Your alarm has just gone off. Ugh. Still tired, you groan and hit snooze several times before forcing yourself out of bed. After doing the math, you realize that you’ve technically slept enough hours (although you could definitely sleep more). Maybe you’ve even tried going to bed earlier and feel frustrated that you haven’t reaped the benefits yet. Which give?
One potential reason: your sleep wasn’t as sound as you think. It was “junk sleep”, that is, not long enough or of sufficient quality to feed your brain and body. For example, maybe you slept for a good eight hours, but it wasn’t deep, or you kept waking up overnight.
The term “unwanted sleep” has more than 36 million views on TikTokbut if you’ve never heard of it before, how can you know you’re dealing with it, what causes it, and how can you beat it?
Signs You’re Having “Unwanted Sleep”
For many of us, waking up tired is a given. It makes sense that we need a few minutes (and a few cups of coffee) to get fully started. But when is lack of sleep to blame – and a problem we need to address?
You wonder if you’ve even slept and if you’ll be able to function.
If you’ve ever woken up and wondered if you Actually fell asleep, you know what we’re talking about here.
“You might wake up and feel like you’re not even sleeping,” said Kristen Casey, licensed clinical psychologist and specialist in insomnia. “You wake up restless, groggy or irritable. This type of sleep does not help us restore our bodily functions and causes difficulty in our functioning the next day.
In other words, it’s not your ordinary desire to rest longer just because your bed is so comfortable.
You are not too hot emotionally, mentally or physically.
On the running note, you’re struggling. You may feel very anxious, depressed, forgetful, easily distracted or irritable, depending on Phil Lawlor, sleep expert at Dormeo, mattress manufacturer. In the long run, you may notice that you get sick more easily, experience chronic pain, have digestive or cardiovascular issues, or feel extremely tired.
Additionally, you may notice changes in your eating habits. “Another lesser-known symptom is that you may be eating more than usual,” added Nicole Eichelberger, a certified sleep expert who specializes in insomnia and a consultant at Mattress. This is because sleep deprivation – even one night — increases ghrelin levels“hunger hormone”.
You don’t really believe in the importance of sleep and sleep hygiene.
Casey enjoys helping people see how they think about sleep because “our thoughts can impact how we feel, behave and experience the world, including the world of sleep,” she said. . “For example, if you don’t think sleep is important, you might not prioritize your sleep routine or worry about waking up at the same time every day.”
This perspective doesn’t need to be explicit “I hate sleep and sleep doesn’t matter,” either. It may seem more subtle or involve “Avenging Bedtime Procrastination” for example, delaying sleep on purpose because you want more free time. (Understandable, but unnecessary!)
As a result, Casey added, you may not practice solid sleep hygienesuch as adding a rest pad before bed.
What causes “unwanted sleep” – and how to beat it
Many factors can contribute to unwanted sleep, some of which are more within our control than others. Here’s what you need to know and what you box do:
Casey listed various noises that could keep you from sleeping soundly throughout the night, such as kids waking up, pets, traffic, your partner snoring, or your roommate watching TV.
Other environmental factors are those we feel, she said, such as being too hot or too cold, sleeping on an uncomfortable mattress, physical pain, illness and too much light.
The “felt” aspects also extend to our emotions. “When people are anxious or depressed, they often have difficulty sleeping,” Eichelberger added. “It can be caused by a number of factors, including low self-esteem, guilt, anger or a general feeling of hopelessness.” (After all, if emotions weren’t a contributor, Does Taylor Swift’s ‘Midnights’ Album Even Exist??)
The fix: Adjust what you can. For example, buying a soft mattress topper, increasing the air conditioning, installation of blackout curtainstake Tums to calm acid reflux, make sure you eat enough so you don’t wake up hungry, wear earplugs, and put stressful items — like your work laptop — in another room.
These variables are more in your control, like scrolling through your phone or watching a movie late at night. According to the Sleep Foundation, it’s best to put your phone away an hour before you go to bed.
“While scrolling through social media or watching TV gives you something to do, your brain responds to stimuli whether you’re aware of it or not,” Casey said. “This can lead to difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, in addition to having restless sleep.”
Lawlor explained how it works: “Phones disrupt your sleep cycle because the bright blue light emitted by the LED screens of electronic devices is a sleep disrupter that tricks your brain into thinking it’s still daylight, so you won’t feel sleepy when it’s time to close your eyes,” he said.
Plus, substances — like alcohol, in particular — aren’t a good idea either, according to Casey. The Sleep Foundation said alcohol can decrease the quality of sleep between 9 and more than 39%, depending on how much alcohol you drink. Alcohol and drugs can also interfere with your sleep by leading to nightmares.
The Fix: For behavioral causes, we look at some of the same solutions. What are some not-so-great things you do before bed, and what’s the best doable option? Maybe that means drinking decaffeinated coffee, reading between catching up on a show and sleeping, taking a hot bath or using the bathroom before settling into the sheets.
If you are going to use your phone in bed, Lawlor encouraged putting it on night mode. He said it reduced blue light emissions and decreased brightness. While not using your phone at all is a better option, it’s the next best thing. For an iPhoneclick Settings > Display & Brightness > Night Shift. For an Androidclick Settings > Display > Enable or disable dark theme.
Do you always feel restless in the morning? You may want to speak to a professional. “As always, be sure to contact your doctor if you suspect you have a sleep disorder or insomnia,” Casey said.
While there is some we can do to fix it all, we can’t cure it all. “Some of them we may have no control over, so be patient with yourself,” Casey added. Validate your frustrations and do what you can – without judgment – to help you sleep. Although trouble sleeping may leave you feeling hopeless, you’re not completely unlucky.
The Huffington Gt