Tempting as that snooze button and getting “just a few more minutes” may be, falling back asleep after waking is sleep fragmentation. According to research, sleep fragmentation increases daytime sleepiness and grogginess, decreases performance, and makes you feel run-down.
On the flip side, foods that are generally considered unhealthy can make you feel sluggish and zap your energy. Exercise has been proven to improve sleep and conditions that can cause insomnia and excessive sleepiness, such as anxiety and depression.
If you worry that you have a sleep disorder or other medical condition that may be contributing to your morning fatigue, see a doctor. Carl W. Brazil, MD, PhD, director, division of epilepsy and sleep, department of neurology, Columbia University.
It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health.
Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. No, and there are a series of ways to explain why (assuming that you do not suffer from either narcolepsy or sleep apnea).
During the previous few hours before waking in the morning, you have spent most of your time in REM sleep, dreaming. Your brain was very active during dreaming and consumed large quantities of the energy molecule ATP.
In contrast, the sleep efficiency of men was not reduced by the presence of a female partner, regardless of whether they had had sexual contact. Even more disconcerting is that late bedtime is associated with decreased hippocampus volume in young, healthy subjects.
Elevated blood sugar levels have been shown to increase the activity of neurons that promote sleep. These neurons live in a region of the brain that lacks a blood–brain barrier; thus, when they sense the presence of sugar in the blood, they make you feel drowsy.
This is just one more bit of evidence demonstrating your brain’s significant requirement for sugar in order to maintain normal function. With aging, normal sleep rhythms become increasingly disrupted, leading to daytime sleepiness.
Not getting enough sleep makes us more likely to pick fights and focus on negative memories and feelings. Sleep deprivation impairs memory storage and makes it more likely that we will “remember” events that did not actually occur.
Not getting enough sleep on a consistent basis places you at risk of developing autoimmune disorders, cancer, metabolic syndrome, and depression. Some recent studies have reported that sleep is important for purging the brain of abnormal, and possibly toxic, proteins that can accumulate and increase the probability of developing dementia in old age.
Water fires up your metabolism, hydrates you, helps your body flush out toxins, gives your brain fuel, and may even make you eat less. Imagine not drinking any water, tea, or any other liquids for the next eight hours.
“Your kidneys do an amazing job of cleansing and ridding your body of toxins as long as your intake of fluids is adequate”, according to Kenneth Elder, an Atlanta-based dermatologist. When you’re not properly hydrated, your brain operates on less fuel, and you can feel drained, or experience fatigue or mood fluctuations.
One study showed that people who drink a glass of water before every meal lost 4.5 pounds over a three-month period, because “it fills up the stomach with a substance that has zero calories”, and people “feel full as a result”. 4 Especially after I’ve eaten a big breakfast, drinking a lot of water in the morning has also helped me avoid the temptation of snacking before lunch.
Drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning is a great way to rehydrate, and start kicking ass from the moment you makeup. While that’s the reality for some people, if you have the less pleasant experience of waking up gasping for air, a good night’s sleep might just be a pipe dream.
These little “sleep starts,” as they’re sometimes called, are a type of quick, involuntary muscle spasm known as cyclones, according to the Mayo Clinic. During this stage, your heartbeat, breathing, and eye movements decelerate, your muscles relax, and your brain waves begin to slow down, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke says.
While factors like having too much caffeine or being under a ton of stress may bring about hypnotic jerks, they also just sometimes happen for no real reason, Dr. Winter says. This can happen due to allergies, a cold, or any other health condition that makes your nose runny, Raymond Cascara, M.D., a pulmonologist at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, tells SELF.
This can happen if your lower esophageal sphincter (which is supposed to close off your esophagus from your stomach) becomes weak or relaxes when it shouldn’t, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NID DK). And some people experience this reflux at night when they’re lying down, which can lead to irritation and narrowing of your airways that may leave you gasping for air, Dr. Cascara explains.
This can cause additional symptoms such as chest pain, a persistent cough, laryngitis, and (obviously) disrupted sleep, the Mayo Clinic says. When you have asthma, certain triggers like pollen or pet dander can cause your airways to become inflamed and full of mucus, making it hard to breathe, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
This can leave you gasping for air any time you’re exposed to a trigger, and unfortunately, this and other asthma symptoms (like wheezing and chest pain) also tend to get worse at night. One potential reason behind this is increased exposure to triggers like dust mites or pet dander that may be lurking in your bedroom, Dr. Cascara says.
Also, at night, your body can release higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and that can boost inflammation in your airways, Dr. Cascara says. If this happens to you, you might feel better once you sit up, since it puts your respiratory system in a better mechanical position to get air in and out, Dr. Cascara explains.
A panic attack is a sudden episode of extreme fear that causes intense physical reactions seemingly out of nowhere, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It’s a really awful situation that can present differently for different people, but in general, having a panic attack might cause a sense of impending doom, a rapidly pounding heart, sweating, shaking, shortness of breath, chills, hot flashes, nausea, stomach cramping, chest pain, a headache, dizziness, and feeling detached from reality.
Your brain then senses that you can ’t breathe and sounds the alarm by forcing you to makeup so that you can reopen your airways, the Mayo Clinic explains. Even though this can happen multiple times every hour, these awakenings are usually so short that people don’t always recall waking up, Dr. Winter says.
If you have central sleep apnea, which is a less common form of the condition that happens when your brain fails to send signals to your breathing muscles, you’re also likely to makeup gasping for air, Dr. Winter says. If you’re regularly waking up gasping for air, and you also snore or your partner says they’ve noticed you’re showing these or other signs of sleep apnea, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor.
They may recommend treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine to make sure you continue to breathe while sleeping, oral devices made to keep your throat open, or more intensive options like surgery to shrink tissue that’s collapsing into your airways at night, according to the Mayo Clinic. Pulmonary edema presents in a few forms: acute (which comes on suddenly), chronic (which persists over time), and high altitude (which happens if you travel to or work out in extreme heights), according to the Mayo Clinic.
You may also experience symptoms like wheezing, clammy skin, a bloody cough, heart palpitations, fever, and fatigue. Heart failure and pulmonary edema are medical emergencies and shouldn’t be ignored, so call 911 if you’re waking up gasping for air and having other symptoms of either condition.
If there isn’t an underlying condition causing your pain, it’s time to take action. Sometimes you can achieve a great night’s sleep with a simple pillow adjustment.
The right pillow correctly aligns the part of your spine that’s in your neck, so that muscle tightness doesn’t occur when you sleep. The Mediterranean diet, which features a lot of veggies, fruits, whole grains and seafood, may increase the antioxidants that help reduce inflammation.
Movement lubricates joints, which keeps pain and stiffness at bay. Be careful though: Exercising near bedtime or overtraining can lead to insomnia.
“Other options may include lifting a heavy cookbook as a weight or performing squats at your desk.” Exercise, yoga and massage relieve inflammation by increasing blood flow to your muscles.
You can also incorporate mindfulness meditation, which has been clinically shown to change the way your brain processes pain. There are so many reasons to quit smoking, but you can add pain relief to the list.