You’re hitting snooze – repeatedly
When you wake up in the morning, having not slept deeply enough feels very similar to not logging enough overall hours of sleep, says associate professor, Shelby Harris. 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, if you’re getting enough deep sleep, you should soon feel energised. “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.
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 not enough shut-eye or poor quality sleep may be the culprit if you notice that you’re sleepy during the morning and afternoon and are dozing off at inopportune times (like at your desk or on the train). These may be signs that you have sleep apnoea. “Most people think they’re asleep at night, but those with apnoea 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 your prefrontal cortex, the area responsible for attention and working (short-term) memory. “Poor sleep quality can lead to cognitive fogginess,” says Harris. In fact, a study in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience found that sleep disturbances are common among people with mild cognitive impairment. Signs to watch out for: you’re not as sharp as usual, have more difficulty with motor skills, and have an impaired memory.