If you’re still tired after getting a solid eight hours of sleep, it’s okay — many of us have this problem without ever pinpointing the reason why. Still, it doesn’t mean that we should accept daily fatigue as the norm.
On the bright side, you can take charge of your sleep schedule and your routine in a way that promotes healthy sleep and sustained energy levels. Understanding how to support healthy sleep habits and daily energy can help you get one step closer to waking up and feeling ready to go.
Why Am I Still Tired After a Full Night of Sleep?
Just because you had a full night of sleep doesn’t mean that you had a good night’s sleep. If you’re still tired after sleeping a good amount, there could be a few reasons why.
Poor Sleep Quality
If you are still tired after getting what you thought was enough sleep, the most likely culprit is poor sleep quality. Signs of poor sleep quality include waking up during the middle of the night and grogginess after getting the recommended amount of sleep.
Several factors can affect your sleep quality. One of the most common is sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. If you think you have a sleep disorder or a health condition that disrupts your sleep, we recommend consulting your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
If you wake up multiple times throughout the night, you probably won’t see all the benefits of a full night’s sleep. When experts say that you need seven to nine hours of sleep each night, they mean that you should be getting deep sleep with at least two REM cycles.
Your habits before bed may also play a role. For example, eating before bed can also affect your sleep quality, especially if you are eating greasy or spicy foods that sit heavy in your stomach.
Inconsistent Sleep Habits
Not only does your body want quality sleep, but it also wants sleep on a consistent schedule. Your body thrives on routine. After all, we all have a built-in clock called the circadian rhythm. This clock tells us that we should be awake when the sun is shining and asleep when it’s dark out. Once you develop a habit, your body starts to adjust to it, whether it's sleeping at night or taking daytime naps.
If you mix up your schedule, your body may not be tired when you try to go to sleep. Or, you might wake up at your regular time despite going to bed later. Either way, you can lose valuable time for deep sleep. Developing a consistent sleep schedule is one of the keys to positive sleep hygiene.
One night of good sleep doesn’t make up for all the nights that you are missing out. Sleep debt is the number of hours of sleep that you miss out on during any given night.
As an illustration, if you need eight hours of sleep but you only get five hours, you build up a sleep debt of three hours. If you only get five hours multiple nights in a row, then your sleep debt starts to add up more and more.
Unfortunately, you often can’t pay back all this sleep debt with just one good night of sleep. If you have been adding up your sleep debt for several days at a time, you might need multiple nights of quality sleep to make up for it.
How Can I Support My Sleep Quality?
Now that you know that not all sleep is the same, it’s time to take steps to make the most of those Zzzs. The more thoughtful you are about your daily routine, the better your sleep can end up.
Avoid Alcohol Before Bed
Alcohol is one of the silent enemies of deep sleep. At first glance, many may think that alcohol promotes sleep by slowing down the body and relaxing the mind.
However, a deeper look shows that alcohol can decrease sleep quality and lead to more sleep disruptions. Sleep studies have pointed out that, depending on your level of alcohol consumption, alcohol can decrease sleep quality by anywhere from seven to 40 percent.
Long-term alcohol abuse has even been linked to chronic sleep problems. To reduce the risks of sleep disruption, it’s generally best practice to avoid alcohol for at least four hours before bed.
Like alcohol, caffeine may also have a negative impact on your sleep quality if you consume it too close to hitting the sheets. But unlike alcohol, caffeine is a stimulant. Stimulants enhance the activity of your brain and nervous system, making you feel alert and energetic.
Your cutoff for drinking caffeine should generally be about eight hours before you plan to go to bed. Drinking large amounts of caffeine any later than that may cause you to have a hard time falling asleep. The longer it takes for you to fall asleep, the less time you are going to be able to have for deep sleep.
Still, some studies hint that consuming caffeine at any point during the day can affect your sleep quality, so consider subbing out that cup of coffee for a cup of decaf instead.
Avoid Exercise Before Bed
Exercise often gets the heart rate racing and releases chemicals in the brain called endorphins. Endorphins increase your brain activity and can keep you feeling alert and awake.
As you may guess, if you try to go to bed with your heart rate still going strong, it probably won’t work out very well (pun intended). As a result, you should aim to exercise no less than two hours before it’s time to hit the hay.
