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We Asked A Sleep Expert: Is It Ever Normal To Wake Up Tired?

When asking the question of whether it’s normal to wake up tired, it really depends how long you actually feel tired. As Breus explains, most people shake off the initial morning sleepiness after about five to 10 minutes. And if you’re experiencing sleep inertia (grogginess upon waking up) from waking during deep sleep, for example, it can last a bit longer.

But according to Breus, “When you wake up tired and that tiredness lingers for more than about five to 10 minutes, that is an initial sign of inadequate sleep, but it can also be a more serious sign of excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS).” The latter is a sleep issue to see a doctor about.

He adds that you’d expect to wake up tired if you only got five hours of sleep, which would be “normal,” or at least not a cause for concern. “But if you get seven to nine hours of sleep, and still wake up tired, I look for things like a diagnosable sleep problem, prolonged inadequate sleep, or something that affects your sleep quality like alcohol, caffeine, or medications” Breus says.

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