How to Stop Feeling Groggy in the Mornings

If you are self-employed, then you may well find that sleep inertia is one of the biggest barriers there is to true productivity.

Sleep inertia is the name for the feeling of grogginess we often have when we first wake up in the morning. This is what prevents us from getting up quickly in the morning when our alarm first goes off and it’s also what prevents us from doing anything useful during the first hour of our waking day (including exercising).

Combat sleep inertia and suddenly you gain back at least an hour of productivity a day and probably more. What could you do with 365 extra hours?

Why You Feel Groggy

To help yourself start feeling less groggy and more alert in the mornings, it’s first useful to look at why you’re feeling sub-optimal in the first place.

Common reasons include:

Lack of Sugar

If you wake up in the morning with low blood sugar, you can actually feel quite rough. Try having a teaspoon of honey before bed and see if that helps!

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea means you’re waking during the night because you’re stopping breathing. The problem is that you may not be aware of this because it will be so brief and you may not be fully conscious.

To find out for sure, rig up a camera by your bed and film yourself. If you have apnea, then you should see your doctor who may give you a splint or a CPAP machine.


If you’re waking up with a scratchy throat and headache, then it could be that you’re breathing in pollen or dander during the night. The best solution is simply to close the window.


A number of different medications can leave you feeling rough in the mornings. Anti-histamines are one example, as are antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications.


If you have mold in your room, then you will be breathing in mold spores as well as toxins during the night and you can often wake up feeling rough as a result.


Another common cause for feeling rough in the mornings is dehydration. Try drinking a big glass of water before bed and consider using chia seeds to slow down the release of the liquid.

Poor Sleep

If none of this has helped, then you might just not be getting the quantity and/or quality of sleep you need. There are any number of ways you should look into fixing this but you should start with the basics – make sure your room is dark and quiet and go to bed at a consistent time.