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.
These symptoms can all signal that we’re not enjoying adequate sleep. But how can you actually know that you are getting enough rest?
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that young adults (aged 18 to 24) and adults (aged 26 to 64) sleep seven to nine hours each night. But the optimal amount of sleep for each person can vary depending on genetics, activity levels, and general health.
If you want to know whether you’re enjoying adequate rest, you have more options beyond 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.
[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate health expert if you have concerns.]Nenad Aksic/Shutterstock
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, including 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 quickly.
According to a panel of experts gathered by the National Sleep Foundation, one sign of good-quality sleep is that 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 typically 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, then 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.
Featured image: AlexMaster/Shutterstock
[Editor’s Note: The content provided on this site is for general informational purposes only. Any information provided is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage you to consult with the appropriate health expert if you have concerns.]