Everyone needs the right amount of sleep for good health. More and more research is revealing the alarming effects of sleep deprivation, including an increased risk for heart problems, diabetes, common infections, and even Alzheimer’s disease. Yet, many people still don’t get enough.Whether you have an undiagnosed sleep disorder or you simply don’t get enough time to sleep each night, many people don’t even realize they’re sleep deprived until their health starts to decline.
Wondering if you’re getting enough? Here are five indicators that mean your sleep habits might need some improvement:
- You fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow. A healthy person who is rested usually needs about 10 to 20 minutes to fall asleep each night. If you’re conking out in a couple of minutes, you’re probably too exhausted.
- Your partner complains that you’re snoring — or you wake yourself up from snoring. Even though you might think you’re sleeping well, snoring is often a sign of sleep apnea. This common sleep disorder can wreak havoc on your sleep quality, causing you to wake dozens or even hundreds of times a night. You won’t enter deep sleep, and you won’t feel rested. Treatment is available, so talk with your physician.
- You frequently nod off at work, while reading or watching TV, or worse, while driving. A rested person should be able to make it through the day without feeling the need for a nap. Some people may also experience microsleep, which is defined as brief periods of sleep during waking hours. Microsleep tends to happen so quickly that you don’t realize you were even asleep. This can be very dangerous if you’re driving or operating machinery.
- You’re having trouble making decisions, remembering things, or controlling your emotions. These are all signs that your brain is exhausted and your body needs more rest. New mothers can attest to the fact that emotions can be difficult to manage when they’re dealing with sleep deprivation and a newborn. But anyone can have these mental issues if they’re sleep deprived, and the level of severity may be more subtle. This can make it difficult to pinpoint the cause.
- You get sick frequently. Do you seem to catch every sniffle or cough that makes its way around the office or school? Your immune system could be suffering from lack of sleep. Mounting evidence suggests that sleep deprivation can have immediate effects on your ability to fight off infections, including the common cold and the flu.
If you’re trying to get quality sleep but wake up feeling tired, talk with your physician. You could have a sleep disorder or another health issue. And if you’re simply not making enough time for shut-eye each night, it’s time to prioritize sleep and make an effort to get more. Give your body this essential component to help you feel your best because there is no substitute for good sleep.
CarePoint Health Primary Care
Your primary care physician can help you manage your healthcare, and answer any questions you have about your health. Your PCP will help you navigate your well visits and specialist care throughout your life, and will be your health care advocate. To find a skilled primary care physician at CarePoint Health, please contact us.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.