Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep and How to Change
Our bodies love sleep so much – they want to spend about one third of our life sleeping! With that said, sometimes life can get in the way, and not getting enough sleep is more common than it should be.
Here are a few strong signs you aren’t getting enough sleep – and what you can do about it!
Signs you aren’t getting enough sleep
The body needs sleep to operate at its best. While some people can go with less, most adults need between 7 and 10 hours of sleep each night. Any less than this and your body may struggle to keep you looking and feeling your best.
Signs of lack of sleep can vary from person to person, but may include:
- Puffy, red, irritated eyes
- Dark circles under your eyes
- Brain fog, or general confusion
- Moodiness or irritability
- Trouble with decision making
- Weight gain
- Acne breakouts
- Getting sick more often
- Cravings for unhealthy foods
- Fatigue and needing more and more caffeine to stay alert
- Sense of unhappiness or depression
- Lack of sex drive
These symptoms can be very disruptive and may lead to other problems if you don’t find a way to get rid of them.
What can you do about not getting enough sleep?
We understand. Life is busy, stressful, and full of distractions. Sometimes it truly seems like there are not enough hours in the day, so we cut into our sleep time for the sake of getting more done. The most obvious answer here – don’t do this, get more sleep!
Easier said than done for most of us.
Luckily there may be some simple ways to help manage your time to make sure you get enough sleep:
Set a schedule – have a definite time when you stop working. Give yourself at least a couple hours before bed that are free form anything to do with work, including emails, phone calls, and group chats. This may help you feel like you have more leisure time, and help you feel more relaxed before bed.
Have a bed time – set yourself a regular bed time and allow the body to adjust to it. If it helps, set a few alarms in the evening letting you know when it is getting close to that bed time. This may help you wrap up any work or personal projects and keep you from losing track of time.
Get the right hardware – breaks in your sleep caused by tossing and turning may be just as harmful as lack of sleep. Using the right mattress, pillow, and even blanket may make a huge difference in sleep quality.
Avoid the stimulants – caffeine may be a helpful tool during the day, but if you keep drinking it into the evening and night, you may be hurting the quality of your sleep or making it harder to fall asleep. Warm water or herbal tea in the evening may help you feel more relaxed.
Break the phone habit – lying in bed looking your phone does not count as sleep, and the blue light from the phone may be keeping you awake. Try keeping the phone away from the bed or in the other room if it is too tempting to look at the phone before bed.
Set the tone – Keep the room a comfortable temperature, free from outside noises and distractions, and as dark as possible. This may help avoid breaks in sleep patterns or waking up to readjust.
Sleep is vital to stay healthy and operate at your best. While the occasional day without proper sleep isn’t doing much harm, if these signs you aren’t getting enough sleep start to show up, it’s time for a change. You deserve a good night’s rest – every night.