Do you fall asleep quickly? Find out what this really means
There’s nothing better than climbing into bed to enjoy a restful nights sleep after a long, hard day. If you can relate, there’s a good chance you feel as though you fall asleep before your head even touches the pillow. Have you ever wondered what this actually means to fall asleep so quickly? Luckily for you, we’re going to explore exactly that here in this article. Let’s dive in!
The good news
You’ll be pleased to hear if you frequently fall asleep within the blink of an eye, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything sinister. There’s no cause to think that there’s anything wrong with your health. However, it’s more likely to indicate that you’re exhausted and that on the whole, your body feels sleep deprived.
In fact, the opposite is true; Dr. Varga claims that sleep experts are more likely to be concerned by those who struggle to get to sleep. The average person should be able to fall asleep within 20 minutes of hitting the hay. As such, if it usually takes you longer than that, you could be suffering from a sleep condition known as insomnia. On average, we need roughly eight hours of sleep; if you’re not allowing yourself that, this could be contributing to why you’re able to nod off so quickly. More often than not, extending how long you sleep for could be all you need to do to drift off a little slower.
The same is true if you’re getting poor quality sleep. If you’re suffering from sleep apnea or restless leg syndrome, you could be unknowingly fragmenting your sleep, which causes you to feel overly sleepy, and as such you end up falling asleep quicker.
What about daytime sleepiness?
It’s more concerning if you find yourself falling asleep super quickly during the day. If this is an issue for you, there’s a good chance you’re definitely sleep deprived, or worse; you could be unknowingly suffering from an underlying health concern- like sleep apnea or narcolepsy. If this is something you’re struggling with, be sure to book an appointment with the doctor to get to the bottom of it.
On the whole, if it takes you between zero and five minutes to nod off during the day, you’re ‘severely sleep-deprived’. So it’s no wonder most sleep professionals still use this as a guideline to diagnose conditions like narcolepsy.
If you’re concerned, you can take a simple online test to help you assess the extent of your sleepiness. This questionnaire is better known as the Epworth sleepiness scale. If you receive a score higher than ten, there’s a good chance you’re suffering from excessive sleepiness. As such, you could benefit from further testing to help you understand your condition better.
In short, narcolepsy is when someone suffers from ‘sleep attacks,’ where the patient is suddenly overcome by excessive sleepiness resulting in them falling asleep near-on instantly. We’re still not sure what triggers this affliction. However, it’s widely believed that sufferers possess abnormally low levels of hypocretin (a chemical that helps to regulate our sleep cycles).
In short, if you’re someone who can fall asleep straight away, you could just be a quick sleeper. If you’re concerned about this, your first port of call is to try and get more sleep at night. If you’re suffering from sleep deprivation, a few extra hours of kip should help to nip this problem in the bud. However, if in addition to falling asleep quickly at night, you’re also struggling with excessive daytime sleepiness, you should contact your GP to ensure you’re not suffering from other underlying sleeping problems or health concerns.