How to Tell If You’re Getting Enough Sleep

29/01/2016

how to determine if you are getting enough sleep

For many people, getting enough sleep is something they’d dream about…if only they were able to fall asleep long enough to do so. Over the last few years, there has been a technique spreading across the internet that is meant to allow people to figure out whether or not they are getting the rest they need every night, and it has been obtaining a surprising amount of attention.

This technique for knowing if you’re getting enough sleep takes about five seconds and involves looking around you and deciding if everyone else around you seems to be having a bad day, is unhappy or is simply not interested in having a discussion. If that’s the way everyone else seems to you, then the odds are, you’re not adequately rested.

Is this technique true? Is that all it takes to know if you’re getting enough sleep? According to researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, it is. To obtain these results, they tracked the reactions of 18 young, healthy individuals when they saw the facial expressions of the people around them. This was recorded after those subjects had gone 24 hours without sleep.

What they found was that the sleep starved participants were incapable of distinguishing the difference between a scowl and a smile. However, after those same people were allowed to get a full night of sleep, they didn’t struggle to understand the difference between a happy face and an unhappy one.

The research findings were actually more in-depth than that. The researchers also monitored the heart rates of the participants. When the individuals were without sleep for 24 hours, their heart rates didn’t undergo a typical response to a face that was friendly or threatening. Moreover, the scientists also discovered that there was a lack of connection between the heart and the brain. This reduced the ability of the subjects to be able to sense signals of distress.

This limited study does indicate that if you look around yourself and continually feel that people seem to be grouchier than normal, it might be your interpretation of their faces and not that you’re surrounded by cranky individuals.

Of course, if you’re looking for a more traditional way to determine if you’re sleeping enough, then you might want to try to decide how much sleep you’re actually getting most nights. This doesn’t mean the number of hours you’re in bed, but instead refers to the number of hours you’re actually sleeping. Once you know that, you should try to determine how much sleep you personally require because that changes from one person to the next.

Ask yourself: do you struggle to get out of bed in the morning? Do you wake on your own or need an alarm clock? Do you struggle to concentrate or remember things? Do you fall asleep quickly when you go to bed? Do you tire quickly when watching television or driving? The answers to these questions will help you to know if you’re resting enough every night.

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