7 Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

7 Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

By Dr. Kevin Passero

Sleep is one of the most important cornerstones of health. Poor sleep patterns contribute to premature cellular aging, in addition to adversely impacting our daily quality of life. Mood swings, poor focus, food cravings and fatigue are only a few of the detrimental symptoms you might experience.

Even more concerning, research shows that poor sleep significantly drives dementia and heart disease risk.

In a recent study published in the journal Aging, researchers found that people who slept less than five hours per night had double the risk of developing dementia and were twice as likely to die from any cause when followed for 5 years.*

In another recent study looking at almost 8,000 participants across Europe, researchers found that consistently sleeping six hours or less per night was associated with a 30% increase in dementia risk compared to at least 7 hours of sleep each night.*

And a study done in 2022 on people in midlife found that having a combination of sleep problems including trouble falling asleep, trouble staying asleep or sleeping less than six hours per night can almost triple a person’s risk of developing heart disease.*

So you can see, getting enough sleep can not only significantly increase your quality of life by increasing mental alertness, overall energy levels and even boosting metabolism to assist in weight loss and muscle building, it can also protect you from serious health conditions.

What I See in My Clinic

What I notice most in my clinic is how commonly patients get used to having poor sleep. Whether it is trouble falling asleep or trouble staying asleep, many people have had poor sleep patterns for so long that they just accept the fact that it is how they are going to have to live. So they just try to function every day with brain fog, fatigue, low mood, decreased immune function and sluggish metabolism.

With good reason, they want to avoid over the counter and prescription sleep medications because they are habit forming and are associated with disease risk themselves. But what many of them don’t realize is that there are many natural options available that can completely correct all aspects of poor sleep without being habit forming or causing morning drowsiness.

Using natural treatments, I have had great success helping patients get the restful sleep they crave. Each treatment is tailored to their specific needs by targeting a variety of key aspects related to sleep. Balancing cortisol levels and neurotransmitters including GABA, serotonin, glutamate and norepinephrine are effective ways to enhance and regulate sleep.

The bottom line is that with the right approach, a natural treatment plan will improve your sleep resulting in more energy, improved immune function, sharper focus and memory, and enhanced weight loss and metabolism while helping to protect your heart and brain.

7 Signs You Aren’t Getting Enough Sleep

Here are seven common symptoms you may recognize if you are experiencing poor sleep on a regular basis:

1. Falling asleep after sitting down: If you are sleeping poorly at night, you might find that your exhaustion catches up to you during the day, resulting in nodding off as soon as your body gets a chance to rest. Do you find yourself falling asleep on the sofa while you are watching TV?

2. Feeling very drowsy after a meal: Digestion requires a lot of energy, and if your energy is low because of poor sleep, you may start to feel really tired and exhausted after you eat a meal, particularly a midday meal like lunch.

3. Mood swings: Poor sleep wreaks havoc on our brain chemistry and mood. Feeling impatient, moody, sad or anxious can all be a result of poor sleep.

4. Sugar cravings: When you are tired, it is normal to crave foods that provide a boost of energy, and sugar is one of the best sources of quick energy. Sugar cravings are a hallmark sign of poor sleep and of course in the end it only leaves you feeling more depleted.

5. Dry mouth: If you wake up with a dry mouth it may mean you are doing a lot of mouth breathing or snoring at night. These patterns are typically associated with lower sleep quality.

6. Morning headache: Waking up in the morning with a headache can be a sure sign that your body did not properly rest throughout the night.

7. Snoring: Snoring can be a sign of sleep apnea which results in decreased oxygen levels reaching the brain at night while sleeping. And even if you don’t have apnea, frequent snoring can restrict optimal oxygen levels in the body and compromise sleep quality. Does your partner report that you snore loudly or frequently?

Nutrients That Promote Restful Sleep

There are scientifically proven nutrients shown to target the three key areas of sleep physiology. I've used them in my clinic to help thousands of people fall asleep faster and stay asleep. I personally take them regularly to enhance my sleep quality and sustain my energy and stamina.

These well-researched ingredients can improve all aspects of your sleep experience so you can fall asleep quickly, enjoy deeply satisfying sleep throughout the night and wake up feeling refreshed.

Here are the nutrients I frequently recommend to patients at my clinic:

• Quick-Release Melatonin and Extended-Release Melatonin (3 mg)
Quick-release melatonin (1.5 mg) helps you fall asleep fast, while extended-release melatonin (1.5 mg) helps regulate melatonin levels throughout the night so you can enjoy a full night of restful sleep. Taking these two forms of melatonin together has been shown to work much better than commonly available melatonin supplements.

• Ashwagandha (120 mg)
Ashwagandha is one of the most important and well-studied herbs in traditional Ayurvedic medicine and has been clinically shown to help regulate the stress hormone cortisol which can disrupt your circadian rhythm and interrupt sleep.

• PharmaGABA® (150 mg)
GABA is a compound produced by your body that serves as a neurotransmitter to slow down and calm the brain. Patented PharmaGABA® is backed by excellent research and has been shown to promote relaxation while relieving feelings of stress and anxiety, and it improves overall sleep quality.

• Passionflower (450 mg)
Indigenous to North America, this potent herb has been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Extracts of this plant have been clinically shown to work on GABA receptors to induce calmness and improve overall sleep quality.


If you are suffering from frequent sleep issues, I highly recommend trying a sleep protocol with a combination of melatonin, ashwagandha, GABA and passionflower to help you get the consistent, restful sleep you need. With restful sleep you will not only have more physical and mental energy, you will also reduce your risk of serious diseases like dementia and heart disease.