How much sleep you need each night and warning signs that you're not getting enough, according to neuroscientists.
Most people spend about one-third of their day asleep. While scientists are still unsure exactly why we need sleep, they do know it rejuvenates the body and mind, making it critical for our daily functions. And a lack of sleep leads to cognitive impairments that you might not even notice, which may make it difficult to know if you are well-rested.
Red flags you're not getting enough sleep
Ashley Ingiosi, a neuroscientist researching sleep at Washington State University, says there are a couple of indicators that you can look out for to determine if you're catching enough zzz's.
You fall asleep too quickly
"If you're falling asleep within five minutes of crawling in the bed, you're probably not getting enough sleep," she says. Instead, it should take about 15 to 20 minutes.
You hit snooze too much
Another red flag is if you're struggling to crawl out of bed in the morning. "If you're hitting snooze multiple times, you're likely not getting enough sleep."
Ingiosi says you might need to sleep in later in order to align your sleep schedule with your circadian rhythms — the physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle, like your sleeping patterns.
You feel tired throughout the day
The Epworth Sleepiness Scale measures something experts call daytime sleepiness. Daytime sleepiness refers to how likely you are to doze off or fall asleep throughout the day, especially during times of inactivity like sitting in traffic or watching a movie. The more daytime sleepiness you feel, the more likely you are getting insufficient sleep at night.
You can take the following quiz, based on the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, to help determine if you're getting enough sleep.
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