Do you always wake up feeling so groggy that it’s almost like you never got a wink of sleep the night before?
This can be a sign that you have some health issues to deal with, but it’s also quite likely that it’s just your lifestyle that’s sapping away your energy levels.
Here are 10 small habits that make you less energetic in the morning.
Find out if you’re committing any of them.
1) Staying up late
It’s fine to sleep late from time to time. Sometimes there are just things that we need to stay awake for, after all. But if it’s become a habit, it’s expected that you won’t have energy in the morning.
We all need a certain amount of sleep every day, and failing to get the correct amount of rest will result in you getting what’s called sleep debt.
At first, you probably won’t feel much and that might get you thinking that there’s nothing wrong with staying up late.
But as your sleep debt grows you’ll eventually find yourself getting less and less energetic. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself feeling like a zombie.
Solution: Always make sure you sleep on time, and don’t stay up late unless it’s absolutely necessary.
2) Drinking too much alcohol
Alcohol can make you sleepy because it’s a depressant. But if you have a habit of knocking yourself out with a drink before bed, you should probably try and put a stop to it.
The problem is that alcohol interferes with REM, which is incredibly important for proper sleep.
Because of that, if you sleep with alcohol in your blood, you won’t feel refreshed at all when you wake in the morning.
Solution: Drink lightly in the evening, and make sure you’re completely sober at least an hour before you sleep.
3) Doomscrolling before sleeping
Doomscrolling is already a destructive habit all on its own, but it’s especially harmful when you do it just before you’re about to sleep.
It’s bad enough that it’s addictive and that it can make you lose track of time, but more than that it’s also known to increase the amount of stress hormones in your blood like adrenaline and cortisol.
And stress not only makes it harder for you to fall asleep, it also makes your sleep more fitful and less refreshing.
That is to say, not only do you stay up late, doomscrolling can also cause you to develop insomnia.
Solution: Don’t sleep with your phone beside you. Better yet, leave your phone outside your room.
4) Checking your phone upon waking up
The days when we can rest knowing nothing important is going to happen while we sleep are long gone.
Now you might receive direct messages, emails, comments on your social media, and updates to your online purchases while you’re fast asleep.
But as tempting as it may be to check your phone first thing in the morning, don’t.
Your brain naturally moves through several stages of wakefulness in the morning, and this process is important for being focused and energized throughout the rest of the day.
Looking at your phone or your computer, however, forces your body to switch to full wakefulness… which will leave you tired and unable to focus.
Solution: Stay away from your electronics until you’ve had your breakfast. An hour or two won’t matter much to your online life in the long run, but it does wonders for your mind.
5) Having bad breakfast habits
By the time you wake up in the morning, your body will have gone roughly 12 hours without nourishment.
Your body needs to replenish its supply of nutrients, especially that of glucose—the sugar that gives your body energy.
That said, simply having a morning meal isn’t enough either. You also need to mind what you’re eating.
Too much sugar can cause a sugar rush, and too much coffee will leave you exhausted later. Too much food can make you tired, while junk food won’t give you any energy at all.
Solution: Always make sure to have your morning meal, and to keep it light yet filling. Prepare your breakfast or brunch in the evening if you know you won’t have the time to prepare in the morning.
6) Overwhelming yourself
If you have a lot of things that you need to do, it might seem tempting to try and get them all done as soon as possible.
But unfortunately, in doing this you’ll only be making yourself anxious. And anxiety is known to make the body tired but wired.
You’ll be so worried about the day ahead—like about whether you can actually fulfill your tasks or do them well enough—that you’ll be burnt out even if you haven’t actually done anything yet.
So as tempting as it might be to “scare yourself” with ambitious goals and to-do lists, don’t.
Solution: Know your limits, your priorities, and do only as much as you know you’re capable of.
7) Not taking self-care seriously
If you don’t exercise, you don’t drink enough, you don’t eat well, and you don’t take rest seriously, then…of course your body and mind will not perform optimally.
You cannot just psyche or mindset yourself into having more energy. Having energy is a very physical thing!
You actually need to care for your body and make sure it’s in good shape if you want it to serve you well.
So you have to solve it by paying more attention to how you handle your body.
Solution: Take a hard look at your habits. Are they serving your body well? If not, then it’s time to make the right changes.
8) Setting the alarm too early…then hitting snooze every five minutes
A disrupted sleep cycle can sometimes be worse than no sleep at all.
So instead of trying to set your alarm way too early and hitting snooze when it goes off, try to be realistic about when you can feasibly wake up without going “Wait, five more minutes.”
According to sleep experts, hitting snooze is bad for your health. Having 5-10 increments of sleep can leave you feeling groggy and tired all day.
Solution: Set the time when you can commit to waking up the moment your alarm goes off. Be realistic.
If you’ve been trying to wake up at 4:30 a.m. but you always wake up at 5:30 (after 12 snoozes), then do yourself a favor—just set the time to 5:30!
9) Engaging in drama
Between personal problems like breakups and drama in the family to bigger problems beyond your control like war and inflation… there’s almost always something that can get you stressed out there.
It can be hard to resist thinking about confronting your ex to “talk things over”, commenting on family drama, or picking a fight with someone online over politics.
But honestly, it’s best not to engage in drama unless it comes for you first—it won’t do much for you except leave you stressed and mentally distracted.
You can have 8 full hours of sleep and still feel exhausted when you’re that stressed.
Solution: Be aware of your feelings and exercise self-control when you feel tempted to jump into drama. Keep reminding yourself to avoid engaging in arguments whenever possible.
10) Not moving enough
There are times when we’re just lazy.
In times like these, it’s tempting to just lie down and stay still until it’s actually time for us to move. Sometimes we might even end up falling back to sleep!
And this is a bad idea. It won’t make you any more energized than you already are. On the contrary, it might actually make you feel more tired or exhausted.
So that’s why you should always try to get moving and avoid going back to sleep—and thus disrupting your internal clock—when possible.
Solution: Get your body moving as soon as you wake up, regardless of whether it’s a work day or a holiday. Even walking around and preparing breakfast means a lot.
You might look at this list and go “Wait, that never gave me trouble before!” and you might be right.
While they will still have an effect on your body, you won’t feel these effects as much when you’re still young and full of energy.
But as you grow older, your body will become more and more sensitive to the effects these bad habits have on your body.
Thankfully, it’s not like you’re doomed to repeat these mistakes forever. If you really want to, you can start adopting better habits, one at a time.