Symptoms of Poor Sleep
It has always been said that 8 hours of sleep is what the body needs to fully recover from the day. This, however, can vary from person to person and depends on many different things such as how much activity that person did throughout the day to how their body is structured. Although 8 hours is generally a good amount of sleep, you need to find out what works best for you based on your lifestyle and genetics. A good night’s sleep is easy to assess. You should always wake up feeling energized and revitalized. Waking up tired can mean three things: you have not slept enough, you have slept too much or you are suffering from a sleep disorder.
There are many symptoms of poor sleep. Some of these include:
- Daytime fatigue: Feeling tired during the day for no reason. Due to exercise or a sudden change in energy output there are times where daytime fatigue occurs normally, but if you are feeling tired in the day for no apparent reason you are likely suffering from lack of sleep.
- Poor concentration: The inability to focus on one task may be attributed to poor sleep patterns.
- Poor memory: Lack of sleep means you are unable to retain information appropriately. This can negatively affect your performance at work too.
- Mood swings: Most people with sleep disorders complain of mood swings. Either they feel depressed for no reason or their mood fluctuates throughout the day and they are unable to control their emotions.
- Headaches: Too much or too little sleep can cause headaches during the day.
- Irritability: Sleep disorder sufferers are generally more irritable throughout the day from lack of sleep. Small issues that would not normally bother them now seem to cause irritation.
- Weight gain: Sleep is an important process for cells to regenerate and for energy levels to be restored. Without proper sleep the body feels depleted and metabolism is low, causing weight gain.
- Loss of sex drive: Lack of sleep means low energy levels, tiredness and tension, which can all have a direct impact on interest in sex.
- Accident prone: Judgment becomes greatly impaired when you have not had proper sleep.
- More susceptible to colds and flus: Without sleep the immune system is affected and your body is unable to fight infections.
Without sleep the basic functions of the brain are put at risk and it may be hard to concentrate on even the simplest tasks. As a result you will not perform to the best of your abilities at work and and stay motivated.
Lack of sleep can put a huge strain on relationships and home life. All relationships need care and attention but without sleep you will not be motivated to put in all the work necessary. When you suffer from a sleep disorder you may become easily irritated by your partner and children, leading to conflict.
Sleep is an important time for the body to recover, rejuvenate and recuperate from the day so lack of sleep over a long a period can cause a number of medical issues such as hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease (heart attack, heart failure, and heart rhythm problems), diabetes, stroke, obesity and skin conditions. Studies have shown that sufferers of chronic sleep problems have an increased incidence of death from all causes, especially heart disease. This is especially true in the case of shift workers who have been shown to have shorter life expectancies. Lack of sleep, therefore, can be the cause of a medical illness, as well as being be caused by medical illness.
There are many different reasons for poor sleep so it is first necessary to identify the cause of the sleep disorder and then to address the issue directly. Stress and anxiety are often the main factors contributing to lack of sleep because these prevent the mind from relaxing and allowing the transition into sleep. The brain should switch from busy beta wave activity into a state of relaxed alpha, then into a drowsy theta and then finally into a deep delta sleep. However, as previously described, many external and internal factors can be prevent this natural process.
Here are some helpful tips that should lead to a good night’s rest:
- Your body should be free from the effects of caffeine (remember it takes 20 hours from ingestion to complete removal from the body).
- Avoid mental stimulants such as TV, video games, computer work and any tasks that involve intense concentration.
- Avoid eating late at night as this activates your metabolic processes and energy levels.
- Avoid alcohol because although this might help you to fall asleep, it leads to poor quality sleep.
- Your bedroom should be for sleeping and sex. Avoid working or watching TV in bed prior to sleep time.
- Ensure that your pillow and mattress are comfortable.
- Make sure the room temperature is moderate.
Create, where possible, a regular routine around bedtime.
To learn more, check out our ebook “The Insomnia Cure” on Amazon!