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The telltale signs that you're not getting enough sleep

Chances are you need more sleep: Here's how much and how to get it if you aren't getting your recommended hours of sleep.

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This story is part of New Year, New You, everything you need to develop healthy habits that will last all the way through 2020 and beyond.

Sleep is perhaps the best thing you can do for your health and yet most of us aren't getting enough of it. Besides making you feel exhausted and desperate for your morning coffee, not getting enough sleep can have serious effects on your body and mind.

You might be asking, how much sleep do I need? How do I know if I'm not getting enough, and how can I sleep more? This guide will uncover the secrets of sleep.

How much sleep do adults need?

Is 6 hour of sleep enough for an adult? The short answer is no. The recommended hours of sleep a night for adults is a minimum of 7 hours. A full 8 hours, though, is the ideal sleep duration you should get each night.

Those are the guidelines set by the CDC, as well as NIH (National Institutes of Health), but everyone is different. Figure out the number of hours you personally need to be at your best, and make it a priority to hit that number.

Here are the recommended hours of sleep by age:

  • Newborns: 14-17 hours
  • Infant (4-12 months): 12 to16 hours with naps
  • Toddler (1-2 years): 11 to 14 hours with naps
  • Preschool (3-5 years): 10 to 13 hours with naps
  • Kid (6-12 years): 9 to 12 hours with naps
  • Teen (13-18 years): 8 to 10 hours with naps
  • Adults (18 to 64): 7 to 9 hours
  • 65 and up: 7 to 8 hours 

Read more: 8 products to help you stop snoring  

Am I getting enough hours of sleep?

Most of us don't know exactly when we fall asleep each night, so it can be tricky to figure out if you're actually hitting 8 hours. The most surefire way to know if you are getting enough shut-eye is to track your sleep.

There are 3 main ways to do it, and you can start tonight.

Signs you aren't getting enough sleep

Besides feeling tired, sleep deprivation can have a major impact on your life. Here are some of the ill effects of not getting enough consistent rest.

Sleepiness during the day

It's 11 a.m. or maybe 2 p.m., you're dragging. You can't help from nodding off periodically throughout the day. That's not supposed to happen after a good night's sleep.

Forgetfulness and poor concentration

You can't recall facts and figures you should easily remember. Or perhaps you've had one two many forgetful episodes recently.

For instance, you often find yourself misplacing your keys, or walking out the door without your wallet or phone. Studies indicate a link between cognitive ability and total sleep time.

Irritability and anxiety

People rubbing you the wrong way lately? Have you noticed that you've been more nervous or worried than usual? Our levels of irritability and anxiety can shoot up when we are starved for restful sleep.

Weight gain

The cumulative effects of poor sleep can also lead to weight gain, and that's for starters. Studies strongly suggest that chronic inadequate sleep results in lowered glucose tolerance.

Other adverse effects include increased risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.      

How to fix your sleep issues:

Are smart beds the answer to a good night's rest?

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.