You’ve heard the horror stories about what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. Your productivity tanks, your physical health can suffer, and you may find yourself irritable, moody, and prone to overreacting. But how can you actually know that you are getting enough rest, anyway?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults (aged 18-24) and adults (aged 26-64) sleep 7 to 9 hours each night. But the optimal amount of sleep for each person can vary depending on your genetics, activity levels, and general health.
So, other than obsessively checking your sleep-tracking smartwatch to see how many hours you logged each night, here are five signs that you are in fact getting enough sleep.
You don’t need an alarm to wake up.
“If you woke up naturally without an alarm clock, as opposed to forcing yourself out of bed, then you’ve probably just had a good snooze,” sleep scientist Patrick Fuller told Business Insider. Another promising sign: If you get up with no trouble as soon as your alarm goes off, rather than pressing snooze several times and eventually dragging yourself out from under the sheets.
You don’t rely on caffeine.
Your relationship with caffeine can depend on a ton of things, like your metabolism and age. But one sure sign that you are well-rested and have enough energy? You can make it through the day with minimal caffeine consumption, or none at all.
You generally fall asleep quite quickly.
According to a panel of experts gathered by the National Sleep Foundation, one sign of good-quality sleep: It generally takes you 30 minutes or less to fall asleep each night.
You don’t wake up for long periods of time during the night.
This is another guideline from the National Sleep Foundation. The expert panel agreed that “waking up for under 5 minutes once per night” and “being awake in the night for under 20 minutes” are typical signs of a good night’s sleep.
You don’t feel sleepy during repetitive tasks or while driving.
Another sign you’re well-rested? You remain alert throughout the day, even while engaged in monotonous tasks. If you find yourself falling asleep in front of the TV, every time you try to read, or even when you are driving — you may need to re-evaluate how much sleep you are getting. And if you ever feel sleepy while driving, pull over if it’s safe to do so.
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