7 Gross Things That Can Happen If You Slept Really Well, According To Experts
If you were able to sleep really well, there's a good chance you'll wake up feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the day. But as you climb out of bed, you might also feel a little gross, too. There might be drool on your pillow, there might be crusts in the corners of your eyes, and you might really have to poop. And yet it can all be a sign you got good sleep.
"Other signs of a good night’s sleep include plenty of physical energy, an upbeat mood, and a heightened ability to focus and concentrate," Rose MacDowell, sleep expert and chief research officer at Sleepopolis, tells Bustle. And this is what you should be aiming for, as often as possible, by going to bed at the same time and trying to get at least seven hours of sleep.
Good sleep doesn't just mean hours, though, but also how deeply you slept. "The deepest and most restorative stage of sleep is called N3 sleep," MacDowell says. "There are a number of physiological changes that occur during N3 sleep, including a decrease in blood flow to the brain, an increase in blood flow to the muscles, lowered breathing and heart rate, and reduced blood pressure. All of these changes are designed to keep us deeply asleep while the immune system reboots and the brain processes memories."
But it can also mean being so deeply asleep that you wake up feeling gross, thanks to the fact you didn't move or stir or blink or pee the entire night through. You might even notice some of the things below, which experts say can all be a sign you got deep sleep.
1. You Have Lines On Your Face
If you wake up in the morning with a patch of weird, squiggly lines on your face or arms — ones that just so happen to match the creases or design of your pillow — take it as a sign you were truly out. "Sleep lines are a sure sign that you haven’t moved for a while and were probably catching some deep [sleep]," MacDowell says.
And that's because, when you're getting a full night of restful sleep, you're far less likely to toss and turn, wake up, or stay awake for very long if you do. Instead, you're more likely to lie in the same positions for longer periods of time, and potentially develop a few (temporary) lines, creases, and indentions on the skin from laying on wrinkled sheets.
2. Your Eyes Have Crusted Over
"Chances are you haven’t opened your eyes in several hours if you wake with crusty eyes," MacDowell says. "This can be a sign that you slept deeply and didn’t wake up to rub them," which would remove the crustiness.
Also, when you're asleep — and have your eyes closed, obviously — you won't be blinking away debris and mucus from your eyes, like you do during the day. Instead, the mucus will collect in the corners and dry, forming a "crust" where your eyelashes meet your eyelid.
Of course, crusty eyes can also occur if you have a cold, allergies, or an eye infection, so it isn't always a sign of good sleep. If you wake up with sticky eyes and are experiencing other symptoms, like redness, let a doctor know.
3. Your Mouth Is Dry
Waking up with a dry or sticky mouth can be another sign you spent the night snoozing soundly. And that's because, as MacDowell says, "a dry mouth can indicate that the natural flow of saliva that usually occurs during waking hours slowed down during deep sleep." Meaning you were, in fact, asleep.
Dry mouth can also be accompanied by bad breath, which may be "gross," but is a very natural thing to experience in the morning. It can happen if you're not producing enough saliva, but can also happen happen because your mouth was closed all night, and the bacteria therein had a little party.
4. You Feel Groggy & Disoriented
"When you wake up out of deep N3 sleep, you can be especially groggy initially, which is called sleep inertia," SleepScore Labs’ Dr. Nate Watson, MD, current co-director of the University of Washington Medicine Sleep center and former president of American Academy of Sleep Medicine, tells Bustle. "Although this is not the best feeling upon awakening, it is an indicator that you got some deep sleep."
You might not know what day it is, or you might take a while to get moving or feel truly awake. But that level of grogginess is all worth it, since oftentimes it's a sign you slept really well.
5. You Have To Pee Immediately
If you have to pee the moment your eyes open, it may be a tad uncomfortable. But you can go ahead and view this as a positive, too, since it may mean you've been in a deep sleep for hours without waking, MacDowell says.
During the first and second stages of sleep it's incredibly easy to wake up. If someone slams a door, or a car alarm goes off, you will stir. But if you're in the deeper and more restorative stages of sleep — stages three and four, or even REM sleep — it's much tougher to wake up.
A full bladder may be no match for these later stages of sleep. Even if you really have to pee, the pressure may not be enough to wake you up. And as long as you pee first thing, that's completely OK.
6. You Have To Poop Immediately
Similarly, "if you feel the urge for a bowel movement within 30 minutes of waking up, it's a good sign," Matt Ross, sleep expert, co-owner, and COO of The Slumber Yard, tells Bustle. This might mean rushing off to the bathroom, or being a few minutes late to work as you go about your business.
But this morning poop can also mean you "got a healthy and restful night of sleep," Ross says. "A lot of times when you're sleep deprived, your bowel movement schedule is adversely affected and becomes quite irregular." So the fact you need to go is great.
7. Your Face Is Extra Oily
Waking up to slick skin may not be the most ideal way to start the day. But you can take comfort in the fact it's often a sign of good sleep. As MacDowell says, "Oil glands continue to produce sebum during sleep to help skin stay moisturized. If you wake with oily skin, that can mean you haven’t touched your face or removed the oil in hours, leaving you with shiny but well-rested skin when you wake up."
While these things can all occur after a restful night night of sleep, it's also OK if you don't experience them. All that matters is how you feel. If you wake up energized, focused, and refreshed, then you can take it as a sign you probably got good sleep.