According to a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over one-third of American adults aren’t getting enough sleep on a regular basis.
Getting enough sleep every night can lead to a healthier life and can help you feel more energized and happier.
Keep reading to learn more about the minimum sleep requirements for adults and to find out what signs to look for that might indicate you aren’t getting enough sleep.
What Is the Recommended Minimum Sleep?
Experts recommend that adults sleep between 7 and 9 hours each night. So, you can easily get by if you’re sleeping 7 hours each night.
How to tell if you’re getting enough sleep? Everybody is different and requires different amounts of sleep. So, the real way to tell how much sleep you need is by listening to your body.
If you feel energized after sleeping then you’re probably getting the right amount of sleep. If you still feel tired and unproductive when you wake up, then you might not be getting enough sleep.
But why is this so important to get enough sleep?
Getting enough quality sleep affects both your physical and mental health. Sleeping can impact your productivity, motivation, emotions, brain, heart, immune system, and weight.
Even, losing several hours of sleep over the course of a week can greatly impact your body and mind. For example, if you lose an hour of sleep on Saturday and Sunday, then you might go into Monday feeling sluggish and find that you’re unproductive.
Quality vs. Quantity
Another factor to consider when understanding your sleeping is the quality of it. Getting your recommended amount of sleep is all very well, but if you still wake up tired then you need to work out why.
During sleep, we experience different cycles. These cycles all play an important role in our overall sleep quality. Deep sleep is a particularly crucial factor that can help you stay alert and active throughout the day.
Deep sleep is the time where your body repairs itself and creates energy for the day ahead.
REM sleep is another vital cycle in determining the quality of your sleep. REM sleep helps to boost your mind and your mood, so you can take on the day and whatever obstacles that are thrown your way.
To improve your deep sleep, you need to ensure your room is dark and quiet, as light or noise interruptions might disturb the quality of your deep sleep. You should also avoid alcohol and nicotine before bed too.
To improve your REM sleep, you might want to try giving yourself an extra half an hour or an hour, in the morning (which is when you enter the REM stage of sleep).
Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep
If you need to question “am I getting enough sleep?” Then the chances are that you aren’t. Sleep deprivation can affect your body in many different ways.
And if you’ve been mistreating your sleeping schedule for a while, you might not even notice these signs.
1. You Need an Alarm
One common sign that you aren’t getting enough sleep is that you need an alarm clock to wake up on time.
If your natural body clock can’t wake you up in time for work each morning, then you might need to go to sleep earlier the night before.
2. You Struggle to Get Up
Another sign that you’re sleep deprived is that you struggle to get out of bed in the morning. This isn’t a one-time thing, we all have mornings where we just want to stay in a warm, cozy bed for longer.
However, if you find you struggle to get up most mornings then you might be suffering from sleep deprivation.
3. You Experience Sluggish Afternoons
If you feel sluggish by the time the afternoon comes around, then you might want to acknowledge this sign. Sluggish is a big indication that your body isn’t getting enough sleep.
Similarly, if you feel sluggish and like you want a nap after eating lunch, then you might need to get more sleep.
4. You Can’t Stay Alert During the Day
Failing to stay alert during meetings, lectures, or when you’re at work, is also a sign of sleep deprivation.
If you find that you’re unmotivated or less productive than usual, then you might want to re-evaluate the quality and quantity of your sleep.
5. You Feel Like You Need to Lie-In
Treating yourself to the occasional lie-in during the weekends or your days-off can feel great. However, if you always feel like you need to catch up on sleep, then this is another sign that you aren’t sleeping enough. Try to keep the same sleeping schedule, so go to sleep and wake up at the same time, no matter whether you’re at work or if it’s the weekend.
6. You Fall Asleep Before Bedtime
If you need to nap during the day, then this is a sure-fire sign that you are sleep deprived. You also might need to get more quality sleep if you find that you fall asleep during the evenings before bedtime.
For example, you might fall asleep while you’re watching TV or relaxing before bed.
Check out this “am I getting enough sleep?” guide to learn more about your sleeping pattern and whether you need to get more sleep.
Ensure You Meet the Minimum Sleep Requirements
Getting by with less than the minimum sleep requirements might work for some people, but it might not work for you. Listen to your body and mind to really work out whether you’re getting enough quality sleep.
Remember to be strict with your sleeping routine too. Don’t take a robust sleeping routine for granted because it closely affects your physical and mental health.
If you enjoyed reading this article, then make sure you check out some of our other health and lifestyle articles.