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Why Falling Asleep Quickly Is Not Necessarily A Good Thing

Photo: Ground Picture / Shutterstock 
sleeping, sleep deprivation

We’ve all heard of the phrase “fell fast asleep” when we’re referring to someone who knocked out as soon as their head hit their pillow at the end of the day. Sometimes, when you are especially exhausted, it can even happen to you. 

Although it may appear as an indication of a healthy sleep cycle if we are able to fall asleep easily and quickly, it could actually imply some underlying issues that we may not even be aware of. 

Falling asleep quickly could mean that you are sleep deprived or have an undiagnosed sleep disorder. 

If we are able to fall asleep so quickly without tossing and turning to get settled, we probably consider ourselves lucky. However, it is not necessarily a blessing. 

According to sleep experts, falling asleep quickly, usually within five to eight minutes of our heads hitting the pillow, could imply that the person is sleep deprived. 

“Here’s something a lot of people don’t know. Falling asleep fast is probably bad for you,” TikTok user @dreamwellbewell shares in a video. “On average, it takes people between 10 and 20 minutes to fall asleep… If you’re falling asleep within five minutes, that means you’re sleepy.” 

   

   

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The man warns that not only are you especially sleepy, but you’re also likely sleep-deprived. 

According to the Sleep Foundation, it is recommended that you get anywhere from seven to nine hours of sleep every night to get a healthy amount of rest and to be alert and focused the following day. 

However, even if you get the recommended amount of sleep, you still may be struggling to stay awake during the day and fall asleep as soon as you get into bed. This could imply something a bit more serious such as a sleep disorder

Sleep coach Tracy Hannigan explains that falling asleep quickly could be the result of a disorder that is described as “excessive sleeping,” such as sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, periodic like movement disorder, or “one of the other 85 sleep disorders.” 

“It’s very, very important that if you fall asleep in under five minutes on a regular basis, that you get fully assessed by a sleep professional so that you know exactly what is going on,” Hannigan encourages viewers. 

   

   

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According to the Cleveland Clinic, sleep disorders are fairly common, with over 50 million Americans suffering from some sort of sleep disorder. Paying a visit to your primary healthcare provider about your sleeping troubles will allow them to help alleviate some of the symptoms. 

They may do bloodwork or imaging tests, and even refer you to a sleep specialist who will perform a sleep study, which will determine whether or not you have a sleep disorder. 

The sleep study electronically transmits and records specific body and brain activities while you sleep to get a better idea of exactly which sleep disorder you may have. 

why falling asleep quickly is not necessarily a good thingPhoto: Prostock-Studio / Shutterstock 

Thankfully, sleep disorders are treatable. Medical professionals may use cognitive behavioral therapy, using a CPAP machine, or prescribing medications such as sleeping pills or supplements, including melatonin that will allow you to get the good night’s sleep that you need. 

Even if you do not suffer from any sleep disorders, sleep deprivation is most likely the culprit if you fall asleep within a matter of minutes. 

Just like sleep disorders, sleep deprivation could be alleviated. You can incorporate natural methods into your life to correct your sleep schedule by keeping a consistent bedtime, even on the weekends, avoiding caffeine close to bedtime, limiting your naps throughout the day and staying active. 

Let’s be honest, not getting enough sleep is something that can ruin our entire day. Between the mood disturbances, cognitive impairment, and poor performance at work or school, it seems nearly impossible to get through it. 

It's important to prioritize and maintain good sleeping habits to promote overall health and well-being. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.