It can be difficult getting a good night’s sleep between work, family and play. Other people can easily recognise that you haven’t had enough sleep, so why can’t you? Here are eight signs that you aren’t getting enough sleep:
1. Hitting the snooze alarm
Daily hitting snooze on your alarm indicates you haven’t had enough sleep, or the quality of sleep you have is poor.
2. Sleeping in on weekends
If you always sleep in on weekends, this might be your body catching up with the lack of sleep during the week.
This ‘sleep catch up’ won’t make up for your lack of sleep in the week, and it can throw your body clock off – making it harder to fall asleep on Sunday night.
3. Being irritable and moody
Sleep affects your mood. If you find you are often grumpy in the mornings, it will most likely be because of your lack of sleep.
4. Coughs and colds
Studies suggest that sleep is a very important facet of a strong immune system.
5. Weight gain
A lack of sleep is considered to be a cause of weight gain as your body will crave more food during the day to make up for flagging energy levels.
6. Inability to focus and remember
Without sleep, you might find it hard to problem solve, concentrate and remember things. It is thought that during sleep, information is stored into our long-term memories, which is why people perform better in exams after a good night’s sleep.
7. An increase in blood pressure
Sleep is considered to be important for our cardiovascular health. ‘Nocturnal dipping’ occurs in sleep, where our blood pressure approximately dips by 15 points.
8. Caffeine consumption
Consuming several cups of coffee or caffeinated soft drinks throughout the day can have a negative affect on your sleep pattern. In some instances, we can become dependent on them to stay awake without realising our sleep pattern would improve by cutting them out altogether.
To improve your sleep, try creating a ritual before bedtime – listen to music, read or even meditate. Aim to avoid distractions as computers, tablets and televisions, which can keep you awake for longer.