Sleep deprivation is pretty common these days, but you may not even realise you aren’t getting enough rest.
As tempting as it is to stay up to watch one more episode of that show you’re currently marathoning on Netflix, it really is important to make sure you are getting enough sleep.
Sleeping is as vital as eating, but with the busy lives we lead sleep is often sacrificed so that we can get more done.
Just because you’re not actually nodding off at your desk, doesn’t mean you aren’t affected. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms of sleep deprivation, it’s time to rethink your sleep schedule.
People who are sleep deprived are less inhibited, and less able to cope with stress. You probably wouldn’t usually snap at someone for being 30 seconds late, but you just can’t seem to help yourself.
Lack of sleep also affects your ability to correctly read social situations and facial expressions, which can make you feel like everyone is out to get you.
, patients suffering from anxiety and depression are more likely to report cases of insomnia.
You’re Always Unwell
Your immune system takes a hit when you don’t sleep enough, and you might find that you always have a cold, or one illness after another.
If you’re that person who’s always getting sick, listen to your body and make an effort to get in the right number of hours sleep.
Chronic sleep loss also increases your chances of heart disease, high blood pressure, or having a stroke – not worth the risk!
You’re Hungry All The Time
Particularly for carbs. Pass the chips, please. And the pizza.
When your body isn’t getting enough energy from sleep, the next logical place to try and get it from is food.
Lack of sleep increases the levels of a hormone called ghrelin, which makes you hungry, and reduces levels of the hunger suppressing leptin. This means your body isn’t feeling the signals that usually tell you to stop eating.
Sleep deprivation has been suggested to be one of the risk factors in obesity, as well as diabetes.
Reduced motor skills come with the territory when you aren’t well rested. Your concentration is affected, as are your reaction times.
This is actually really dangerous, as you are much more likely to have an accident while driving or in the workplace if you haven’t gotten enough sleep the night before.
that after 17 – 19 hours without sleep motor and cognitive functions were impaired to an extent equivalent to being drunk. Definitely not a state you want to be in behind the wheel.
Your Skin is Breaking Out
Bad skin goes hand in hand with reduced sleep and increased stress. This is thanks to a spike in the hormone cortisol, which can break down collagen.
So if you’re waking up with a fresh breakout regularly, your sleeping habits could well be the culprit.
You Cry Easily
Your emotional regulation goes out the window when you don’t get enough sleep, and you start over reacting to everything.
If you’re not currently PMSing but you just cried at an advert, try to go to bed earlier tonight!
It can also actually have the opposite effect, and you may find you get really giddy when you’re over tired and start finding everything absolutely hilarious. Arguably preferable, but still not a good sign.
You’ve Lost Your Sense Of Humour
When we are in need to sleep, we actually lose the ability to find things funny.
This is because finding something funny is such a complex process. It requires attention, memory, and for the brain to imagine several different scenarios at once.
These processes are controlled by the prefrontal cortex, which is the area of the brain most affected by a lack of sleep.
You Feel More Awake at Night
In a bid to get you back into a normal routine, your body provides you with a surge of energy in the evening.
Unfortunately, this often leads to people going to bed later again because they think they feel fine.
It’s much better to force yourself to go to bed than to try to wake up with even more sleep debt, so resist the urge to have a productive couple of hours before bed, and curl up with a book instead.
Your Memory Is Rubbish
You might think you’re just a forgetful person, but if you aren’t getting the right amount of sleep, that could be the real reason.
When we sleep, our brains process the information from the day and store memories.
You’re also probably not paying as much attention to what’s going on when you’re tired, which will make things hard to recall at a later date.
You’re Not Productive
If you’re struggling to get a lot done through the day, this is likely due to you not getting enough sleep. Ironically, we often stay up late to get things done, but this makes us less productive through the day.
It’s not hard to see why, since your abilities to reason, focus, or remember are impaired. You are probably also struggling to think of the right words for things or forgetting what you’re doing half way through a task.
Lack of motivation is another symptom of being too tired, which certainly won’t help.
If you have a big day ahead of you, don’t stay up all night preparing, or fretting about it. You’ll be doing yourself no favours!