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Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

March 1, 2024  ·  9 min read

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In a culture that often de-prioritizes sleep in the name of the daily grind, Houstonians may be surprised to find out that they undervalue the many benefits of a good night’s sleep. Although you may think that you can function “just fine” after a few all-nighters, you would be wrong. The cost of skimping on sleep isn’t merely feeling a little tired the next day but sacrificing your well-being, productivity, and health. 

Whether you’re a new parent, a busy professional, or simply a night owl, the mattress experts at Texas Mattress Makers are here to explain why getting quality and adequate sleep is crucial for every aspect of your life — which all starts with knowing the signs of sleep deprivation and how to combat them.

Signs you aren’t getting enough sleep include:

  • Daytime sleepiness or general fatigue 
  • Lack of energy 
  • Decreased brain function
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Memory problems 
  • Trouble focusing 
  • Lowered immune system 
  • Weight gain

The importance of sleep

The bottom line is that you need quality sleep in order to function properly. Good sleep is as essential to your physical and mental health as air, food, and water because when we’re asleep, our brains and bodies take the time to carry out a list of recovery and regenerative processes. It’s like a reboot system for our bodies: memories get stored, muscles recover, skin cells regenerate, and the brain cleans itself out. 

These processes are necessary for our mental health, emotional stability, and physical well-being, but many people think that getting just a few hours of shuteye is “just fine,” when over the long term, it really isn’t. 

How much sleep should I be getting each night?

How much sleep do I really need? Studies have shown that humans need at least seven hours of sleep each night, although the ideal amount of sleep is eight hours every night. This gives your brain and body the time they need to go through all of its many regenerative processes that keep us healthy and mentally sharp. However, even if you manage to get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, those hours are meaningless if you are not getting quality sleep. 

Tossing and turning for hours on end indicates that your body and brain are not truly resting and that they can’t properly carry out the bodily processes necessary for recovery and optimal function.  

How do I know I’m not getting enough sleep?

Not getting enough sleep or experiencing poor quality sleep will put your body through what is called sleep deprivation. When you are sleep deprived, you are more likely to experience numerous lack of sleep side effects that can make something as simple as executing daily tasks incredibly difficult.

Sleep deprivation symptoms include:

  • Daytime sleepiness or general fatigue 
  • Lack of energy, as if you’re having to drag your body through quicksand
  • Decreased brain function such as issues with information processing and retention
  • Mood swings and irritability
  • Memory problems or information recollection 
  • Trouble focusing 
  • Slowed reaction times such as slow reflexes

If any of these symptoms feel relatable to you, odds are you’re not getting enough of the quality sleep your body needs to perform properly. 

How does your body feel when you don’t get enough sleep?

We all know what it’s like to feel tired: the constant yawning, the struggle to keep our eyes open, the inability to focus on anything or anyone. But a lack of sleep can actually put you in danger in certain situations. 

When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body sends signals to your brain that you’re not getting what your body needs. Physically, you might feel incredibly lethargic, so much so that it might take all of your energy to complete a simple task. Your eyes might feel heavy and you may experience a bad headache. You won’t react to things as quickly as usual, which can be dangerous, especially if you’re out and about or operating a vehicle. When you’re sleep-deprived, your body is basically telling you that you need to rest by slowing you down.

The scary part is that chronic sleep deprivation can have lasting effects on your life and health if you don’t get your restlessness or poor sleep quality under control. 

Long-term effects of lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation doesn’t merely stop at short-term inconveniences. Over time, chronic lack of sleep can lay the groundwork for serious, long-term health consequences. The effects can be detrimental to your overall mental and physical well-being and should be taken seriously. 

Here are some of the most common long-term effects of lack of sleep.

Increased risk of chronic diseases

Consistent sleep deprivation has been linked to an increased risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Because sleep helps to regulate the body’s hormones and glucose levels while keeping inflammation at bay, poor health conditions have a better chance of latching on when you’re not sleeping.

Cognitive decline and memory loss

As we sleep, our brains actively consolidate memories and process information from the day. Without adequate sleep, memory recall and cognitive function may suffer, increasing the risk for conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Mental health problems

The psychological effects of sleep deprivation can be severe. Adequate sleep is crucial in managing stress and maintaining emotional stability. Over time, continually disrupted sleep patterns have the potential to contribute to the development of anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders which can make getting good sleep even more difficult. 

