Catching 40 winks isn’t just good for dark circles and dreaming you’re Mrs. Gosling – it also gives your brain a good clear out. Yes, you heard us. A study from the University of Rochester revealed that conking out can clear out your cerebral clutter.
The findings, published in the journal Science, show that the brain's unique method of cleansing itself - known as the lymphatic system - is highly active during sleep, clearing away toxins that would otherwise build up and trigger neurological disorders like Alzheimer's disease. Could be why you feel so refreshed after a good night's sleep (dreams of Mr. Gosling aside).
But what if you don’t feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by the morning and find yourself groggily wondering 'Why am I still tired after 8 hours of sleep'?
If you're waking up tired after 8 hours of sleep, these seven things could be to blame.
ARE YOU STILL TIRED AFTER 8 HOURS SLEEP?
1) YOU'RE DEHYDRATED
Without adequate fluid intake, blood pressure drops, slowing delivery of oxygen to the brain, which can leave you feeling flat out.
If you're still tired after sleeping 8 hours you may need to up your H2O.
The amount of fluid needed depends on the individual, but you should aim to go to the toilet at least three times a day.
Between six and eight glasses of water-based drinks – including tea and coffee – a day is recommended.
2) YOUR THYROID
Hypothyroidism is when your thyroid, a gland that produces hormones to control sleepiness and hunger, is underactive.
It’s a common cause of over-sleeping, but hard to pinpoint without a doctor. If you’re feeling sluggish but getting plenty of sleep, book an appointment with your doctor. A simple blood test can detect a gland gone bad.
More than half of us reach for a glass of vino between three to four times a week to relax after a hectic day.
While alcohol relaxes you initially, it can compromise your sleep quality.
This can happen even if you get the recommended 7-8 hours.
Why? Because the chemicals in alcohol disrupt your sleep cycle, preventing you from entering deep sleep.
Step away from the Chardonnay.
4) YOU HAVE SLEEP APNEA
The disorder affects 3-7% of the population. Sufferers wake up because they stop breathing anywhere from five times to hundreds of times an hour.
Sounds scarier than it is but you’ll sleep for longer because your sleep quality is compromised. The catch: you don’t remember waking up, so it’s hard to tell if you’re suffering.
Snoring, being overweight, and waking up with a headache – caused by a nocturnal lack of oxygen - are all symptoms of sleep apnea. Speak to your doctor if they sound familiar.
A siesta can take the edge off an afternoon slump, but the duration of your downtime is crucial.
It has been clinically proven that taking a nap for up to 30 minutes is revitalizing, but any longer than that and you’ll end up in a REM cycle for an hour.
Waking mid-cycle can leave you feeling groggy so if you want to nap for longer, have one lasting 90 minutes.
6) YOUR MOOD
Many depressed people aren’t just down in the dumps - they’re sleepy, too.
But here’s the deal: depression doesn’t necessarily make you sleep more, it just makes getting out of bed in the a.m. tougher, which could lead to excess sleep.
So if you’re finding yourself lacking the energy to face the hours ahead of you or dreading the day, head to your GP to get checked for this very common disease.
7) MINERAL DEFICIENCY
Magnesium plays a vital role in maintaining blood glucose levels, muscle health and concentration so a lack of it can leave you feeling lethargic.
Magnesium is found in leafy vegetables and nuts, but a supplement can help too.
If you feel like you've maxed out on kale, get 8 hours of sleep and still feel tired, try magnesium tablets.