Sleep is an essential body function. When you aren’t sleeping properly, or enough, there are signs. Your whole body will tell you that something’s not right. How can you pick up on these signs that you’re not sleeping properly?
Today, we’ll review 5 signs that your body isn’t getting the sleep it needs (sleep deprivation) and show you how CBD for sleep could help turn things around.
Sleep Deprivation: A condition of the body and mind of suffering from a lack of sleep duration or having poor quality of sleep. Sleep deprivation ranges from mild to severe. The most severe cases of sleep deprivation can actually cause death.
When you are experiencing sleep deprivation, your body and mind will try to tell you – hey, stop what you’re doing. We need some sleep! Your body and mind communicate with signals and symptoms, which you have to interpret. Here are some of those messages so you can hear what your body is trying to tell you, a little clearer.
You Are Experiencing Daytime Sleepiness
When you’re not sleeping properly or if you’re not getting enough sleep, one of the first signs is daytime sleepiness. You may experience:
- Sleepy feelings like you can’t keep your eyes open
- Excessive thoughts of napping or wanting to go to bed early
- Dozing off
- “Spacing out” or feeling like you can’t stay alert
- Microsleeps – This can be quite dangerous if you are driving, operating machinery or sharp implements, or handling delicate things – like performing surgery on a patient or carrying around an infant, for examples.
“Sleep deprivation is defined based on sleep duration, which is the total amount of time a person spends asleep. In reality, though, being well-rested is about more than just how many hours you sleep. As a result, the terms sleep deficiency or sleep insufficiency3 are more frequently used to describe factors that reduce the quantity and/or quality of sleep and keep a person from waking up refreshed.” – Sleep Foundation
Not sleeping properly, according to the Sleep Foundation, is just as devastating to our bodies and minds as not sleeping enough. Both create a sleep deficit that can’t easily be remedied. One of the first signs from your body is tiredness, sleepiness, and yawning. If you’re finding it hard to stay awake during the day – then your sleep hygiene, sleep quality, and duration need to be improved.
Sleep Tip: Talk with your doctor about how to sleep better. Your doctor may want to analyze your sleep through a sleep study to rule out any sleep disorders or underlying medical complications that may be taking a toll on your sleep.
Related reading: Why Self-Care Is So Important
Irritability & Mood Swings
When you’re not sleeping properly or not sleeping enough, you will notice some irritability and mood swings. When your body and mind are deprived of sleep, it lessens your ability to respond to stress with a calm demeanor. It affects your ability to communicate effectively with others. In fact, you may have difficulty putting your thoughts into words.
Emotions can feel overwhelming to you when you are not feeling your best. One study posted by the American Psychological Association found that sleep-deprived participants scored higher in aggression than others who met the baseline sleep parameters.
Once you get back to sleeping properly, the mood swings and irritability associated with a lack of sleep should improve. However, one one night of bad sleep can impact your ability to manage your stress and how you interact with those around you, which may impact your job, your relationships, and your health. Chronic stress and mood disruptions from not sleeping could have long-term impacts if you don’t start prioritizing your sleep – just like you would any other need: social, food, exercise, or good, plain fun.
Positive mental health requires good sleep. It’s that simple.
Related reading: Can CBD Help You Sleep Better?
Not sleeping properly also has some physical effects that can be quite noticeable – like persistent headaches. Cephalalgia is a tension headache caused by a number of things, including fatigue.
“Headaches due to insufficient or interrupted sleep are generally labeled “tension headaches” of psychogenic origin. In 25 healthy subjects, variable amounts of sleep loss (1–3 h for 1–3 nights) caused headaches lasting from 1 h to all day. The headache was most frequently a dull ache, a heaviness or a pressure sensation felt in the forehead andor at the vertex.” – Wiley Library
If you’re not sleeping properly and headaches persist through your days, try these tips for sleep deprivation headache relief:
- Talk with your doctor.
- Try a mild analgesic.
- Use a CBD muscle roll-on gel on your neck and shoulders to relieve stress and tension.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- Lay down in a room with the lights dimmed until your headache subsides.
