YOU NEED TO KNOW IF YOU’RE UNDER SLEPT.

Are you getting enough sleep?

If you’re not spending enough time in bed, then you probably know exactly what you’ve been missing. The amazing thing about under-sleeping is that so many people don’t know they’re doing it. When we hear stories about the impact a lack of sleep can have on us, we think about other people. We figure they must be burning the candle at both ends, totally aware of both the problem and its simple solution. The truth is, sleepiness can be hard to detect, especially for an exhausted person.

Exhaustion looks like other conditions.

The thing about insufficient sleep is that it can manifest in many different ways, each of which appears in a variety of non-sleep-related conditions. If you’ve been inexplicably suffering any of these symptoms despite efforts to change your lifestyle and resolve the underlying causes, it might be time to consider the sleep factor.

Depression

The quality of your sleep is strongly linked to your mental health. Both insomnia and oversleeping can be related to depression, with depression being considered the cause of the other symptoms. Not getting enough sleep, however, can make depression worse. According to WebMD, “depression can stem from any sleep disorder that causes chronic fatigue and mood problems.”

Hunger

Research has established a link between insufficient sleep and being overweight. Though they’re not sure which condition causes the other, people tend to eat more calories after a night of interrupted sleep. If you’re feeling hungry more often than usual, your body may be trying to sustain all of the time it’s spending awake. Sleep-deprived people also have a tendency to crave high-fat, high-protein foods, so that urge for ice cream might not be just a lack of self-control.

Forgetfulness

Deep and sustained sleep is your brain’s opportunity to take out the trash. When you don’t get enough of it, your mind is literally less clear. Lack of sleep interrupts both focus and learning, so it’s harder to recall old memories and to form new ones. These problems can result in memory loss and, in some people, even brain deterioration. If your performance at work or school has been suffering, it might be time to recalibrate your sleep schedule.

Looking Bad

This is old news. Not getting enough sleep can wreak havoc on your facial features. Puffy eyes, sagging skin, fine lines, and dark circles all develop when you don’t get sufficient rest. If your appearance is suffering or you’re aging prematurely, consider the role that sleep might be playing.

You might need a new mattress.

When it comes to lost sleep, fixing your sleeping environment is the low-hanging fruit. It’s cheap or free to evaluate your comfort and any interruptions that might be preventing deep sleep. If your mattress is lumpy, providing inadequate support, or more than 10 years old, it’s time to replace it. The same is true if there’s not enough surface area for its inhabitant(s). If you’re unsure of the role your mattress is playing in your sleep problems, visit your local sleep experts at A Goodnight Sleepstore. We’ll help you figure out whether a better mattress can improve your situation.

You might need a doctor.

If you’re suffering from a lack of sleep, it’s important to talk to your doctor. Since you’re unconscious for most of it, assessing the quality of your own sleep can be difficult. Participating in a sleep study is a great way to figure out exactly what’s going on when your eyes are closed. To get connected with a study or a sleep specialist, just tell your doctor about your concerns and ask for a referral. Even if you end up ruling out all medical factors, getting to the bottom of the issue will be well worth your time.

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