Getting the right amount of sleep is absolutely fundamental to living a happy and healthy life. However, it’s not just about going to bed at a reasonable time, as you also need to ensure your sleep quality is top-notch. Medicine has historically neglected this area, with minimal studies taking place before the latter half of the 20th century.
Countless signs can indicate that you’re not getting enough sleep or that your sleep quality isn’t up to scratch. You shouldn’t ignore these signs either, as sleep problems can cause serious health issues further down the line. Moreover, sleep deprivation can seriously affect your motivation and productivity, ultimately preventing you from reaching your full potential.
But don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to ensure you get the right amount of quality sleep. For example, studies have shown that meditation or listening to music can significantly increase your total sleep score. If you’re suffering from one of the following sleep deprivation signs, maybe it’s time to give these techniques a go.
Struggling to control your moods
Are you struggling to control your moods? One of the most common causes of sleep deprivation is difficulty controlling mood swings. Most people who need more sleep end up feeling much more irritable than normal. Additionally, you could have intense bursts of energy for an hour, followed by several hours of complete lethargy and misery.
Can’t focus on tasks for very long
As you might imagine, not getting enough sleep can seriously affect your ability to concentrate during the day. If you’re struggling to complete your work or concentrate long enough to do things like read or watch TV, you might have a sleep deprivation problem. Work on your sleep routine, and you should see a vast improvement.
Not getting enough sleep is one of the most common causes of anxiety. If you’re consistently feeling more anxious than usual, consider the quality of your sleep that you are getting. Are you getting a full eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night? If not, this could be a significant contributor to anxiety issues. It’s a vicious cycle too because the more anxious you are, the harder you’ll find falling asleep. Consider techniques such as meditation and mindfulness to help you drift off.
Feeling drowsy and lethargic throughout the day
This one is fairly obvious, but it’s amazing how many people don’t think to attribute their lethargy to a lack of quality sleep. Even if you think you’re getting enough sleep, it’s worth downloading a sleep measuring app to find out whether you are getting enough quality deep sleep. Without it, you can easily start feeling drowsy and lethargic throughout the day. It’s normal for us to get tired during the evening, but if you’re napping in the early afternoon due to tiredness, you need to consider your sleep quality.
Strange changes to appetite
Sleep deprivation can do weird things to your appetite. In fact, studies have shown that a lack of sleep can increase calorie consumption. Getting a quality night’s rest is fundamental to regulating appetite hormones such as leptin and ghrelin. Without it, you can experience a hormone imbalance that results in excessive eating and more weight being put on. This can be another vicious cycle, as eating too soon before going to bed can disrupt your sleep pattern and lead to further problems.
Experiencing depression symptoms
Lack of sleep can be a significant cause of depression. If you’re feeling excessively lethargic, miserable and unable to see any hope in life, you could be suffering from sleep deprivation. Of course, getting a good night’s sleep isn’t going to magically cure depression symptoms, but it can have a hugely positive impact on many people suffering from mental health problems.
Getting bags under the eyes
Sleep problems can manifest themselves physically as well as mentally. Arguably the most widespread physical symptom is having bags under your eyes. Sleep issues can cause the sensitive skin under your eyes to become darker and puffier. This is one of the easiest ways to diagnose a lack of sleep and it should get better after a few good nights of rest.
Poor skin health
Sleep deprivation can cause poor general skin health, not just under the eyes. You may find that you’re experiencing far more acne breakouts or puffiness in general. While getting enough sleep isn’t the only thing to worry about regarding skin health, it can be a significant factor.