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11 Reasons You Feel Like A Sleep-Deprived Zombie After Waking Up

Why the weary never recover from their so-called quality rest.

So you wake up in the morning after a good night's sleep, and you still find yourself wanting to crawl back into bed. You try your darndest to soldier on, and yet by mid-afternoon, your boss catches you on your desk enjoying an extended siesta

Exhaustion is a common problem and sleep-deprivation is just one of the reasons you feel lethargic. Experts have weighed in on the real causes of your lack of energy and found these tendencies to be the culprits.

1. You're a couch potato.

You thought skipping your workout can help you regain more energy? Turns out it actually does the exact opposite. In a University of Georgia study published on, normally sedentary participants who started exercising lightly three days a week for as little as 20 minutes at a time reported feeling less fatigued and more energized within six weeks.

2. You can't resist a bottle of beer before bed.

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With its sedative effect, alcohol sure helps you sleep faster. "But it ultimately sabotages sleep maintenance," says Allen Towfigh, MD, medical director of New York Neurology & Sleep Medicine, PC, in New York City in report. The outcome? You're most likely to wake up in the middle of the night because the alcohol prevents your body from metabolizing properly.

3. You love coffee.

Yes, without it you'd unlikely survive dragging days at work or in school. Three cups of coffee can do you no harm, but anything more than that can seriously disrupt your sleep-wake cycle, says Dr. Towfigh. Caffeine blocks adenosine, the byproduct of active cells that gets you more sleepy as they accumulate, he explains.

4. You like late-night parties during weekends.

Hanggang-sikat-ng-araw levels of Saturday night partying (followed by sleeping in on Sundays) leads to difficulty falling asleep Sunday night—and a sleep-deprived Monday morning, says Dr. Towfigh.

5. You smoke.

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"Smoking damages your lungs and reduces the oxygen content in the blood. Lack of oxygen means less energy," says Dr. Willie T. Ong, MD, on

6. You rely on energy tablets, energy drinks, weight-loss drugs, or prohibited drugs.

While these tablets might give you a temporary boost of energy, Ong says they can harm your body in the long run because of their side effects like palpitation, anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness.

7. You are not in your ideal body weight.

If you're overweight, Ong claims, your body must spend more energy to keep moving. If you're underweight, on the other hand, you need more nutrition to maintain your strength.

8. You put in some screen time before sleeping.

Stayed up late binge-watching Game Of Thrones or checking out e-mail messages? Researchers from Harvard University found that when study participants read an e-book before turning in, they experienced significantly less REM sleep, according to a report published on Consequently, they felt less alert the next morning compared to those who read traditional paper books.

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9. You have a sleeping disorder.

Sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder, can cause someone to stop breathing dozens or even hundreds of times a night, says Roseanne S. Barker, MD, former medical director of the Baptist Sleep Institute in Knoxville, TN on Despite the rest, you feel ill-equipped to handle the demands of your day.

In addition, excess weight increases your risk of sleep apnea, a condition where blocked airways drastically cut your quality sleep. Even though most Pinoys aren't hefty, our general body type already puts us in harm's way. "Our airways tend to be smaller than [those of] our Caucasian counterparts, which is actually quite alarming," shares Dr. Michael Sarte, a sleep specialist at the Medical City in Pasig.

10. You find comfort in eating junk food.

Think donuts, chocolates, and chips. Foods loaded with sugar and simple carbs lead to a spike in your glucose levels, causing fatigue over the course of the day, says Amy Goodson, RD, a dietitian for Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine on Time.

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11. You have iron deficiency.

Iron deficiency leads to sluggishness, weakness, and decreased focus. "It makes you tired because less oxygen travels to the muscles and cells," says Goodson.


This article originally appeared on

*Minor edits have been made by the editors.


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