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Why Am I Still Tired After I Sleep?

Sep 30, 2021 | Blog, Lifestyle


Sleep is a complex yet fascinating topic.


There are varying opinions and feelings about it. Some people swear by getting their full 8 hours each night, while others pride themselves on their high functioning state with only 3-5 hours each night.


I find that most adults have a love-hate relationship with sleep. And if you’re anything like where I used to be (before I reset my adrenals and started valuing sleep again), you may notice a few things right away:


  • You don’t have a consistent sleep schedule. You wake up/fall asleep at varying times.
  • Even if you get a “full night’s sleep,” you still feel tired and worn out the following day.
  • Your sleep doesn’t feel restful. Instead, you find yourself regularly tossing and turning.
  • You find it hard to wind down and prepare for sleep. Instead, you end up staring at your phone or at the ceiling for what seems like hours.
  • You fall asleep quickly, but wake up before your alarm goes off and have trouble getting back to sleep.
  • You find yourself regularly using boosters to either keep you awake (coffee, tea, energy drinks) or put you to sleep (a glass of wine, melatonin, other organic supplements).



But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way?


You see, there’s this myth in our culture that if you’re getting enough rest and deep sleep, then you must not be working hard enough, you’re wasting your day, or you’re just lazy. I’m here to tell you that is a straight-out lie. Feeling rested, awake and alert is not something you should ever feel guilty about.


The 5 Factors


Throughout my years as a practicing M.D, I have found that 5 modifiable lifestyle factors play vital roles in our overall health. They are:


  • Diet
  • Exercise
  • Stress
  • Relationships
  • Sleep


At first, many of my patients will look at this list and rank them in order of importance. For example, stress may rank #1 for some, but exercise #1 for others, etc.


But here’s the secret: they are all equally important! They all must be worked on to achieve optimal wellness.


Imagine if the only area you ever focused on was your diet. You’re determined to count every calorie, read every nutrition label, and never take a cheat day. However, if your diet is your sole focus, that becomes highly stressful to maintain over time. Not only will you jeopardize the quantity and quality of your sleep because you’re too consumed with meal preparation, but your cravings will skyrocket because your body is just too exhausted.


Here’s another example: let’s say your top priority is relationships. You want to fulfill the various roles as a wife, husband, dad, mom, soccer coach, employee, church member, volunteer, etc. So you constantly focus on being there for everyone else, which leaves you with no time for your daily workout. In return, your sleep suffers, which means you’re more likely to go through your days in a zombie-like fashion, relying on the next cup of coffee to put a smile on your face and help you “show up” for others.


As you can see, each of the 5 modifiable lifestyle factors is important to your overall health. Today, our focus is on sleep, but my new virtual adrenal program highlights all 5 factors, along with actionable strategies to help you feel your best again. Next up, I’ll share the risks of not getting enough sleep. I’ll also have you take a short quiz to assess your sleep quality and explain how to enhance it if necessary.


The Risks of Decreased Sleep


The sweet spot for enough sleep (as widely accepted in the medical community) is between 6 and 8 hours with a 24-hour time frame. I have my private patients aim for at least 7. So, if you’re routinely sleeping less than that, you may find yourself facing one or more of the following risks:


  • Harming the efficacy of your immune system
  • Doubling your risk of cancer
  • Increasing the risk of Alzheimer’s
  • Elevating blood sugar
  • Increasing depression & anxiety
  • Increasing hunger
  • Increasing risk of coronary artery disease, cerebral vascular accidents (strokes), and congestive heart failure


Other factors can lead to these risks too, but ignoring your sleep will exacerbate any predisposed situations due to genetics or other lifestyle factors.


How To Calculate Quality Sleep


There’s a short quiz I have used on my patients in my one-on-one program to help them assess the current quality of their sleep. Included are 5 questions that you rank from 0-2, depending on your personal experiences. I’d like to share this quiz with you so that you can see where you fall within the range of quality sleep.


For each question, you will score yourself either a 0, 1, or 2.


0 = rarely
1 = sometimes
2 = usually


Are you satisfied with your sleep?


Do you stay awake all day without dozing?


Are you asleep or trying to sleep between 2-4 am?


Do you spend <30 minutes awake at night? (including the time it takes to fall asleep and wake up?)


Do you sleep between 6-8 hours every night?


Tally up your score and compare it to the ranges below:


8 Or Above: You have a pretty excellent quality of sleep; good for you! There may still be some room for improvement, or there may be another one of the 5 modifiable lifestyle factors that need attention in your life.


6-7: You may want to consider some intervention on how to improve your sleep quality. Having a professional help guide you to better sleep could be the pivotal change you need to reset your energy and life.


Below 6: I’d recommend working on your sleep as your number 1 priority. It’s that important. You are better off skipping your workout and resting, seriously!


From Fatigued to Flourishing


Helping people take care of themselves and uplevel their health is what Best Life Functional Medicine and my new virtual learning series are all about!


As common as Adrenal Fatigue is, it’s highly underrated in the conventional medicine world. The truth is most people have it to some degree, whether or not they or their doctor are aware of it. You may be experiencing adrenal fatigue if….


  • You’re waking up feeling even more tired than the night before
  • You’re stressing out quickly, and it feels unmanageable
  • You’re gritting your teeth to get through the day, week, months, or even years ahead
  • You’re constantly feeling exhausted and spent
  • You’re no longer feeling like yourself
  • You have the energy to do the things you HAVE to do, but none left over to do the things you WANT to do


If this sounds like you, then register for my virtual learning series today!

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