I’m a sleep expert and this is why you feel tired ALL the time

  • Vanessa Chalmers, Digital Health Reporter
  • 5:33 ET, Dec 31 2021
  • Updated: 5:48 ET, Dec 31 2021

NO MATTER how many times you press snooze, sometimes there is no rousing you from your slumber.

But it could be your snoozing habit that is the cause of you feeling so tired when you have to wake up.

Always tired when you wake up? These tips should help you
Always tired when you wake up? These tips should help youCredit: Alamy

Feeling sleepy when that alarm bell rings is the last thing you need when you have a busy day ahead of you.

So how can you fix it?

James Wilson, a sleep practioner and co-founder of, knows all the tricks for waking up feeling more refreshed.

He also knows when your morning sleepiness is in fact something to worry about – read on to find out if this applies to you.

1. Wake up with natural light 

James advises waking up with natural light to get you going in the morning.

Our brain is naturally programmed to respond to the rising sun by producing hormones such as cortisol, which make us feel awake.

Most people wake up to a pitch black room. So James suggested using a sunshine alarm clock.

He said: “You can superpower the effect of the sunshine alarm clock by purchasing a light box.

“These mimic the light frequency of the sun and encourage the production of wake-up hormones like cortisol and decrease melatonin, a hormone connected to sleep. 


SWEET TIPS I’m a nutritionist and here’s how to get over a sugar hangoverLOAD OFF The 8 simple ways to lose Xmas belly fat – and you don’t need to count caloriesSLEEP TIGHT I’m a doc & here’s why getting a good night’s sleep makes you more attractiveDISH THE DIRT The item in your wardrobe with more mould than a toilet bowl

“[It] gently pulls you out of your sleep cycle and even if you still use an audible alarm, you will not wake up with such a start and be tempted to continuously press snooze. 

“Use one whilst getting ready for your day or eating your breakfast.”

2. Have a wake-up routine 

When it’s time to get up, what’s the first thing you do? Granted, the answer is check your phone.

Emails, social media, texts – anything to get your brain working.

But this is the worst thing you could do, James said.

“Don’t jump straight out of bed and check your emails and social media responses. 

“This activates your brain too quickly and does not let your brain go through the process it needs to.”

Brain waves are on a spectrum of fast and slow, putting you in alert or sleepy/relaxed states.

When you wake up, your brain should have time to gradually move from slow (delta) to fast (gamma) waves.

Skipping the stages between – such as alpha, which is a relaxed but awake state – can make you feel more on edge.

James said: “Take your time, gently get up, and maybe listen to the radio for 30 minutes or so while your brain gets into gear.”

3. Go to bed rested

It’s easy to assume you are not a “morning person”. 

But it could be your evening habits that are to blame.

James said: “We may wake up feeling tired because we have gone to bed with heightened stress levels, or too much caffeine in our system.

“If we are sleep deprived, falling asleep isn’t difficult for many of us as sleep is an instinct and our body will get it when it can. 

“If we are exhausted, we are more likely to fall asleep.

“However, if we have gone straight to sleep after finishing work, have exercised in the three hours before bed, had a heavy meal too close to bedtime, or watched the news rather than our favourite sitcom – it will be harder. 

“Try to keep caffeine intake to a minimum in the six hours before bed and as you start your wind down time, about an hour before bed, make sure you are ready for bed so when you feel sleepy you can head straight to the land of nod.”

Getting a good night routine and rest, meaning decent quality as well as hours, should help ease that morning dread of having to get up.

Are you actually tired?

James said: “Are you actually tired or have you just woken up? 

“When we wake up it can take us a bit of time to get going, and we can still feel tired and lethargic.”

This is known as sleep inertia and refers to the transitional state between sleep and wake, around 15 minutes.

During this time period it’s normal to feel groggy and disoriented.

James said: “If you still feel tired at 10/11 in the morning, because this is when we are at our most alert, then there may be an underlying issue we should look at.”

When is being tired in the morning a serious problem?

James said: “Lots of things make us tired – mostly they are not connected to sleep. 

“Deficiencies like Vitamin D or Iron – stress, anxiety, burnout, poor diet, a lack of exercise too are common problems.”

One of the most common symptoms of the disorder sleep apnoea is feeling tired in the daytime.

People with the disorder stop breathing for short intervals during the night, without knowing. This causes a lot of snoring.

James said sufferers feel “absolutely shattered after what would be classed as a typical amount of sleep”. 

“Other symptoms include a splitting headache, falling asleep during the day and making a choking and/or gasping sound in the night,” he said.

Anaemia, diabetes and chronic fatigue syndrome are just some of the other possible medical causes of your constant feeling of tiredness. 

Mental health conditions including anxiety and depression can also cause you to feel tired or devoid of energy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s