Most of us are aware of the golden triangle of good health – diet, exercise and sleep. While diet and exercise are something you do while wide awake and in full consciousness, sleeping is something you do when you, well, sleep! You can track your calories and count your push-ups, but good sleep is much harder to measure!
Yet, it is possible to judge our quality of sleep on some basic parameters, without going into the nitty gritties of REM and sleep cycles. Not snoring and feeling well rested are two signs of good sleep, but while feeling well rested when you wake up is certainly a key indicator of good sleep, there are others too. A person with any kind of sleep disorder like sleep apnea will not show these signs, which is a good indication to visit a Sleep doctor.
So how do you know if you’re sleeping right? Let’s see!
8 Signs of Good Sleep
You look great
We’ll begin with the most obvious one – you look fabulous! Deep sleep is when growth hormones are generated, which repair your skin cells and slow down ageing. The body also gets a chance to spread oxygen to all the cells, resulting in fewer wrinkles and those dreaded bags under the eyes. There’s a reason night creams are so popular – the increased blood flow ensures better absorption.
You don’t find the need to pump yourself with caffeine
There are people who can’t face the world unless they’ve had their cuppa; but you’re not one of them! While caffeine itself isn’t a problem, the pattern of consumption can create trouble. With good sleep, you are spared the withdrawal symptoms of not having coffee or the shakiness because of too much caffeine.
You’re in a good mood
It’s hard to miss that one cranky and irritable person – he probably doesn’t sleep well enough! But having slept well, your amygdala, which is associated with negative emotions, shows decreased activity, and you feel more upbeat. The fact that you’re feeling good is a sure sign of some good quality shut-eye, as any sleep doctor will tell you!
You’re able to recognize when you’re hungry and full
When you’ve had a good night’s sleep, your body’s has reduced levels of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates hunger. It also has higher levels of leptin, which signals the brain that you are full. The result is that you know when you should eat and when you should stop – a huge factor behind good weight control!
You wake up naturally at around the same time every day
When you sleep well on a consistent basis, you tend to fall asleep at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, even on weekends. This is because your body clock has ‘set’ itself to a rhythm and your sleep cycles adjust themselves so you wake up around the same time every morning.
You’re ready to up and go anytime
The very fact that you wake up naturally promises a good start to your day, which is sure to be great! When you’re well rested, your energy levels are up high, even if you have a stressful or busy day ahead. You’re also more able to take on sudden unexpected tasks, unlike someone with sleep apnea, who may fall asleep during the day.
You’re performing well at work
Studies have shown that sleep has a directly effect on how well the brain retains memories. In short, if you’ve slept well, you’re more likely to remember an appointment or meeting and don’t miss out on details that can make a big difference. You also tend to make better decisions and skip snoring at meetings. The result? Happy bosses and better prospects!
Your relationships are going great
When you sleep well, are in a good mood and have a great job, it’s only natural that the people around you feel good about you as well! A good memory ensures you don’t forget special days or events, and good energy means you have the strength to keep up with commitments. People who sleep well also rate better on the intimacy scale with their spouses – not snoring at night must be a factor!
It’s important to note that the number of hours of sleep, while important, isn’t an indicator of good sleep. The quality of sleep is more important and the requisite hours of disturbed sleep don’t count. If you don’t notice these signs or if you notice other symptoms like snoring, you’re likely to be suffering from some kind of sleep disorder, like sleep apnea. To know more, visit a sleep doctor for a sleep test so that you can get back on track with your sleep and live your life to the fullest.