Compromised immunity and healing 

During sleep, the body devotes resources to repairing tissue, building bone and muscle, and boosting the immune system. Chronic sleeplessness can lead to a weakened immune response, slow healing after injury, and diminished response to vaccines. Meaning, you’ll get sick more often and stay sicker for longer.

Weight gain

Sleeping is essential to regulate your metabolism and your hunger hormones. The hunger hormone, known as ghrelin, tends to spike with less sleep, leading to increased appetite. Your body’s ability to metabolize sugars and fats will also be hindered, which can lead to weight gain over time. Sleep deprivation can lead to poor food choices, overeating, and excessive fat storage, due to hormonal imbalances.

How can I cure my sleep deprivation?

Dealing with sleep deprivation can be different for each individual depending on their sleep hygiene, current health status, and living circumstances. We’ve come up with a comprehensive list of ways you can offset common sleep deprivation symptoms and help you get back on track.

1. Make sleep a priority

Close the laptop, turn off the gaming console, and put your phone down for at least two hours before bed. Getting a good night’s sleep is more important to your health than hitting that deadline, finishing that part of the game, or scrolling on social media. We guarantee it. 

2. Set a consistent sleep schedule

A consistent sleep schedule and bedtime routine will tell your body that it’s time to wind down and prepare for slumber. Establish a pre-bedtime ritual that prioritizes relaxation — this could involve reading, gentle stretches, or meditation. If you go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day, and be sure to get those 7-9 hours, your body will have an easier time falling asleep. 

3. Create a relaxing sleep environment

One of the most common reasons for waking up in the middle of the night is that your room is too hot, too cold, or too bright. Be sure that you’re sleeping in a cool, comfortable, and dark room every night. Try to eliminate noise distractions if possible as well with a noise machine, earplugs, or whatever else works for you.

4. Cut down on caffeine

One of the more noticeable signs of sleep deprivation is a dependence on caffeinated drinks like coffee or energy drinks to stay awake throughout the day. Excessive caffeine intake can really mess up your sleep schedule. Wondering when to stop drinking caffeine before bed? Quit drinking caffeine at least six hours before bedtime to ensure it is out of your system and you won’t be alert or jittery before it’s time to sleep.

5. Invest in a high-quality mattress

If you’re wondering, “Why do I wake up tired even after a full night’s rest?” this is one of the biggest signs you need a new mattress. Think of your mattress as the foundation of your sleep quality: if you’re sleeping on a poor-quality mattress, your sleep — and in turn, your health — will be poor-quality. It’s all connected. So be sure to invest in a quality mattress that is made for your sleep needs so that you can get a full 7-9 hours of uninterrupted rest. You’ll wake up every morning feeling refreshed and fully functional. 

Smiling couple on bed

Find Your Dream Mattress

Tired of Feeling Tired? Texas Mattress Makers Has the Solution.

If you’re experiencing any of the signs you aren’t getting enough sleep that we discussed, come visit our experts and get fitted for the right mattress for you. We want every Houstonian to get the best night’s sleep possible — after all, your sleep is what keeps us up at night. 

Without the right mattress, you may be experiencing sleep deprivation symptoms and not even realize it. Even those with impeccable sleep hygiene can experience bad sleep if their mattress is of poor quality or is not right for their unique needs. Our experts can assist you in finding a bed that is comprised of the right support and comfort components that will give you your best quality sleep — all for a lower factory-direct price that you can’t find anywhere else.

“My husband and I now sleep very comfortably every night. Thank you Texas Mattress Makers for your amazing customer service and your quality, locally-made mattresses!”

Rhonda B. | Satisfied Sleeper

Ready to say goodbye to bad sleep? Visit any of our mattress stores in Katy, Downtown Houston, The Woodlands, Rosenberg, Humble, or Baybrook, TX, or shop our mattress selection online. Our beds are top-quality, built-to-last, and more affordable than other luxury name brands.

Trust us to help you get the rest you truly deserve.

More Helpful Articles by Texas Mattress Makers:

Sleep Health

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