5 signs you’re not getting enough good quality sleep, according to an expert

Are you worried about how much good quality sleep you’re getting each night? Keep reading to find out five of the most common signs you’re not getting enough adequate rest.

We all know how important it is to get a good night’s sleep – but getting enough rest isn’t all about the number of hours you spend in bed.

In fact, the quality of sleep we get can be just as significant when it comes to our overall energy and health. While there’s no easy way to define the ‘quality’ of sleep you’re getting, it depends on a number of factors, including whether you wake up often during the night, and how long you spend in slow-wave sleep – aka, the deepest part of your sleep cycle.

There is, of course, no reason to obsess over sleep quality – especially if your current routine is giving you the energy you need to get through the day. However, if you’re concerned about the quality of sleep you’re getting, there are a number of key signs of low-quality sleep to look out for.  

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Identifying these signs won’t just help you become more aware of your sleep habits, but it’ll also put you in good stead to make positive changes that’ll help you feel more rested in the long run.

With this in mind, Stylist asked Nicky Blakeman, sleep coach at Yumi Nutrition, to spell out some of the top signs of sleep deprivation. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that these signs could also indicate other health issues, so if you’re worried, you should always speak to your GP. But without further ado, here’s what she had to say. 

1. You often feel under the weather

If you find yourself feeling ill more often than not, it could be a sign you’re not sleeping well enough.

“There is a proven direct link between sleep and the immune system,” Blakeman explains. “Sleep is an important period of bodily rest and regularly getting 7-9 hours of good sleep per night helps to support your immune system to make sure you’re able to effectively fight off bacteria and viruses.

“As a former sufferer of insomnia, I have experienced this first-hand with recurring throat infections when I wasn’t sleeping, which have disappeared since I improved my sleep.” 

Feeling under the weather could be a sign you’re not sleeping well.

2. You crave ‘unhealthy’ food

There’s a reason why you reach for chocolate and other sweet snacks when you’re feeling tired – and it’s all to do with your hormones.

“When you’re sleep-deprived, your hunger hormones are directly affected which makes you crave food high in sugar and salt,” Blakeman says. “A good night’s sleep helps these hormones to function normally so you feel fuller when you eat and less hungry throughout the day.”

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3. You fall asleep instantly

Falling asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow might feel like a win, but it’s not the good sign many of us interpret it to be.

“It’s a common misconception that falling asleep as soon as you get in bed means that you’re a healthy sleeper,” Blakeman explains. “While this can be the case, it can actually also be a sign that you’re sleep-deprived. This is because not getting enough high-quality sleep and sleep disruption will make you more likely to fall asleep quicker the next night.” 

Falling asleep as soon as you get into bed can be a sign of overtiredness.

4. You don’t feel refreshed in the morning

This is probably the most well-known sign that you haven’t had enough good quality sleep.

“Many people have become accustomed to feeling sluggish in the morning, but if you find yourself feeling groggy for more than 30 minutes, it is more than likely caused by sleep deprivation,” Blakeman says. “If you get the right amount of good quality sleep, it shouldn’t be hard to wake up and get out of bed.” 

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5. You have a lower libido

Feeling sleepy and lethargic can take its toll on your libido.

“Sleep deprivation has been linked to decreased libido with sleepiness and fatigue negatively impacting your desire, so getting yourself into a healthy sleeping routine will improve your performance in the bedroom in more ways than one,” Blakeman explains. 

Images: Getty

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