There is a major difference between how much sleep you need versus how much sleep you get.
In other words, just because you’re getting enough sleep to function, doesn’t mean you’re able to function at 100%.
To determine the actual amount of time you spend sleeping each night, you must first accurately track your sleep patterns. To do so, you’ll need to invest in a reliable sleep tracker.
How much sleep do you really need?
According to the National Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that adults ages 18-64 get seven to nine hours of sleep each night.
That being said, the quantity of sleep you get is just as important as the quality of the sleep.
Quantity refers to the amount of hours you spend asleep, while quality refers to the number of sleep cycles your body completes throughout the night.
In other words, seven hours of uninterrupted sleep will benefit you greater than nine hours of on and off sleep.
To fully understand exactly how to track how much uninterrupted sleep you are getting, check out our article How Do Sleep Trackers Actually Work.
What is sleep deprivation?
Sleep deprivation is a condition that occurs when an individual does not get enough sleep.
It can be caused by something so simple as reduced quality of sleep over a period of time or something more severe such as an underlying sleep disorder.
Because the signs of sleep deprivation are often subtle, many people have no idea that they’re even suffering from this condition.
To help you determine if you may be suffering from sleep deprivation, we’ve put together a list of common symptoms:
- Relying on an alarm clock to wake up
- Having a hard time getting out of bed in the morning
- Feeling fatigued or sluggish in the afternoon
- Excessive yawning
- Drowsiness after big meals
- Needing a nap to get through the day
- Feeling irritable or moody
What are the long-term effects of sleep deprivation?
Sleep is a major part of our overall physical and mental health, so being deprived of it for any serious amount of time is guaranteed to have long-term effects.
One of the first things that sleep deprivation will affect is your mood. You are more likely to experience feelings of depression and anxiety. This may be accompanied with a lack of overall motivation and energy.
Consistent lack of sleep will also take a major toll on your cognitive health. You may begin to have trouble thinking, concentrating, and problem-solving. Your ability to remember things may diminish and your reaction times may become slower.
Finally, sleep deprivation will have a long-lasting effect on your physical health. Not getting enough sleep is linked to an increased risk of high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. You may also experience weight gain and a decreased sex drive.
Are you worried that you may be suffering from sleep deprivation, but aren’t sure what to do about it? Consider investing in a reliable sleep tracker.