More Tired Than You Think: Are You Sleep Deprived?
Guest post written by Amy Highland, for Sleephelp.org
You hear people talking all the time about how tired they are. In fact, sometimes it almost feels like a competition to see who is the most exhausted. However, sleep deprivation is a serious thing. It can affect your health, your mental well-being, and more.
If you talk a lot about being tired, it might be time to evaluate yourself and your life and see if you’re getting enough sleep. If you’re not, there are steps you can take to get more and better rest. If you are, it’s time to stop talking about how tired you are and get out there and start living.
How to Know if You are Sleep Deprived?
There are a couple of ways to know if you’re sleep deprived. If any of these apply to you, read on to find out how to take care of the problem.
- You show a lot of signs of being sleepy. If your eyes droop, you yawn a lot, or you feel like your reactions are slower than they should be, the chances are that you are tired. A study of tired drivers demonstrated that these signs of sleepiness do reflect a state of tiredness.
- You’re getting less than 7 hours every night. A recent review of the available literature has put out modified sleep guidelines across different age ranges. However, no age range needs less than 7 hours. Sure, you can function on less, but that’s when you start to feel tired.
What to Do if You are Sleep Deprived
Do you fall into one or both of the above categories? If you’re not getting enough sleep, the first step is to try and figure out why. The reason will be different for each sleeper. Once you know why you’re not sleeping well, choose from the following strategies to get better rest.
- Get a comfortable bed. A cozy mattress will motivate you to go to bed, and it will also help you fall asleep and stay asleep once you’re there. Find a mattress that’s good for both sleep and sex, and you’ll have all of your bedroom activities covered.
- Set a bedtime routine, which means going to bed at the same time and getting up at the same time every day. It also means doing the same few things right before you go to bed, so these become cues for your body to know it’s time to sleep.
- Give yourself enough time to sleep. Make sure you have time to get ready for bed, get comfortable, fall asleep, and still get at least 7 hours of rest before your alarm goes off.
Sleep deprivation can have some serious consequences, but it’s not something you are powerless to fight. Figure out why you aren’t getting enough sleep, then put in the effort necessary to get the rest you need. You’ll feel better and be better able to engage in building the life you love.
Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy’s a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.
SleepHelp.org is an independently owned and operated, unbiased sleep resource dedicated to bettering your waking life by improving your sleep problems.
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