- Try a cool compress across the forehead.
- Turn in early and catch an extra hour or two of sleep.
Not sleeping properly affects your cognitive function and can make it hard for you to concentrate. There are 4 stages of sleep and interruptions at any one of these stages can impact your cognitive performance and your concentration, as well as memory formation and retrieval.
- Non-REM Sleep Stage 1 (NREM-1)
- Non-REM Sleep Stage 2 (NREM-2)
- Non-REM Sleep Stage 3 (NREM-3)
- REM Sleep (REM)
When any one of these cycles is disrupted, it’s like throwing a kink into your system. Your mind is not going to run as efficiently, smoothly, reliably as it would when well-rested and refreshed.
Scary fact: Sleep deprivation affects your concentration almost as much as being intoxicated would. In some cases, it’s just as dangerous to get behind the wheel of a car when sleep deprived as it is if you were intoxicated on alcohol or depressants. Think before you drive.
Inability to concentrate plus all that sleepiness will add up to being very unmotivated and unproductive. Your mind, lacking in adequate rest, will steer off track and look for ways to rest itself. This makes hard work of your to-do list or even reading a book you enjoy.
Sluggish Cognitive Function
Poor sleep actually affects your brain’s ability to perform; cognition, memory, recollection, and decision making can all be compromised.
William D.S.Killgore’s research on the Effects of sleep deprivation on cognition explains the complexities of the relationship between sleep and cognitive function: “While there is broad consensus that insufficient sleep leads to a general slowing of response speed and increased variability in performance, particularly for simple measures of alertness, attention and vigilance, there is much less agreement about the effects of sleep deprivation on many higher level cognitive capacities, including perception, memory and executive functions.”
The question isn’t whether poor sleep impacts our cognitive function, but to what degree.
Furthermore, Killgore’s work implies that “many convergent and rule-based reasoning, decision making and planning tasks are relatively unaffected by sleep loss” but warns that “more creative, divergent and innovative aspects of cognition do appear to be degraded by lack of sleep.” (Ever have one of those days where writing out the to-do list goes smoothly, but trying to efficiently do any of the tasks is not?)
Killgore goes on to warn that even our efforts to “undo” our sleep deprivation, (coffee anyone?) may not be as restorative as we’d hope: “Emerging evidence suggests that some aspects of higher level cognitive capacities remain degraded by sleep deprivation despite restoration of alertness and vigilance with stimulant countermeasures, suggesting that sleep loss may affect specific cognitive systems above and beyond the effects produced by global cognitive declines or impaired attentional processes.”
This is disappointing for those of us who rely on the morning cuppa Joe to stimulate our minds and give us that boost we need. Turns out, the real boost is happening while we sleep. No cuppa Joe can fix what a lack of sleep is doing to our brains.
A Few Tips for Sleep
When you’re seeing the signs that you are not sleeping properly, there are several things to do to make it better for yourself. How to sleep better begins with how you prioritize your sleep and ends with how you actually sleep.
Earlier we mentioned talking with your doctor. This can help if there are any medical issues that are impairing your sleep. But there are also some things you can do right from home to help you get some deeper zzz’s.
- Prioritize sleep. Set a bedtime each night and stick with it. Wake at the same time each day. Make sure there are ample hours for winding down, relaxing, sleeping, and waking up.
- Power down devices one hour before bed to limit your exposure to sleep-disturbing blue light.
- Use a relaxation method right before bed – meditation, prayer, muscle relaxation, light yoga stretching, or reading a book for pleasure.
- Try taking some CBD. One of the greatest benefits of CBD is that it relaxes our body and mind – two things that can help turn your restless nights into dreamy ones.
Get Better Sleep with CBD
Good days begin with good nights of dreamy sleep. Your body can rest, rejuvenate, and do all those little cellular reparative things that keep your mind sharp and your body well. Stay relaxed during your days with Asé Pure Naturals broad spectrum solutions and get your best sleep ever with full spectrum CBD oil each night. It’s never too late to break the poor sleep cycle and improve your life.