Morning Fatigue: Causes and 7 Steps to Enhance Energy

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morning fatigueMorning Fatigue: Causes and 7 Steps to Enhance Energy

Fatigue is a serious problem in our modern world that millions of Americans are facing every day. Morning fatigue is characterized by tiredness, lack of energy, or lack of motivation that is present in the morning, however, it often continues on throughout the day. Morning fatigue may have a serious impact on your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health and overall quality of life.

The good news is that you can combat morning fatigue and enhance your energy naturally. In this article, you will learn what fatigue is and its most common causes. I will share with you 7 steps to enhance your energy naturally and three powerful supplements that may help to reduce morning fatigue.

What Is Fatigue

Fatigue may be defined as tiredness, lack of energy, or lack of motivation. Fatigue may be physical fatigue, mental fatigue, or both. It should not be confused with drowsiness or feeling of apathy, though both of these symptoms may be present alongside fatigue.

Morning fatigue is feeling fatigued in the morning after you wake up. It often accompanies your throughout your day making life more difficult. The experience of fatigue may differ from person to person. You may describe your fatigue as, feeling run down, tired, exhausted, listless, weary, malaise, unmotivated, or simply having low energy.

Your level of fatigue may be low, moderate, or intense. About 20 percent of Americans experience intense fatigue that interferes with the quality of their lives, including their work and personal life. When fatigue becomes chronic, it may seriously interfere with your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. This is why it’s really important that you understand the main cause of fatigue and some effective solutions (1).

morning fatigue

Main Causes of Morning Fatigue 

Fatigue may have a variety of causes, including your quality of sleep, physical health, diet, and lifestyle. Let’s take a look at some of the main causes of fatigue and morning fatigue.

Poor Sleep and Circadian Rhythm Disruptions

A lack of sleep or poor sleep seems to be an obvious and logical reason behind fatigue. Sleep is incredibly important for your health and well-being. It is time for rest and repair. 

Ideally, you want to get 7 to 9 hours of high-quality sleep. When your sleep is short, interrupted, and irregular, it may interrupt the entire system. When you are going to bed at irregular times, you are disrupting your natural circadian rhythms that may make good sleep difficult even if you allow time for it. When you are not honoring your body’s need for sleep or health issues prevent you from sleeping well, morning fatigue is an almost inevitable consequence.

morning fatigue

Blood Sugar Problems and Morning Fatigue

You are probably familiar with the quick energy you may feel after a little sugar, and the sugar crash and sudden fatigue that follows it. Blood sugar problems may be one of the culprits behind your morning fatigue.

One of the main signs of blood sugar issues, prediabetes, and diabetes is fatigue. Your body produces insulin by your pancreas to help break down glucose and use it for energy. However, if you are eating too much sugar, it will become increasingly difficult for your body to keep up. If you have diabetes, your body either can’t use insulin well or it doesn’t make enough insulin necessary. One of the main signs of diabetes is fatigue, along with extreme hunger or thirst, frequent urination, dry skin, and slow healing wounds.

Remember, knowing the cause of your issues is your key to the right solutions. You may find out if you have blood sugar issues, prediabetes, or diabetes through some bloodwork. You may learn about insulin resistance and how to stabilize your blood sugar naturally in this article. You may learn about some natural ways on how to beat diabetes here.

morning fatigue

HPA Axis Dysfunction and Morning Fatigue

The hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is basically your central stress response system. It is connected to your central nervous system and endocrine system. The responsibility of your HPA axis is the neuroendocrine adaptation within your stress response. The neuroendocrine signals are responsible for lead to the release of a variety of hormones and neurotransmitters, including cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

However, when you are exposed to repeated and sustained stressors, it may result in sustain HPA axis activation and dysfunction. This may deplete your metabolic output, results in changes in cortisol output, affect DHEA, melatonin, and epinephrine levels, and as a result may lead to fatigue, including morning fatigue, chronic fatigue syndrome, and adrenal fatigue (2, 3).

Hypothyroidism and Morning Fatigue

Hypothyroidism is a condition that affects 20 million Americans. If you have hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormones resulting in a variety of health issues. One of the main symptoms of hypothyroidism is fatigue. Other symptoms may involve weight gain, feeling cold muscle pains, depression, poor memory, and hair loss.

