If you’re anything like me, you probably spent Sunday night delaying sleep, thinking that one hour of sleep wouldn’t make a huge difference.
Now Monday morning, I’m totally regretting it. So how many hours of sleep should you get?
Here’s one speedy trick to figure out if you’re getting enough sleep from Dr. Andrew Wellman, a sleep specialist at Harvard and Brigham and Women’s.
The very first question Wellman asks new patients is “Do your eyelids get heavy when you’d prefer to be awake?” according to NPR.
If you answer yes, it probably means you should be sleeping more. Symptoms like fatigue and tiredness aren’t enough to gauge whether you’re getting enough sleep, Wellman said, because they can be attributed to other medical causes.
Sleep deprivation isn’t something to ignore — it can echo through the rest of your waking life. In the short term lost sleep makes you irritable. Over time, sleep deprivation can contribute to chronic heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, according to NPR.
It’s also becoming a huge epidemic. A 2013 Gallup poll found 40% of Americans get fewer than seven hours of sleep, the least amount of sleep recommended by scientists.
So next time you feel yourself nodding off while you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed, it’s probably best to just put the phone away and get some shuteye.
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