Insufficient sleep during the night can profoundly impact your perspective on life. Lack of sleep is associated with numerous adverse issues, such as anxiety and depression. Ensuring an adequate amount of sleep is essential for experiencing a refreshed and revitalized state to face the upcoming day. (Click here to find out about the 21 ways sleep deprivation could be making you sick.)
Achieving a restful sleep becomes more achievable with a well-established nighttime routine. This may involve powering down electronic devices, adjusting the room temperature, opting for silk bedsheets, enjoying calming music, and jotting down thoughts in a journal before bedtime.
To compile a list of warning signs that you’re not getting enough quality sleep, 24/7 Tempo consulted several scientific and informative publications including The Mayo Clinic, WebMD, and the Sleep Foundation’s site.
Inability to focus
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An inability to focus on anything is a clear-cut sign that you’re not getting quality sleep. People who are well rested usually don’t struggle to pay attention to their academic, familial, social, or professional obligations. People who don’t get enough sleep at night aren’t as lucky.
It’s much harder to do when you’re struggling to focus. When a manager is requesting assistance from his or her employees in an office space, workers should be rested enough to jump on board without hesitation. Again, this is something that becomes far more of a challenge when you can’t focus on anything.
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Another unfortunate sign you’ll notice when you aren’t getting enough sleep is daytime fatigue. Feeling tired throughout the day is one of the most uncomfortable feelings a human can experience. When everyone around you is full of energy as they bustle through their days, feelings of fatigue leave you emotionally isolated.
Fatigue feels like constant exhaustion and total burnout. Even if you’re at a place in your life where you thoroughly enjoy your academic, familial, social, or professional obligations, fatigue will destroy those sentiments. It does so by making you wish you could be sleeping instead of doing whatever you’re doing.
Irritability and grouchiness
It’ll feel like everything and everyone is a nuisance when you’re too sleepy for general interactions. Every time you make contact with another person, an energy exchange occurs. People who haven’t gotten enough sleep at night often don’t have enough energy to exert in the first place. When a tired person is forced to be around other people, it leads them down the path of resentment and bitterness.
From there, the tired person might begin exhibiting grouchiness. This is especially problematic for individuals who work in front-facing or customer service positions. It’s also an issue for people who take their frustrations out on friends and family members. No one around you deserves to become your punching bag because you’re irritable from a lack of quality sleep.
Falling asleep during the day
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An extremely obvious sign that you’re not getting quality sleep would be if you’re always catching yourself falling asleep during the day. Unless you work graveyard shifts, take night classes as a student, or have infant-aged little ones to tend to, you should be asleep at night. This is the general consensus among healthy functioning adults.
Wasting daytime hours with random naps might not be smart based on the schedule you adhere to. It’s possible you’ll disappoint your loved ones or let down your colleagues if you’re napping in the afternoon and missing out on your responsibilities. Falling asleep during the day isn’t always intentional, either. Some folks who are beyond exhausted will accidentally slip into a nap at their desks despite their desire to stay awake and push through.
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Memory issues will potentially arise if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. This can happen regarding your short-term memories and your long-term memories. When you aren’t well rested, memorizing small details coming your way throughout the day becomes a challenge. This means that a professor’s reminder about an upcoming test might slip your mind.
A note from your boss about a deadline you must reach might also float away. When you have very real responsibilities to honor, memory issues will bring nothing but inconveniences to your life. You can do your best to jot everything down as a way of forcing yourself to remember things, but the ultimate solution is getting enough sleep.
Participation in “revenge” scrolling
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A person who’s been participating in “revenge” scrolling is someone trying to reclaim their personal time. People who work full-time jobs or chase young children around all day often feel like they’re sacrificing their freedom and personal time to cater to their obligations. These people find themselves tempted to reclaim the personal time they miss throughout the day.
The only time they can do this is during nighttime hours when they know they won’t be interrupted by anything or anyone. Unfortunately, reclaiming your personal time at night means you’re giving up much-needed sleep for your body. This phenomenon isn’t uncommon, but since it comes at the expense of quality sleep, it isn’t something anyone should make a consistent habit of.
Aversion to bright lights and loud sounds
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When you’re sleepy, some of the more annoying things to deal with include bright lights and loud sounds. People who are tired prefer dim lights and soft noises. People who haven’t slept enough will grow uncomfortable and impatient if they’re forced into settings where lights are super bright and sounds are obnoxiously loud.
There’s a reason so many weary people tell friends and family members to lower their voices during early morning conversations. There’s a reason so many unrested people prefer to wear sunglasses before facing bright rays of sunlight.
Your sleep schedule doesn’t match anyone you know
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If you find yourself awake by your lonesome on a consistent basis, this is something you need to start thinking about. Unless you have night classes, graveyard shifts, or babies, sleeping during nighttime hours with everyone else you know is the best thing to do for yourself. You’ll know a problem is brewing if you’re the only member of your household who stays awake while everyone else is fast asleep in their beds.
Whether you live with a romantic partner, a roommate, your children, or someone else, paying attention to the way your sleep schedule matches up could be a game changer. If you live alone, you can decipher the sleeping schedules of others by reaching out to friends and family members to see who else is (or isn’t) still awake at the same time as you.
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If you’re starting to depend on caffeine to stay awake during the day, this is a sign that you aren’t getting an adequate amount of quality sleep at night. Caffeine is a powerful substance that can be used to jolt you awake when you need an energy boost. The reality of caffeine is that it isn’t exactly the best energy booster to depend on.
Too much caffeine can lead to anxiety attacks and an increased heart rate. Although it might not seem like caffeine addictions are a big deal, it should be treated like any other addiction. It isn’t healthy to be hooked on a substance in a way that makes you feel like you can’t function without it. When you don’t get enough sleep at night, this is a possible result.
Apathy and a lack of motivation
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There’s no denying that it’s difficult to care about anything you when you feel totally exhausted. Apathy is a true sign of a person who isn’t getting enough quality sleep. A person who’s apathetic is often dismissive and detached. These people struggle to find motivation to do anything they’re supposed to.
An apathetic person without motivation might be aware of an assignment due at school or a project deadline at work, yet they still don’t care enough to be bothered. It doesn’t seem to make a difference in their sense of urgency. The impact that a lack of quality sleep can have dives into the deeper conversation surrounding mental health. Watch out for these warning signs that your mental health is being neglected.