Why Is It So Hard To Wake Up?
Do you find it difficult to wake up even though you slept for more than 8 hours? Even if you are a morning person, it can still be very hard to wake up sometimes.
Morning haters will probably find it easier to relate to this article. Being a morning person or night owl highly depends on your environment and what you make of it.
Scientifically speaking, this would depend on the time during the day where your melatonin levels are more likely to rise (earlier in the evening or during the morning).
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But, let’s dive deeper into why you sometimes can’t wake up regardless of how long you’ve slept. Last updated
What Is Sleep Inertia?
Although not everyone might be familiar with the term sleep inertia, you’ve certainly experienced that moment where you wake up, but you’re not fully awake yet. This is usually followed by a compelling and irresistible urge to go back to sleep. Even if you wake up, you may still feel groggy and ready to return to bed.
Sleep inertia refers to the transitional state between sleep and wake, marked by impaired performance, reduced vigilance, and desire to return to sleep. The intensity and duration of sleep inertia vary based on situational factors, but its effects may last from several minutes to several hours.
What Is Causing Sleep Inertia?
Scientists have been trying to identify and explain causes of sleep inertia, with three main causes emerging, including:
- The stages of sleep during which you wake up can highly encourage sleep inertia. In fact, waking up during stage 3 sleep (slow-wave sleep) produces more sleep inertia than awakening during stages 1, 2, or REM sleep.
- Prior sleep deprivation can also trigger sleep inertia.
- The level of cerebral blood flow is low upon awakening, which explains excessive tiredness during sleep inertia.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Severe morning sleep inertia can last for a long time and prevent you from going to work or school on time. Once it starts interfering with your routine and productivity, you should ask for professional help.
Usually, doctors will look for possible factors that contributed to the appearance of sleep inertia, such as stress (a big one), sleep disorders, depression disorders, medications you’re currently taking, or late night shifts.
How to Deal with Sleep Inertia?
If you’ve been diagnosed with sleep inertia and are feeling distressed, seeking treatment is the best option you have. Here are some easy countermeasures you can follow and that can help you deal with that morning fogginess:
- Caffeine – Obviously, caffeine can help you shake off some of the sleep inertia effects
- Strategic napping – Naps can help you avoid sleep inertia, but pay attention to timing them right. A short nap, ideally between 10 to 20 minutes in the afternoon, can help you fight off your sleepiness.
- Exposure to light – Getting a glimpse of sunrise might help you speed up the process of feeling fully alert after waking. Exposure to dawn light may help you feel more alert and better prepared to perform certain tasks.
- Sleep schedule rearrangement – Your body’s circadian rhythms influence sleep inertia. If possible, try to avoid waking up and diving right into a serious task during your body’s biological night.
- Sound and temperature – Study shows that the presence of mild sounds and lowering the temperature of the extremities may independently reverse sleep inertia symptoms.
To learn more about how to get quality sleep and get up easier in the morning, read our article: How To Get Better Sleep.
Optimizing both sleep quality and quantity is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Batling sleep disorders or certain mental disorders is important to ensure that you can successfully incorporate healthy sleep habits and ultimately reduce or eliminate sleep inertia.