Are You Getting the Right Amount of Sleep?

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Sufficient sleep is a cornerstone of health. If you’re like many adults, you might not get the sleep you need to feel your best. Having trouble sleeping can make you grumpy and drain your energy. It can also affect how well you think and function during the day. Most adults need about seven to eight hours of good-quality sleep on a regular schedule each night to feel alert and well rested. Not getting enough or having an erratic or poor quality of sleep negatively impacts several key areas:

You won’t be as productive at work because you won’t be able to concentrate or focus well

You may experience relationship problems because lack of sleep affects mood, making it hard to control emotions and irritability

Your immune system will suffer, which could lead to more colds, flus or infections

Your risk for high blood pressure and other heart problems increases with less than adequate sleep

Sleep deprivation can cause weight gain by affecting the hormones that regulate appetite

Signs You’re Not Getting Enough Sleep:

If you’ve been feeling tired, low on energy and generally uninspired at work or school, it might be time to take a look at your sleep habits. If you’re getting less than seven hours of sleep per night—or even just not feeling refreshed when you wake up—you might be in the right place!

If your sleeping pattern changes frequently (you can’t fall asleep or stay asleep) or if you have trouble falling asleep every night, it could be a sign that something is wrong with how much sleep you’re getting. The following are some of the most common symptoms of not enough sleep:

  • Tiredness and low energy
  • Bad moods
  • Low motivation and concentration levels

Feeling tired even after a long night of sleep

If you’re feeling tired even after a long night of sleep, it could be that your body is not getting enough sleep. That’s because sleep is a time when your body and mind rest and repair so they can function at their best.

When you get enough sleep:

  • You feel more energized and alert throughout the day.
  • You think more clearly, making it easier to concentrate on tasks or conversations with co-workers or friends.
  • Your emotions are more stable and positive, resulting in less moodiness or irritability toward others around you.

Needing to have caffeine to get through your day

Sometimes, you may need to have caffeine to help you get through your day. This is especially true if you’re an employee or student who needs to be at the top of your game when it comes to mental performance. However, it’s important not to rely on caffeine too much if you want a consistent amount of sleep each night.

Regularly needing an afternoon nap

  • Naps are not the same as sleep. When you nap, your body is still in the lightest stage of sleep and won’t help you get into an uninterrupted night of rest.
  • A nap can help you stay alert and on task during the day, but if it becomes a regular occurrence, it could be dangerous to your health. If a person takes too many naps throughout their life they may be at risk for developing serious chronic medical conditions such as heart disease or diabetes that require medical intervention to treat.

Finding it difficult to focus

Do you find it difficult to focus lately? Are you constantly distracted, easily distracted? It may be because of a lack of sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to cognitive impairment and decreased attention span. This is due to the effects that sleep deprivation has on our brain. When we don’t get enough sleep, we are affecting our ability to remember things, make decisions and be productive throughout the day as well as affecting our moods, emotions and feelings about ourselves in general. If you’re struggling with any of these things then it might be time for some changes!

Experiencing mood swings

If you are experiencing mood swings, it’s important to consider why. Mood swings can be a sign of sleep deprivation, depression and bipolar disorder. However, if you’re having anxiety or stress in your life then these also could be contributing to your mood changes.

You’re overweight, even if you eat right and exercise regularly.

Just like being overweight, sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, increased appetite and cravings, decreased energy, decreased metabolism and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.

This means that if you’re getting less than seven hours a night on average—or if your body is not able to fall asleep within 30 minutes of going to bed—you may be doing yourself more harm than good by following a diet or exercise routine.

Your skin isn’t as radiant.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, your skin will show it. Not only do you look tired and groggy, but your complexion suffers as well. If you notice that:

  • Your skin looks dull and sallow.
  • Your acne is acting up more often than usual.
  • Your skin feels dry and flaky—even after applying moisturizer!

Your hair is dry, brittle or falling out.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, you may have noticed that your hair is dry, brittle or falling out. This type of hair loss could be a sign that something more serious is going on with your health—so it’s important to visit a doctor if you notice any changes in your hair.

Your body goes through many changes when it sleeps: the immune system produces antibodies to fight off bacteria and viruses; hormones are released which help regulate metabolism and other bodily processes; cells repair themselves so they can function properly again; growth hormone is released so bones can grow stronger and muscles can develop more efficiently (this is also why exercise helps us sleep better). All these processes help keep our bodies healthy overall—and if they aren’t happening during sleep time because we don’t get enough hours per night then those benefits won’t be realized either!

You have dark circles under your eyes.

If you have dark circles under your eyes, it’s a good sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. Dark circles are caused by a breakdown of blood vessels beneath the skin. This can be caused by genetics and allergies, but also by lack of sleep.

If you have dark circles under your eyes and feel like they’re there because of lack of sleep, here are some steps to take:

  • Take breaks during the day when possible to get up and walk around; this will help prevent headaches from occurring later on in the evening
  • Try taking naps (even if just for 10-15 minutes) during lunchtime or after work

You’re not producing enough tears when you cry.

What are the benefits of getting enough sleep?

  • You’ll be more productive. “Research has shown that people who sleep less than six hours per night make poorer decisions, which affect their work performance,” says Dr. Michael J. Breus, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of The Power Of When: Discover Your Chronotype—and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Ask for a Referral … and More!. “They also tend to have worse memory recall.”
  • You’ll look younger. According to Dr. Breus: “Studies show that those who sleep fewer hours tend to have more wrinkles because they lack deep REM (rapid eye movement) sleep—the stage during which our body produces growth hormone, which keeps us looking young”

If you’re wondering how much sleep is right for you—and what happens when you get too little or too much—we’ve got answers!

Take steps to close the gap between how much sleep you’re getting and how much sleep you need.

  • If you’re getting less than six hours of sleep a night, it’s time to make some changes.
  • Sleep is important for your physical health, and it has been shown that people who are sleeping less than the recommended amount are more likely to have high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity. As well as this, if you’re not sleeping well then it can affect your mental health too – lack of sleep can lead to depression and other mood disorders.
  • It might sound obvious but the quality of your sleep has an impact on how much energy you have throughout the day; if you are waking up feeling tired then this probably means that your body hasn’t had enough rest during the night and there is something wrong with either how long or how often you are sleeping (or both).


If you relate to any of the signs above, it may be time to re-examine your sleeping habits. Sleep is a key part of life that we all need to be healthy, happy and live our best lives. Take steps to close the gap between how much sleep you’re getting and how much sleep you need. And remember, if you ever have questions about this or other health issues, talk with your doctor or another healthcare provider. They can help guide you toward healthy choices for your individual needs!

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