Still, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t exercise. Daily exercise can actually go a long way toward promoting healthy sleep — just give yourself enough time to wind down before bed.
Minimize Blue Light Exposure
Another silent enemy that can affect your sleep sits right in the palm of your hand. The screens on your electronics all emit blue light, which can be harmful to your sleep patterns.
Blue light impacts the circadian rhythm that we mentioned earlier — that vital internal clock. After all, blue light is one of the types of UV light that comes from the sun, so being around blue light can trick your brain into thinking it's daytime.
Blue light might also impact your natural production of melatonin, which is the hormone that your body produces in response to darkness.
If you are staring at a screen before bed, it can send signals to your brain that you should be awake and alert, not getting ready to snooze. You can minimize your blue light exposure by wearing blue light filtering glasses when you use electronics.
Some devices even have a blue light filter setting that reduces the amount of blue light they emit. However, one of the best ways to avoid blue light is to avoid screen time entirely an hour or two before bed and maintain a dark sleep environment.
What Else Can I Do To Support Energy Overall?
Getting an appropriate amount of healthy sleep is step one to better energy levels, but it isn’t the only step. Building a healthy daily routine and nourishing your body can help you support your sleep and your energy levels directly.
Get Enough Exercise
Yes, exercise is tiring, but not exercising is even more tiring! Exercising regularly can actually promote better sleep. It doesn’t have to be a lot of exercise, either — just 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, such as walking, jogging, or biking, can have a positive impact on your sleep. Even better, you may see those benefits that same night.
Don’t stress about finding the perfect exercise secret. Find an exercise that you enjoy so that you can stick to it and make it a part of your routine. Again, just make sure to avoid exercising too close to bedtime.
On top of promoting healthier sleep, exercise can be energizing in and of itself. Those endorphins we mentioned earlier can leave you feeling more energized and alert throughout the day. Exercise also gets your heart pumping and your blood flowing, which can help support the healthy function of your brain and body.
One of the biggest influences on your body’s overall energy levels is the fuel that you give it. As a result, you might want to consider taking a supplement.
Supplements can provide your body with additional nutrients that you may not get through your diet. Fueling your body with these nutrients can help support your body’s internal functions for sustained energy.
Many people miss out on important nutrients without even realizing it. Some supplements that are commonly recommended include vitamin D, vitamin B12, and omega-3s. However, make sure you talk to your doctor before incorporating supplements into your diet. Your doctor may want to test your nutrient levels to make sure you’re getting the right nutrients.
One great supplement you can include in your daily routine is a daily greens powder like L’Evate You.
L’Evate You was created by Steve Harvey and his chosen team of health professionals to naturally support daily energy levels and complement a healthy diet. This powder is complete with nine greens and 30 superfoods to provide you with antioxidants and nutrients that can support your body down to the cellular level.
On top of supporting healthy aging and positive athletic performance, this supplement also tastes delicious. Steve Harvey was set on having a supplement that is as enjoyable as it is beneficial, and the Vitality Daily Greens Chocolate drink reflects that.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
Supplements are great, and they make an excellent addition to any diet. However, the first step should always be maintaining a balanced diet.
No, we don’t mean to start juggling your food. A balanced diet is one that contains a variety of foods that give you the important nutrients your body needs.
Each meal should include each of these macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. On top of these essentials, you should also include foods that offer a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals. A general rule of thumb is the more colors on your plate, the better.
To get a balance of nutrients, your plate should include whole grains, healthy protein, vegetables, some fruit, and healthy oils in moderation. Fruits and vegetables should take up half of your plate, while whole grains and protein should take up the other half.
The Bottom Line
If you’re not treating your body right, even a full eight hours of sleep might not be enough to keep you feeling energized throughout the day. By maintaining a healthy sleep schedule and healthy routines to support it, you can combat daytime sleepiness and feel more energetic all day long.
At L’Evate You, our goal is to provide you with the support you need to feel healthier and more energized during your daily routine. Formulated with greens, superfoods, a mushroom blend, and more, this supplement is the real deal.
Explore our full collection of Vitality Daily Greens powders for yourself and see the difference they can make.
Alcohol and Sleep | Sleep Foundation