You’re hitting snooze—repeatedly
Not sleeping deeply enough feels very similar in the morning as when you’re not logging enough overall hours of sleep, says Shelby Harris, PsyD, director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at the Montefiore Health System. That means you’re tired and groggy, and wild horses couldn’t drag you out of bed. No one expects you to pop up immediately when your alarm goes off, but you should feel energized after a while if you’re getting enough deep sleep. “Give yourself an hour after you wake up, since it can take time to fully awaken. If you’re still sleepy then, you might have an issue,” she says. Here are doctors’ best secrets to a good night’s sleep.
You want to snooze at random times
It’s normal if you want to take a siesta after lunch. (Especially if, um, you went for a big burrito or pasta meal.) But poor quality sleep may be the culprit if you notice that you’re sleepy during the morning and afternoon and are dozing off during inopportune times (like at your desk or on the train). In fact, consider that you may have sleep apnea. “Most people think they’re asleep at night but those with apnea are having very broke, disturbed sleep all night, which leads to excessive daytime sleepiness for many,” she says. Talk to your doctor who may want to set you up with a sleep evaluation.
You…wait what were you just doing?
Sure, you sat at your desk to get something done—but what the heck was it? Sleep is essential for your brain to fire on all cylinders, especially in your prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for attention and working (short-term) memory. “Poor sleep quality can lead to cognitive fogginess,” says Harris. One study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine that looked at sleep in adults across six countries found that people who said they had better sleep quality performed superior on cognitive tests compared to those who logged poorer Z’s. Signs to watch out for: You’re not as sharp as usual, have more difficulty with motor skills, and have an impaired memory. These are other reasons you can’t focus (and what to do about it).