What Is The Difference Between Sleepy And Tired?

Sleepy and tired are often used interchangeably. However, they connote different meanings. So, what’s the difference between sleepy and tired?

​Both of them are responses of the body to internal and external stimuli. You become tired or sleepy because of the signals the different organs send to your nervous system. They are your body’s clues that you need to stop and restore your energy through rest.

​Sleepy Vs. Tired

You feel sleepy when you have a strong urge to close your eyes. You slow down and become sluggish. The muscles become relaxed and the organs become less active.

​Aside from the slowing down of physical activities, the mind also times-out. All these signs imply that you need to take a break to replenish your energy.

​You become tired when you used all of your energy and strength. Because of this, you become inefficient with your task. Tiredness is usually manifested with impatience, boredom, and ineffectiveness.

​Tiredness can be physical, emotional, or mental. You can be both sleepy and tired at the same time or even easily sleeping while you are not tired.

​Conditions That Make You Sleepy

Sleepy vs Tired

​The most obvious reason for daytime sleepiness is lack of sleep. But having a good sleep is not all about quantity; quality is just as important. You know you had a quality sleep when you wake up feeling refreshed.

​Temperature is a factor that determines your wakefulness. Heat will make you heavy-eyed. This is your body’s response to preserve energy when it’s too hot.

​Time is also another factor in making you want to doze off. People usually get sleepy at 2-3 pm. This is due to the body’s natural sleep cycle. It signals you that you should take a rest by 2:30pm.

​Tiredness, certain medicines, and health conditions also make you sleepy. If you easily fall asleep during the day no matter what you’re doing, you have to consult a sleep expert.

​Conditions That Make You Tired

Sleepy vs Tired

​Too much or too little activity will make you feel tired. If you’re not moving enough, you’re sending signals to your brain that you don’t need that much energy, thus, you always feel tired. Meanwhile, when you’re moving too much and you exhaust all your energy, you’ll also feel tired.

​Being overweight and underweight also affects your vitality. People with extreme weights are more prone to getting easily exhausted because of metabolic and hormonal factors.You also tire easily if you’re not interested with the task at hand as compared when you’re excited with what you’re doing.

​Medical conditions such as coeliac disease, anemia, chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep apnea, underactive thyroid, diabetes, glandular fever, and depression also cause unexplained tiredness. If you’re tired all the time with no apparent reason, consult your doctor.

​How To Fight Sleepiness

​Get Quality Sleep

​One of the reasons why you’re not getting quality sleep is exposure to blue lights a few hours before sleeping. If you can’t possibly cut off your screen time, use computer glasses to protect your eyes from blue light.

​Watch Your Food Intake

​Don’t eat too much especially carbs. If you’re full, the circulation concentrates on your digestive system so there’s less on your brain and muscles, making you sleepy. Some herbal teas can also help you have sleep well.

​Stay Hydrated

​Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Water will keep you energized and stop you from easily dozing off.

​How To Fight Tiredness

​Workout Regularly

​It may sound counterintuitive, but you need to use up your energy in order to have more. Exercise improves your mood, muscles, and circulation so you’ll have more vigor.

​Manage Stress

​If you effectively manage your stress levels, you’ll have more stamina to handle your activities. Stress management can be as simple as deep breathing or a quick walk.

​Have Adequate Rest

​You have to listen to your body if it’s telling you to slow down. If you’re properly rested, you can finish the things you need to do well.


​Sleepy and tired are different but they are both signs that you need to take a rest. There are different factors that may be causing you to feel sleepy or tired; it can be mental, physical, or emotional.

​Adequate sleep, healthy nutrition, and regular exercise are needed for you to feel more energized. Let me know what you think in the comment section!

​Sleepy and tired are different but they are both signs that you need to take a rest. There are different factors that may be causing you to feel sleepy or tired; it can be mental, physical, or emotional.
  • Jane
  • Updated July 29, 2018

I am Jane Collins, a Founder and a Main Editor of g9sleeptight.com. I decided to create this site to share my knowledge, guides and tips to help you to have a good night's sleep.

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