14 Signs That Our Body Is Not Getting Enough Deep Sleep
Relying on the time, we spend sleeping; our body may signalize us that we do not have enough sleep. The CDC says that approximately 50-70 million adults in the USA have trouble sleeping. (1)
Although we think we have enough sleep, maybe we should think more about the way we function. If we are sleeping just to get through the day that is not the right way to live.
There are two basic stages of sleep. (2) The first stage is the early stage called NREM when the activity of your brain slows down. The second stage is the deep sleep stage called REM.
In order to feel well rested, we need to have a deep sleep because during this stage our brain gets cleared out from the previous day’s stress. But, if you are not getting enough deep sleep, you may experience the following symptoms.
1. You Are Messy in the Morning
Some mornings you may feel as if it is a lot harder to wake up than others. When you are unable to wake up fresh that means you have not had enough sleep.
Usually, we blame this exhaustion on interrupted sleep or sleepless nights, but lack of deep sleep may be the reason.
2. Afternoon Naps
If you cannot go through the day, it surely means you have not slept enough. Naps are healthy, but if you nap as a substitute for a night’s sleep, it may be even worse.
When you take a nap in the afternoon, and you reach the deep sleep stage, it may interfere with your night’s sleep.
3. Constant Hunger
Even if you eat regularly, your belly seems constantly asking for more food. Although this may be charming, NCBI research revealed that lack of sleep causes a lower level of leptin which is the hormone that prevents hunger and controls energy. (3)
If you are thinking about food all the time, you may need proper sleep.
4. When You Hit a Pillow You Fall Asleep
If it happens for you to fall asleep immediately when you hit a pillow, you probably need more sleep. The Institute of Neurological Sleep Disorder and Stroke says that falling asleep in 5 minutes indicates on serious sleep deprivation.
5. You Are Moody
If you have a baby, you know that when it becomes annoying and angry, it may need a nap. In fact, even adults do the same. For no reason, we tend to lose our temper when we did not have enough sleep.
One study from Harvard Medical School says when we are tired, we are irritable. (4)We are less capable of dealing with stress. So, sleep disorders are related to emotional and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.
6. You Forget Things
Being tired and not alerted and sharp because of a lack of deep sleep is one more side effect. For example, reading one sentence more than once to understand it, may mean you did not have enough sleep.
7. Gaining Weight
As we mentioned, not enough deep sleep affects your appetite. But, it also makes you choose bad foods. When you are not sleeping enough, your body craves more sugar and higher fats, that maybe make up for the lost energy.
Harvard Medical School revealed that the stress hormone which is higher when you are tired might be connected to weight gain as well.
8. Lower Libido
If you noticed that you have a lower libido, it might be another side effect of not getting enough sleep, according to Valley Sleep Center. (5) It is normal when you feel exhausted not to be in the mood for more action.
So, to get back on track, you need to get more sleep.
9. Bad Immune System
Getting colds frequently may be another side effect of not getting enough sleep. For the sake of a study, healthy people got an injection containing the cold virus, and those who had less than 7 hours of sleep were 3 times more likely to get sick.
And, those people who had 8 or more hours of sleep had lower chances of getting the virus. Yes, one hour makes a difference.
10. Staring Into An Empty Space
It is not the same as taking a break to daydream and fantasize and just looking at the wall. The first one stimulates your brain; the other one means you are tired.
People who are sure that staying awake late at night to do a project is a good idea, are wrong. One cannot be more productive if they do not have enough sleep. You need to learn when to finish the working day and rest.
11. Coffee Does Not Help
Some people drink coffee to wake up easily, but sometimes it does not work. Even if you had a cup of coffee and you still feel exhausted, then you did not have enough deep sleep during the night.
When you are exhausted you may be clumsy. Being sleepy interferes with the function of your motor skills. (6) One study conducted in 1997 revealed that an individual who did not sleep at night showed the same symptoms as a person who is drunk.
Can you imagine driving a car while not being well rested?
Being in your thirties and having acne is not fun at all. During the night the skin is repairing itself, and when you lack sleep that is not possible. An NCBI study says that the hormones go crazy and the skin collagen breaks down. (7)
14. Night Owl
Dr. Rafael Pelayo of the University of Stanford says since your organism wants you to develop healthy routines, it tries to control itself by giving you a lot of energy which usually happens before bedtime.
What Can You Do?
There are many ways that can help you get a normal sleeping schedule and start getting proper deep sleep. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends 7-8 hours of sleep for adults, and if you do not get rid of the symptoms, you should consult your doctor.
Also, you may get help from a melatonin supplement which is a chemical your body naturally produces. (8) And, it is a better way than sleeping pills.