Determining whether your symptoms are due to hypothyroidism is easy to be determined through a blood test. Hashimoto’s disease is a common autoimmune form of hypothyroidism you can read about in this article (4, 5).

Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Your mitochondria are the powerhouse of your cells. They are specialized parts of your cell that help to convert nutrients into energy and allowing your body to function at an optimal level. 

When your mitochondrial health is compromised, your entire health suffers. If you have mitochondrial dysfunction, your body cannot produce enough energy for your cells to function optimally. When that happens, fatigue sets in, and you won’t be able to carry on with your days as your desire.

According to research, mitochondrial dysfunction may not only result in general fatigue but has also been linked to chronic fatigue syndrome. To learn more about mitochondrial health, I recommend this article (6, 7).

mitochondrial health, Mitochondrial Health: 5 Ways to Improve Cellular Energy

Dehydration and Bodily Stagnation 

Hydration and regular exercise are both incredibly important for your overall health and healthy energy levels. Ideally, you want to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of clean water a day, more if you are exercising, sick, or living in a hot climate. For general health, you should aim to get 20 to 30 minutes of exercise five days a week and generally stay active.

If your body is dehydrated, your body cannot pump enough blood to your heart and brain. It will have to work harder and harder taking off energy. As a result, you may experience fatigue and lethargy. Not moving enough may lead to poor circulation that may also result in fatigue. Body stagnation may put you into a rut, making you weaker, less energetic, and less motivated to move.

Dehydration, Can Dehydration Cause Asthma and Allergies?

Top 7 Steps to Enhance Energy

You don’t have to feel weighed down by fatigue or morning fatigue. You may take a variety of simple steps to enhance your energy naturally.

Prioritize Good Sleeping Habits

Good sleep is key for reducing morning fatigue, optimizing your energy levels, and increasing your health. Sleep is essential for stress reduction, rest, and repair. Make sure to get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Create a calming and stress-free zone in your bedroom.

Avoid electronics at least two hours before going to bed. Instead, engage in calming activities, such as reading, board games, journaling, coloring, crossword puzzles, and loving conversations. Try prayer, meditation or a relaxation tape and sip on some herbal tea. Invest in a comfortable bed, sheets, and pillows. 

It is also important to keep your room as dark and cool as possible (65-70 degrees) for optimal sleep.  I personally use a sleep mask which helps a lot.  It also important to reduce your mouth breathing at night and improving your nasal breathing by practicing mouth taping.  Here is a video where I go over that in more detail.  

In the morning, either wake up naturally or get up when your alarm goes off.  If you hit the snooze button, you reduce your cortisol awakening response and you will have more fatigue throughout the day.  In this article, I go over some of the top strategies to improving your sleep quality.  

bad sleep, Bad Sleep: Common Causes and How to Reverse It

Focus on Gratitude & Prayer

Fatigue often involves emotional and mental fatigue, not just physical fatigue. A change in your attitude, mindset, and emotional state can elevate mental fatigue and consequently may reduce physical fatigue as well. Remember, your mind and body are all connected. Having a gratitude practice is one of the best ways to shift your mood.

When you are in a state of gratitude, you can’t experience negative emotions at the same time. If you experience morning fatigue, the best thing is to start your day with some gratitude and prayer. Focus on gratitude throughout the day. Acknowledge the small good things in your life. Keep a gratitude journal and jot down 3 to 5 things you are grateful for each night. 

3 day fast

Optimize Hydration 

Optimal hydration is a non-negotiable for your overall health and healthy energy levels. After a good night sleep and not drinking for 7 to 9 hours, you wake up dehydrated. To combat morning fatigue, it is important that you rehydrate your cells right away. Start your day with 16 to 32 ounces of water.

You may add some lemon or lime to support your metabolism, digestion, and optimize your pH levels. Drink plenty of water throughout the day. I recommend at least 8 to 10 glasses, however, you may need more. Listen to your body. You may add some lemon, lime, or apple cider vinegar (ACV) and a pinch of salt if you feel dehydrated to replenish your electrolyte levels and keep your well-hydrated and energized.

