Not getting enough sleep is a problem that plagues millions of people around the world. Busy lives and demanding schedules tend to interfere with the recommended full night’s sleep of 6-9 hours. It isn’t simply the amount of time that a person spends sleeping though. How well rested someone feels depends both on the amount of time slept, as well as the quality of that sleep. Healthy recuperation undergoes a series of different stages to produce the rest the mind and body require. In many patients showing signs and symptoms of lack of sleep it is the quality of sleep that has degraded, rather than the actual number of hours. The best way to determine whether or not you might have a sleeping problem is to identify any apparent lack of sleep symptoms that appear in your day to day activities.
Lack of sleep can cause some of the following:
- Memory Problems – A common complaint among the sleep deprived is an inability to remember things. Simple occurances like constantly forgetting where you set your keys down can be a symptom of not getting enough sleep. The exercise in which the memory is created, stored, and retrieved becomes more difficult when your brain is not operating on enough sleep.
- Weakened Immune System – Those suffering from a lack of sleep are more vulnerable to common sickness and health problems. A healthy immune system relies on good restorative sleep to maintain an optimal functioning defense for the body. This is supported by lower T-cell counts being observed in patients suffering from insufficient sleep.
- Excessive Daytime Sleepiness – Probably the most common symptom seen among the sleep deprived is the constant feeling of tiredness throughout the day. In extreme cases this can lead to spontaneous naps that are generally quite short, but can seriously affect a normal work routine.
Are You Getting Enough Rest?
The answer to this question isn’t always easy to answer. You should give yourself the best opportunity to get enough rest by going to bed on time and doing it in an environment that promotes long and healthy sleep. Sometimes this just isn’t enough though. Some people suffer from constant problems with insomnia that can hurt the quality of their night time hours. The most insidious of these problems interfere with a normal sleeping pattern, causing awakenings that may last only a few seconds. A person may never even be aware that these are occurring, but interruptions to a normal pattern can damage the overall quality of sleep. There are five different stages in the complete sleep cycle, minimizing time spent in the more restorative periods of deep sleep can produce a lack of sleep, even after what would seem to be a full night’s rest. Look for the symptoms of lack of sleep and consult a professional sleep doctor if you think that you might be suffering from any of these problems.