Are you getting enough sleep? Three ways to know

Sleep deprivation happens when someone just can’t get the right amount of sleep at night. If you struggle to stay awake and alert during the day, your sleep habits may need a change.

If you’re questioning whether you get enough sleep each night, you’re not alone. The CDC estimates that one-third of American adults report getting an inadequate amount of sleep. Chronic sleep loss can negatively impact your health in a number of ways, from an increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease to heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

For this reason, it’s important to know that you’re getting enough sleep at night. Some symptoms of poor sleep quantity are more obvious than others, but you can find three common and identifiable signs of sleep deprivation below.

Are you getting enough sleep? Three ways to know

You may think you can get by on an inadequate amount of sleep, but those college days of pulling all-nighters (and living to tell the tale the next day) are probably behind you now. Even if they’re not, you’re not doing your body any favors by not getting the full recommended hours of sleep per day for your age group.

Below are three prominent and easily identifiable signs that you’re just not getting enough sleep. If you resonate with any of these, you likely need more sleep at night — and better sleeping habits all around.

Falling asleep at night takes forever

The ideal sleep schedule will look a little different from one person to the next — some adults require eight or more hours every night while others can easily coast through life on six or seven — but one thing we should all be on the same page about is sleep latency. This refers to the length of time it takes for someone to fall asleep, with the Sleep Foundation clocking most healthy people as asleep within 15 to 20 minutes of lying down.

If that falls short of what you’re used to with your own bedtime routine, that could be a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. Keep in mind that this isn’t set in stone — it can be perfectly healthy to take a bit longer or shorter to fall asleep. If you’re lying awake for one or more hours, however, it may be time to make adjustments to your nightly routine. 

It may also be a sign to talk with your doctor about the possibility of insomnia, a sleep disorder that can ruin your sleep quality if left unchecked. 

Falling asleep relatively quickly can be vital for a healthy sleep experience, since it involves multiple sleep stages. It can take up to 30 minutes or more to reach a deep sleep, which is a critical part of restorative sleep. Rapid eye movement, or REM sleep, typically takes around 90 minutes to set in from the time you fall asleep. Quality REM sleep has been linked to better cognitive abilities. 

If you want help falling asleep faster, consider the following tips:

  • Put away phones and other devices an hour or two before bedtime.
  • Set — and stick to — to a nightly relaxation routine.
  • Invest in a high-quality mattress that you’ll look forward to sleeping in every night, such as the Helix Midnight Luxe hybrid mattress. Offering a nice balance between plush comfort and support, this is perfect for restless sleepers who tend to toss and turn throughout the night. 

You consistently wake up feeling tired or exhausted

When you don’t get sufficient sleep at night, your body has ways of letting you know this is an issue during the day. One form of this is fatigue and sleepiness. 

After a good night’s sleep, you should feel well rested and energized when you wake up in the morning. If you consistently wake up feeling groggy or like you need more sleep, you probably do.

Exhaustion caused by sleep deprivation can have a sort of domino effect on our energy levels. Tiredness may reduce the motivation to exercise, which in turn can make it harder to fall asleep at night. 

Our bodies have their own (roughly 24-hour) internal clock, called the circadian rhythm. Activity and exposure to sunlight during the day can make it easier for your body to switch to sleep mode at night. If you’re consistently exhausted during the day, you’re more likely to throw off this schedule, which can make it more difficult to get an adequate amount of sleep.

You get agitated, stressed or confused easily

Do you struggle with emotional regulation? That’s a broad question, and one to discuss with your doctor or therapist for the best insights regarding your physical and emotional wellbeing. But a good night’s sleep is actually closely related to emotion in a number of ways, so if you’re struggling with strong or hard-to-control emotions, it’s worth it to examine your sleep habits as well. 

Uninterrupted, quality sleep is an important part of healthy emotional regulation during the day. If you’re routinely getting an insufficient amount of sleep at night, you could find yourself dealing with a number of daytime issues including:

  • Quickness to anger.
  • More emotionally charged reactions to new information.
  • Difficulty making snap decisions without feeling frustrated, confused, or both.
  • Difficulty retaining minor information during the day.

If you can relate to one or more of these frustrations, consider putting more importance on your nighttime routine. In addition to giving yourself space to relax and physically prepare for bedtime, consider revamping your bedroom to become a place you’re excited to end each and every day in. 

Too much light exposure that has you waking up at dawn? Consider switching to heavier, light-blocking curtains. Phone sapping too much of your time and energy while you’re lying in bed? Leave it in another room and buy an alarm clock for the bedroom. 

Difficulty getting comfy at night? Invest in a high-quality, breathable organic mattress such as the popular Avocado Green mattress. This mattress comes highly recommended — by us, but also by the more than 1,400 happy customers who gave it a five-star review.

By 111 Tech

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