Dehydration, Can Dehydration Cause Asthma and Allergies?

Get Moving Early in the Day

Regular exercise and moving your body are essential for healthy energy levels and overall well-being. Movement increases blood flow and circulation. It reduces your stress levels, lowers mental fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Regular exercise also helps your sleep cycle allowing you to feel energized during the day and get rest at night.

Make sure to exercise four to five days a week 20 to 30 minutes a day. Try to stay active and move your body regularly every day. If you have morning fatigue, I recommend that you get moving early in the day. If you don’t have time for a full workout, make sure to stretch, do some rebounding on a trampoline, or go for a short morning walk.

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Get Sun Exposure Early in the Day

Sun exposure incredibly important for your overall health. Sunshine can be uplifting for your mood and energizing for your body. Sun exposure helps to fill your body with plenty of vitamin D, which is important for your energy levels, brain health, gut health, immune system, bones, and lungs.

If you are dealing with morning fatigue, I recommend that you get some sun exposure early in the day. It is a great opportunity to breathe in some fresh air and perhaps a short nature walk or grounding as well. 

morning fatigue

Anti-Inflammatory Nutrition Plan

Chronic inflammation can have serious consequences on your body, including serious fatigue and morning fatigue. To eliminate morning fatigue from your life and increase energy, I recommend an anti-inflammatory nutrition plan. Eliminate refined sugars, refined oils, unhealthy fats, processed foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients, and toxins.

Eat lots of nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods, including leafy greens, such as collard greens and kale, non-starchy vegetables, such as cucumber, pepper, and celery, herbs and spices, such as ginger, turmeric, and rosemary, low-glycemic index fruits, such as berries and lemon, healthy fats, such as avocados, coconut oil, and grass-fed butter or ghee, clean protein, such as organic grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, wild-caught fish, wild game, and free-range eggs, nuts and seeds, such as almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds, and fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir. To learn more about how to eat an anti-inflammatory diet, read this article.

Top Supplements For Morning Fatigue

Along with these 7 steps to enhance your energy levels naturally, I also recommend some powerful supplements to combat morning fatigue and improve your energy. 

Adapt Strong 

Adapt Strong is a fantastic energy support supplement that helps your HPA axis function. It improves your energy and mood, supports your immune function, increases your energy and endurance, and helps to reduce stress with the help of some powerful herbs and nutrients, such as Panax Ginseng, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, Schisandra, licorice root, and vitamin B5, B6, and C.

I enjoy using this product personally and I take 2 caps in the AM upon rising.  I do most of my work early in the morning and I have noticed that my energy and mental clarity is better taking this product.  For some of my coaching clients, I will have them do 1-2 caps upon rising and 1-2 caps around mid-day to help avoid an early afternoon crash!

morning fatigue

Thyroid Strong 

Thyroid Strong is wonderful for thyroid support. It supports thyroid hormone production and strengthens thyroid function with a comprehensive freeze-dried, BSE-free, bovine, multiglandular, mineral and herbal formula.

This product has helped hundreds of our health coaching clients improve their energy and get the proper amount of thyroid activation they need.  I recommend beginning with 1-2 caps upon rising and you can work up to 4 caps.  If you notice anxiety, heart palpitations or excessive heat it may be a sign you are getting too much thyroid hormone and you should stop using the product or lower the dosage.

morning fatigue

Final Thoughts on Morning Fatigue

Morning fatigue is characterized by tiredness, lack of energy, or lack of motivation. It is present in the morning, however, often continues on as day-time fatigue making you feel drained. Morning fatigue may have a serious impact on your overall health and quality of life.

Follow my tips and try the supplements I recommend to combat morning fatigue, increase your energy, and improve your health naturally.  If you are doing these things and still struggling with your energy, then I would recommend working with a functional health coach who can help you identify the root causes and customize a specific plan to get well.

If you want to work with a functional health coach, I recommend this article with tips on how to find a great coach. Our website offers long-distance functional health coaching programs with our world-class team of health coaches. For further support with your health and other goals, just reach out—our fantastic coaches are here to support your journey.

