6 Signs You're Not Sleeping Well That You May Not Notice Right Away
Even if you're sleeping the right number of hours, you might not be getting enough rest to fuel your body throughout the day. There are plenty of subtle signs you're not sleeping well, but it's likely that you haven't noticed, since they're, well, subtle. Besides, it can be a full-time job tracking your sleep patterns, and who has time for that?
If you're feeling exhausted all the time, regardless of how much you sleep, then it's time to pay more attention to how you're feeling. When your body doesn't get enough sleep, it starts to shut down in other ways that affect your social and work life.
If you're super tired, the first thing to do is make sure you're getting around seven to nine hours of sleep daily — any less than that, and you're most likely sleep-deprived (and no, sleeping 15 hours on the weekend won't reverse the issue).
But if you're getting enough rest and still feeling off, the problem most likely lies with your REM, or rapid eye movement, sleep. You might be waking yourself up in the deepest stage of your sleep cycle, which can lead to a groggy feeling come morning, or you might not be reaching that deep sleep stage at all.
If you're starting to think your sleep issues might be too big for you to take on alone, it's never a bad idea to ask your doctor what's going on and what treatment might finally help you get the rest you need.
Here are six signs that may mean you're not sleeping as well as you should be.
1. You're Extra Clumsy These Days
Have you knocked over three cups of coffee this week alone? If you're suddenly an accident-prone, coffee-stained mess, it might have to do with fatigue.
When you're exhausted, your muscle reaction time can become delayed, thus making it difficult to respond quickly to things happening around you. At the very least, you might want to consider a short nap in the middle of the day to give yourself some much-needed shut-eye.
2. You're Sleeping Way, Way In On The Weekends
If you're sleeping six hours a night on the weekdays, and 14 hours on the weekend, there's a good chance your sleep cycle isn't making you feel your best.
First of all, sleep debt is real. Your decision to sleep an extra four or five hours on the weekend isn't a sign of luxury, but rather that your body probably isn't getting what it needs during the week. Ideally, you should be sleeping around the same number of hours, regardless of what day of the week it is.
3. You Need Gallons Of Caffeine To Get Through The Day
From one coffee-lover to another, I am all in favor of the scientifically endorsed three cups of heaven a day. But if you're guzzling down cold brew like today's your last day on earth, you might want to consider why you're treating coffee like a life source.
According to Robert Rosenberg, DO, a sleep medicine specialist and medical director of the Sleep Disorders Center in Arizona, relying on coffee to stay awake may be a really bad sign. "A lot of people who rely on coffee, soda, or energy drinks throughout the day actually have a sleep disorder," he said in conversation with Prevention.
Try going a day or two with half your normal caffeine intake, and see what happens. If you almost pass out, it's time to reconsider your sleep patterns.
4. You're Not That Interested In Sex Anymore
You suddenly find yourself with zero interest in getting between the sheets, and your partner is noticing — and so are you. A sudden drop in your libido is one of the tell-tale signs of exhaustion (or that you need to get out of your relationship, but that's another article for another time). In fact, a 2011 study showed that untreated sleep apnea in women can be linked to a loss in libido.
Bottom line: Talk with your doctor if you're sleepy and couldn't seem to care less about sex anymore.
5. You're Cranky AF
Are you lashing out at friends and family for literally no reason at all? You might find different things and various scapegoats to blame your temper on, but TBH, you may just be flat-out exhausted.
Research shows there's definitely a link between your sleep and your mood, so not enough snooze time could absolutely leave you feeling cranky in the a.m., especially if you make a habit of depriving yourself of sleep all the time.
Of course, the obvious solution here is to take care of yourself and clock in more hours of rest at night, but when that's not possible, have some calming, relaxing strategies you can turn to to help you cope: meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, whatever helps you keep your cool.
6. You've Started Snoring At Night
If you're suddenly snoring all the time, and you never used to do it before, it might be because you're totally zonked and not recovering well each day. Snoring is a direct symptom and indicator of the condition sleep apnea, which means that your airway is repeatedly blocked throughout the night, causing you to wake up to breathe, thus interrupting your sleep cycle.
If you do have sleep apnea, there are a few different ways to treat it, including special breathing devices and sleeping positions you can stick to, so be sure to talk to your doctor about what's best for you.