Why Am Still Tired After 8 Hours or More Sleep Per Night?

Sleepy Man Cartoon (M)

Is this you? Are you doing everything that you know of to get a good night’s sleep yet are ready to flake out mid-day? Are you at your wit’s end as to why you never feel rested?

There may be hidden reasons for this that have nothing to do with how many hours you sleep per night:

  • Sleep Apnoea

Sleep apnoea (or apnea) occurs when you snore and there is a transient cessation of respiration ~ in other words you stop breathing for a few seconds. It affects more women than you would imagine, especially women in peri-menopause. Studies suggest that the cause for this is lower levels of oestrogen. Apnoea cuts into restful sleep and also raises the risk of high blood pressure. This condition can be very dangerous to your overall health, so see your doctor if you suspect apnoea.

  • Breathing Problems

Respiratory ailments such as asthma, apnoea or a deviated septum may create breathing problems that are disrupting your sleep, leading to mouth breathing and awakening with a dry mouth. A nostril dilator or nasal strips could help you to breathe more easily as they allow more air into your nose. If the condition persists, contact your doctor.

  • Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding, or bruxism, generally occurs when a person is stressed. Grinding uses all the muscles in your jaw and skull, which is why you wake up exhausted. It also wears down the enamel of your teeth over time, creating other problems. One solution is to wear a retainer. Contact your dentist if you suspect that bruxism is the problem.

  • Dearth of Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that our bodies require for the GABA receptors, which exist throughout all areas of the brain and nervous system, to function correctly. We require this calming neurotransmitter in order for the brain to ‘switch off.’ Without it our thoughts will continue to race and we will remain stressed and tense, unable to get the rest we need.

Magnesium is found in leafy greens, nuts and beans. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium for women 19 – 30 years of age is 310 milligrams, which amounts to a mere 2 cups of leafy greens per day. The good news is that you can also get your RDA of magnesium from 3 squares of dark chocolate.

  • A Diet High in Fats

Eating junk-food, take-aways and fried foods is not only bad for the figure; high fat consumption is also linked to increased daytime sleepiness, regardless of how much sleep you get at night. A healthy, low-fat diet will help you to feel healthier and more alert.

  • Sleeping Pills

Drugs that help you fall asleep may make you feel more tired when you awaken, as they change your natural sleep pattern or ‘sleep architecture.’ The grogginess that you feel in the morning relates directly to the dosage of the sleeping pills and how long the medication remains in the body. Try drinking some warm milk and honey before bed, or sprinkle some Lavender Oil on a cloth placed under your pillow or next to your bed as a natural sleep-aid.

  • Your Body’s Internal Clock

Working nights and travelling across time zones disrupts the body’s natural clock and puts you out of sync. This is because your body releases hormones and chemicals such as melatonin, at exact times according to your geographical location. When your internal clock acclimatises to your new time zone, or you start retiring at a normal time, the resulting fatigue will abate.

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