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As a doctor of natural medicine, I have spent the past 20 years studying the best healing strategies and worked with hundreds of coaching clients, helping them overcome chronic health conditions and optimize their overall health.

In our Inflammation Crushing Ebundle, I have put together my very best strategies to reduce inflammation and optimize your healing potential.  Take a look at what you will get inside these valuable guides below!

Sources in This Article Include:

1. Davis, CP. Fatigue. Emedicine Health. Link Here
2. Nesse, RM, Bhatnagar, S, Ellis, BJ. Evolutionary Origins and Functions of the Stress Response System. Link Here
3. Thomas, C, Newton, J, Watson, S. A review of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in chronic fatigue syndrome. ISRN Neurosci. 2013; 2013: 784520. PMID: 24959566
4. Chaker, L. Hypothyroidism. The Lancet. Volume 390. Issue 10101. Link Here
5. General information/Press room. American Thyroid Association. Link Here
6. Filler, K, Lyon, D, Bennett, J, McCain, N, Elswick, R, Lukkahatai, N, Saligan, LN. Association of mitochondrial dysfunction and fatigue: A review of the literature. BBA Clin. 2014 Jun; 1: 12–23. PMID: 25147756
7. Myhill, S, Booth, NE, McLaren-Howard, J. Chronic fatigue syndrome and mitochondrial dysfunction. Int J Clin Exp Med. 2009; 2(1): 1–16. PMID: 19436827

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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


Energy Fatigue




  1. Great article! What if you’re doing all this, but still tired In the morning and don’t react well to stress? I’ve been on herbals for adrenal health by integrative therapeutics and find they don’t help with stress. Licorice root drops makes me feel tired.

      1. Agnes, you probably need to take a good vitamin at least twice a day, if you’re not feeling well.
        You might benefit by taking electrolytes also; get these checked out.
        T4 converts into T3 in the liver. and the gut. You need to see a Naturopathic doctor or a Pharmacist at a Compounding Pharmacy. I had a dream team, a team of different kinds of doctors to help me with my thyroid health. I had one visit with a Pharmacist at a compounding pharmacy and never had to return. She gave me a regimen to follow. It was the best money I had ever spent for my health.
        I also learned to take the Armour close to bedtime and felt 98% better.
        Selenium is a good supplement to reduce antibodies also.

    1. Hey Lola, I am sorry to hear this. Every individual has unique needs and unfortunately there is no one-size fits all approach. It sounds like there is a lot going on. I would recommend that you work with a functional health practitioner to understand your health history and customize a specific plan that works for you!

    2. Same here. This has been going on for about a year. Get 4 ir so hours of sleep per night. Tried almost all the recommendations.

    3. Hi Lola:

      I found this recipe recently and feel much better after a few weeks. B12 and folate have also been helpful to handle stress better, as well as the maca in this recipe. I’ve slept so much better, limited my activities, feeling more myself and more flexible to changed plans and stress in general (also better at knowing when to say no to unnecessary situations that could cause more stress, too!)

  2. The Adapt Strong link on the youtube vidio is not working
    Since the comments are turned off on the youtube video, it should be a note on the youtube page directing viewers to come to the article on the website for comments.;-)

  3. Hi Dr. Jockers. I have had problems with increased candida in the past. My functional medical doctor put me on a “candida diet”. One thing I was told NOT to eat was mushrooms. I was interested in trying some adaptogenic mushroom products but aren’t sure if I should. What’s your thoughts?

  4. Hi,
    My hba1c values are 6.1 which probably makes me prediabetic. When my blood sugar is low, I get huge adrenaline rushes which lead to very high bp. I shake and tremble like a leaf, my pulse races and heart thumps wildly. Please advise me on which of your supplements could help sort this out. I wake up feeling tired and trembly often and my BP is borderline high, at night it is very low. Please advise.
    Thank you,

      1. I would suggest the Meher Davis first visit a cardiologist –there may be issues that actually need cardiac attention prior to holistic supplementation.

  5. I get a lot of tiredness in the daytime then later in the day and evening I have normal energy. Could this be caused by allergies to trees, grass,mold and pollen? I seem to feel better and not be overly tired in the winter and fall.

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