper functioning throughout. You can be only mildly dehydrated and have lower energy levels and decreased ability to concentrate.
Your activity levels, weight, age, and gender can cause your hydration needs to increase. If you’re unsure if you’re dehydrated, here are some signs to watch for:
- Feeling tired
- Dry skin
- Dry mouth
- Decreased urination or sweating
Try to check in with yourself periodically throughout the day. When was the last time you had something to drink or ate a hydrating snack like watermelon?
It’s possible that even with the best efforts, you may still be tired during the day. For instance, if you work a night shift job or shift work, feeling tired during the day can be a constant struggle. It’s also possible for medical conditions to contribute to your daytime feelings of being tired. If you suspect that there’s more to it than better sleep and healthy living, it may be time to speak to your physician.
When you’re getting adequate amounts of sleep at night, a healthy person should be able to make it through the day without feeling tired. Sometimes things work against us to make us feel tired during the day. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to feel more rested and feel less tired during the day.
As with most concerns, if your efforts don’t lead to a better night’s rest and feeling less tired during the day, it may be time to consult your primary care physician. In the meantime, be sure to take care of your sleep, take care of your health, and take care of stress levels.
Meet our Experts
This article has been reviewed by members of our Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Jay Cowin, Nutrition Expert
Founder of Functional U, a Nutrition, Performance & Optimal Health practice.
Dominick Gauthier, Performance Expert
Former Olympic Athlete, Founder, B2ten Foundation (coach to multiple Olympic Champions)