Sleeping is one of those things you can never get enough of. I know that hitting the hay is one of the things I look forward to most all day.
With that said, there is more than one type of sleep — and not all are created equal.
The first is called non-rapid eye movement, or NREM. This is the early stage of sleep, when your brain activity slows.
After a few hours, your body enters REM, also known as rapid eye movement. This is the stage where something like sleep-talking would occur.
Scroll through to learn the symptoms that might indicate you aren’t getting a good night’s sleep.
What Is Deep Sleep?
This stage was formerly called stage 3 and 4, but they were combined by most of the medical community when the benefits of each could barely be differentiated.
Deep sleep is when your most thoughtful dreams will occur. It is important for many psychological processes, including clearing your brain of the day’s stressful experiences.
Sleep Symptom 1. You Can’t Fight Morning Grogginess
This may go without saying, but you have probably noticed that waking up some mornings is harder than others.
If you wake up after a full night’s rest and still feel exhausted, lack of deep sleep could be to blame.
Sleep Symptom 2. You Need An Afternoon Nap
Not being able to make it through the day is another fairly obvious sign that you’re not getting enough deep sleep.
Napping on occasion isn’t a bad habit, but napping because you aren’t sleeping at night can throw you off even more.
Reaching a deep sleep stage in the afternoon or early evening will impact your ability to fall asleep that night, causing the vicious cycle to continue according to Psychology Today.
Sleep Symptom 3. Your Tummy Is Rumbling
A study by CNN reported that people who got more rest reported being less hungry and consuming less calories the next day.
For instance, people who slept for four hours ate more than the people who slept for the recommended eight. In fact, this affected women worse than it did men.
So, if you’re fighting constant sugar cravings, your body might actually be telling you that an early night is in order.
Sleep Symptom 4. You’re Forgetful
Not being alert and sharp is another side effect of being under-rested from not getting enough deep sleep.
For instance, if you had to read any sentences in this article more than once, you might not be getting enough deep sleep!
But in all seriousness, feeling flaky and scattered can make you anxious, which just makes you more exhausted.
Catching up on your sleep debt might help.
Sleep Symptom 5. You’re Short With Everyone
Being moody or losing your temper more easily than normal is another thing that might happen if you don’t get enough deep sleep.
Many of us can attest to being cranky and perhaps overreacting to minor issues when we’re tired.
Sleep Symptom 6. You’re Packing On Pounds
Again, a lack of sleep is connected to an increased appetite. As most of us know, an increase in appetite leads to an increase in weight.
Not only does not getting enough sleep make you more hungry, it also influences your food choices negatively.
The aforementioned study found that less sleep was related to higher fat and sugar consumption, perhaps to compensate for a lack of energy.
The stress hormone cortisol, which spikes when you don’t get enough sleep, has also been linked to weight gain, according to Harvard Medical School.
Sleep Symptom 7. Your Sex Drive Is Suffering
It’s natural: You feel fatigued, so you can’t quite summon up the energy for hanky-panky.
So, if you’re not feeling as romantic as usual, it could be that you need to do a little more sleeping to get back to normal.
What To Do?
There are plenty of ways you can get your sleeping schedule back on track and start getting enough deep sleep.
Try to get the CDC recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep for adults, and see a doctor if your symptoms persist.
You should also try to eliminate anything that might be subtly disrupting your sleep, like a ticking clock or a street light that shines in.
The sleep aid melatonin might also help; unlike sleeping pills, this is a chemical your body naturally produces, and a supplement can encourage you to fall back into a healthier rhythm with better deep sleep cycles.